I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

load of Baldocks

sun and church, in Baldock
Originally uploaded by Darren Foreman.
Went to play table tennis on Sunday. I go up to Cambridge to do so every so often, ostensibly every month but in reality it's been about 4 times this year. Transport's a bit shitty, since somewhat unbelievably there are no trains northbound out of Kings Cross on a Sunday until 10am. Not to Cambridge, that is; to anywhere. First one there is at 1015 which gets in at 1101, being the "Cambridge Express" or summat. Unfortunately the room was booked for 1100 'til 1300, so rather than be late I decided to get a coach.

Got up too late to get the coach. For fucks sake. Then I left the house way too fucking early to get the train, at about 0820, meaning I ended up spending an hour at Kx stood there reading a magazine. Still, I was only going to be 20 minutes or so late.

25 miles or so south of Cambridge is a place called Baldock. I've been there. On Sunday. Because just north of it the train I was on slowed to a halt, the driver told us there was "plastic wrapped around the overhead lines" which meant we were in danger of bringing them down if we proceeded through, and we reversed into the station. Sigh. Last time I went to Cambridge I had train grief too, I guess this was a little less gruesome. Anyway, at Baldock the doors were opened as we were told it'd be at least an hour until engineers would get it all sorted. Most people stayed put, a lot got on their phones, a bunch went hunting for cabs, a few went and had fags, and a couple tried the door of the nearest pub despite it being about 1115. I went for a walk.

Baldock's got fucking loads of pubs. Probably 9 or so in easy distance of the station, which struck me as too many for a town of the size it appeared to be. Mind you the Tesco seemed extraordinarily ill-proportioned too, and seemed to be housed in a stately home or summat. Odd. Generally though it seemed like quite a nice place, somewhere I wouldn't mind being stuck... were the pubs open and me in the mood for a pint. In fact I could even be convinced to go there deliberately, but anyway. Just under an hour passed and I returned to the station; my train was no longer at the platform, and I'd just missed another one that I'd seen arrive and depart as I approached. Bah. 15 minute wait 'til the next one and I got to Cambridge just after 1300. Two hour session been and gone, three hours 'til the next sesh, almost five hours since I'd left home. Oh well.

Nice pint, nice lunch, and we ended up playing 3 hours of good table tennis in the evening. Got home pretty quickly, 40-odd minute wait for a train in a FREEZING BASTARD COLD Cambridge station notwithstanding. Thought my hands were going to fall off. Meant I got to listen to the Sunday evening rock show on local station STARadio though, which was notable not for a particularly strong selection of metal but an ad for a company whose name escaped me, whose slogan was the phenomenally dreadful "SHOT THROUGH THE HEART, AND YOU'RE TO BLAME, WE GIVE IN-CAR AUDIO A GOOD NAME". Sheesh. That reminds me: a tribute act called "Born to be Jovi" played at Kingsmeadow last Saturday. What a rubbish name. Someday there'll be a bloke in a flatcap called Ron Jovi and he'll be great.

Been in a fucking appalling mood all day today. I hope this isn't a regular thing. Really face-like-thunder stuff again though. It started when I woke up to the sound of Matthew Hoggard losing his wicket and England being reduced to 105/8, at about 0400 UK time this morning. Not only were we playing like a bunch of total cunts, but waking up made me realise I'd fallen asleep too early last night to hear XFM's Jack Penate session. Sigh. And XFM don't have any kind of "listen again" regime.

Been up since 0400 anyway. Couldn't get back to sleep, perhaps didn't want to. The utter incompetence of the England team with both bat and ball really did fucking ruin the start of my day though. I was steaming angry when I headed for work at 0830 and even a walk in the rain from Waterloo to the office did nothing for me.

Meetings today, end of last/start of this month type stuff. 5 or so hours of 'em. They went pretty well, but the first one in particular made me feel like a total fraud. Our team got a bunch of praise (in fact, we did yesterday too) for having a phenomenally successful November, yadda yadda yadda. Great work, great integration into the team for the new boys (that includes me), etc, and there was me thinking, oh. Really? I've been worried about productivity 'cos, well, it all feels a bit... easy to me. I thought there perhaps should have been more to do. Not that what we did was rubbish, there just didn't seem like an awful lot of it to me. But what do I know? Our product is delicate, after all.

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