Episode 8. In which we work from home, and rant. (Rant Part 1: Space Invaders)

First things first, I am kind of on call today, so I’m trying really hard to stay in a mature mindset in case I have to take a serious phone call, but I have you warn you I’m slipping so this might end up really stream of consciousness.

This is Rant Part 1, of which there will be several.  I don’t know yet.  Probably too many.  I don’t have a set number in mind, nor do I have subjects lined up, but they’ll come along, don’t you worry.  I am not in a ranty mood right now, and I will try never to write my ranty posts when I’m all hot under the collar about whatever I’m ranting about.  I was in a ranty mood about this subject about four days ago but haven’t had a chance to write about it in the meantime, and right now I’m feeling like things worked out for the best.  I’d only have been angry and dull if I’d ranted when I was angry.  I might still be, but I’m trying not to.

Rant Part 1: Space Invaders.

I’m a commuter.  On a train.  Luckily I go a very long way, get on the train early and get off the train late, so I almost always get a seat.  I am very glad of this, for many reasons including the fact that I’ve just never been able to stand still for a long time.  I can walk for a long time, I can stand for a little while, but my bones and my joints just don’t like having all my weight on them for too long.  I have the knees of an eighty year old man, they crack every time I straighten them, and always have.

However, getting a seat isn’t the be all and end all.  Because seats on trains are stupid.  They are stupidly placed, stupidly laid out, and stupidly narrow.  I’m a big lass, not massive, probably average for my height, which is in itself average, but not being skin and bone, it is impossible for me to sit next to anyone on a train without getting elbowed in the ribs, newspapers waved in my face, and inappropriate accidental thigh touching.  And that’s if I’m kind about whoever I’m sitting beside.  That’s not including the ones that stink, snort and/or act like my sitting next to them is akin to my sitting in their favourite armchair, eating their dinner and reading their kids a bedtime story.  I mean, seriously.  How dare I?

I especially hate this attitude on the seats in the area that bikes stay in during off-peak travel.  These seats fold up, but they’re my favourite ones.  For one thing, there’s more legroom.  You’re not locked knee to knee with some random who usually won’t sit still and somehow manages to have feet in all the spaces that your feet want to inhabit.  Anyway, these fold-up seats have space for three average sized people, or four little people.  By which I mean skinny, slim, whatever, certainly not people with flesh on their bones.  Usually you’ll get three people sitting on these seats, and that’s fine.  But there are two potential problem situations.

  1. Someone will come along and demand to be the fourth person on the seat.  This works fine as long as the other three people are little.  If any or all of them are average sized, then it’s a squash, and if you had space and had to give it up so that someone could elbow you in the ribs* then it pisses you off.  Me.  It pisses me off.  First person, I really shouldn’t assume you’re as grumpy as I am.
  2. Someone on the seat will take it upon themselves to sit uncomfortably close.  This means they’re also disproportionately far away from the other person, but that’s never me, I’m always the one they’re too close to.  Sometimes this is because there were four people on the seat and the fourth got up and left, but when that happens, and the spare space isn’t filled, I tend to get up and move as well, because that’s just weird.  Sometimes there’s just no earthly reason, it’s just an unjustified invasion of personal space.  And then you’re stuck there thinking, there’s space for two handbags and a puppy on the other side of her, if she sticks her elbow in my ribs again I’m going to bare my teeth and growl.

There you go.  Space invaders.  That’s the thing that annoyed me about commuting the other day.  The thing that came top of the list, I should say.  I could probably get a series out of this, do a daily train-rant, make a week of it at least.  But that’s a bad idea.  So I will not rant on a regular basis (well, it won’t be seldom, but it won’t be scheduled) and I will try not to rant about the same thing twice in a row.

Watch this space for Rant Part 2: Don’t assume I’m getting out of your way, you pavement-hogging cretin.

Diabetic moment of the day

Today I had to stop into Starbucks for a mini mince pie because I was out shopping for longer than expected and missed my lunch.  They come in groups of four, but I only needed one, so I gave the other three to My Man for his colleagues when we met to get my Christmas present and to stop for lunch.

It was not unlike eating Christmas-flavoured sand.

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