Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say. Spare a thought for those still stuck at work over the holidays.
Now, of course, there are the standard professions that are required (ish) to work over Christmas – hospitals, emergency services, retail – and without them, the country would almost certainly fall apart. But what about those of us who are spending Christmas Eve, New Year’s, and the days in between, in an office. I mean, realistically, what work is happening in an office setting on Christmas Eve?
“Mind the closing doors” is a phrase that commuters are sick to death of hearing. Its also a phrase that most people adhere to, save a few that we immediately roll our eyes and tut at. But that’s because they barge on for themselves, getting their arms or bags caught, just to save an extra few minutes waiting for the next tin can stuffed to the brim. But today, reader, I was that person. Or, rather, someone else was that person for me.
As I approached the platform, through the network of tunnels, I saw the tube waiting, with its doors open. I broke into a half-run, expecting to catch it, but alas, I heard the warning beeps of the closing doors, just as I reached the dreaded yellow line. But then, oh but then. A foot stuck itself out from where the doors slide out, and a kind stranger stopped the door, giving me time to board and promoting the message “please stand clear of the doors”.
Now, I wasn’t too bothered if I missed the train; the bakerloo line runs every couple of minutes so it made no real difference to me. But it was an act of kindness, from a man who owed me nothing, expected nothing in return, and that I would never see again. It’s prompted me to look again at my commute, at every aspect of my life, and think about how I could use small, random acts of kindness, just to keep the cycle of goodwill alive. Giving up my seat without hesitation (come on, you know we all think twice before offering it up); buying a round of coffee in the morning to help the day along for my teammates; smiling at strangers; all small acts that could really go a long way to improving someone’s day.
So, thank you, kind stranger, for keeping that door open for me. Please do mind the closing doors though. The delays can be a real inconvenience…
The sky is grey, the rain is threatening, but life is good. Why? Because today I saw a dog on the tube.
Dogs on the tube are the most precious of all dogs. They are well behaved, they are (usually) quite quiet, and all they want is to be friends with everyone. There, on a hot, stuffy tin can jostling through the tube network, was the sweetest creature who just wanted to be petted and loved, and who are we to deny them that?
Of course, not everyone is a dog-person but I’m sure everyone can appreciate how a sweet and fluffy creature can have a calming effect on the road-rage of public transport. The tube network is hot, it’s cramped, it’s loud and uncomfortable, but whenever someone brings a dog on board, I can’t help but smile.
So, an entirely selfish plea to all you dog-owners out there: please bring your dogs on the tube. Take them for walks throughout London’s parks and bring them home on our tube network. Bring a smile to someone’s dull commute.
Inspired by a recent Guardian article, I’ve started to examine my own experiences of dinner parties and how they present themselves, both at university and after graduation. There are some key differences about the expectations of both guests and hosts at these dinner dates, so to avoid you committing a faux pas and becoming a social pariah, here’s a handy guide to navigating adult dinner parties.
It’s mid-January and most people will have broken their New Years Resolutions by now. Not because they want to. Not because they’re weak. But because they made unrealistic promises.
So many people decide to eat healthy, go to the gym, or otherwise better themselves, but it’s always on such a huge scale that they’re practically setting themselves up for failure, right?
What if people made resolutions to drink more water, buy more fresh food or walk instead of taking the bus? These goals would be so much more achievable, and people would feel better about themselves at the end of the month.
By this time in January, many people have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and don’t just break their diets, they eat more junk than they did before! Because they feel like they’ve failed. But they haven’t. You haven’t. Keep at it, break it into reasonable chunks, and go for it.
Me? My resolution is to blog twice a month – achievable. One post per 2 weeks? Yeah, I can do that. But a post a day? Well, for me, that’s just inconceivable.
I’m from London. I’ve lived in cities and suburbs my whole life and the countryside is, well, a culture shock. Not just because the air is clean (oh my goodness I can actually breathe). Nor because of the sheep giving me my wake up call (6am they start baaing. So inconsiderate). The countryside is, quite simply, pleasant.