Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Never had it so good

At 9.40am this morning, the Bank train I was on was mysteriously diverted via Charing Cross. An announcement was made at Camden Station, which meant an entire trainload of people suddenly had to alight onto the platform and wait for the next train to come in. Two middle-aged, ├╝ber posh women were standing next to me and were increasingly incensed by what was going on. "Well, this is ridiculous!" "It's disgusting!" "It's intolerably rude!" They were like those two old men in the Muppets! By the time we got onto the next train, they'd decided that the last-minute change of route was "generational... The younger generation can't stick to anything these days..." I sort of agree with them on that particular point, but am not sure the re-routing of a tube train could be put down to a flibbertigibbet teenaged driver!

It struck me that upper middle class people of the post-war baby boomer generation have had it easy all their lives, and as such always expect things to go their way. They are a lucky bunch. This will be the last generation of people who retire with healthy pensions and potentially spend more of their adult lives retired than they ever have working. The NHS will serve them properly until they die, by which point they will have long since paid off their mortgages. The "we've never had it so good" motto has always applied to them.

The same is not true for my generation, where I'm pretty sure there's a great deal less security and certainty. I see it with most of my friends, even those in good jobs have struggled to put deposits down on mortgages, and ten years into buying houses, are still only paying off the interest on their loans.

In the space of about 24 hours, winter has arrived. I couldn't quite believe the wind growling down Oxford Street this afternoon. One particularly large gust took down two signs outside a Subway store. One had a flag attached to it which worked as a sail as the sign bounced its way down the street.

I worked in Soho through the afternoon, before meeting Nathan for a late lunch. By the time we'd emerged from our little pizza restaurant on Drury Lane, the weather had turned even nastier, with bitterly cold rain flying through the air like arctic ball bearings.

Fiona texted to say she was still on the sofa. She'd popped out to the shops and decided the concept of heading back to Brighton in such dreadful weather was foolish beyond words. She was correct!

At Tottenham Court Road they were plainly going for the record of how many announcements they could make in the shortest period of time. Every one seemed to be in a different voice, each duller than the next. We heard about "double-tapping" - which has apparently started happening now that people can pay for journeys on their debit cards as well as their Oysters - and all sorts of planned engineering and wet weather warnings. By the time the recorded voice from the tube itself had joined in on the act with its "this station is Tottenham Court Road", I was ready to scream.

I came home and ate baked potatoes with Fiona whilst continuing to sift through my ghastly pile of tax receipts. Fortunately they are now in neat little piles and I feel less stressed about things.

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