Footnotes to August 2015

It’s been a while, so a quick explanation of this - when I left NZ I started taking notes about what I was doing every day. Not necessarily the specifics of what I was doing (it isn’t a Facebook feed), but more anything interesting etc. Some of those notes were meant to become bigger blogs, others less so. This is basically a collection of the other thoughts I had this month.
So, yeah, an incoherent bullet point list. Enjoy.

(this isn’t all from August 2015 - I ended up finding loads of earlier notes that I have incorporated too)

  • Did I ever mention why we moved from our first flat with some New Zealand guy? One reason was he clearly wasn’t paying TV licences, or more disturbingly, council tax (there was a court summons sitting on the table). Plus all the general filth.

  • Also in that flat, I was forced to shower by torch light several times. I mean, I could have tried to get the light fixed (not replace the bulb), but why do something when you can equally do nothing?

  • London continues to be bigger than I realise. The tube distorts things. I felt like I lived quite close to Hyde Park, but running there was more effort than I expected. Despite that, I can run from home to work faster than I can get there on the tube (and only slightly sweatier). Despite all the bad things (which I have posts to come about), I think I like the tube.

  • I have stopped paying attention to stuff - just the other day I forgot about two (of the 6 or so) stations from my house to Victoria. Does anyone really care about Gloucester Road or Sloane Square?

  • I am sticking buy it, this is funny:


  • I’ve said it before, and I will say it again - Europe (and the UK) are backwards in regards to Sundays. Why is nothing open? How does that allow you to be arranged for anything? Saturday you go out drinking, Sunday you are hungover. The only time you have to do anything you need to is on Sunday and you can't be constrained by limited shopping hours when hungover.

  • Internet top 10 lists are a horrible thing. I can’t tell if they are the cause of, or creation of, the current climate of short attention span/instant gratification society, but they are somehow linked. Plus they are annoying link bait, and any site that splits up a list of 10 items over more than two pages is the worst site in the world.
    Bullet point lists making unconnected comments about random thoughts on the other hand are totally fine and probably the high point of society.

  • Citymapper is totally an English app. I don’t care if it isn’t actually made by English people or not, it does one very English thing - it gives you loads of alternatives for directions.

    What I mean by this is, if you are ever in England and you need to create small talk for any reason whatsoever, just throw out a place name and mention you need to get there this weekend. As long as there are some English people around that will be a conversation for forty minutes or so. Generally the first person will give you the best way to get there, but then everyone else will offer alternatives (and if it is just one person, they will offer their own alternatives). It is a seriously great game if you don’t feel like talking.

    (I wrote this, and days later began reading Bill Bryson's great book “Notes from a small island”, and as it turns out he basically made the same observation (as I am sure many have before) years earlier than me, read his take here)

  • I had so many abusive notes written about banks in August (2014, oops) I have decided to write an entire post about that. Which is to say I have already written it and it will post next week. Really.

  • Can we all agree that Black Velvet isn’t real? It’s just chocolate with food colouring? Thanks.

  • I didn’t go to the Notting Hill Carnival this year (didn’t need the stabbings), but last year I saw a crowd of people listening to a band tear a Scooby Doo teddy bear (teddy dog?) to pieces and joyfully those the remains around. Weird.
    (Another note from that day in 2014 also gave me a good invention idea, patent pending (post also coming soon))

  • Other things I did this month - wore Lederhosen around (in prep for Oktoberfest, it’s comfortable), went to see the Gaslight Anthem (as expected, really good), went to Paris and rode bikes, got drunk on a boat that called itself a castle (porthole beer photo in the header), drank a bottle of rum while playing dominoes (with other people, otherwise that might have been depressing), went to Spain and Andorra (saw boobs, and bears, and went on a 5km long slide), and caught up with my brother and his fiance when they visited.

And there you go, everything you either did, or didn't want to know about things that I might have thought in August (this year or last).