Wednesday, 9 February 2011

All about the money

Whilst passing through St Pancras on my way to Kings Cross I noticed that a "London 2012 Shop" has opened with a sign at the entrance stating "We are proud to accept only Visa."

What about notes and coins? Surely it is against the law to reject legal tender? I decided I would challenge the till troll, but before I had chance I saw an American gentleman paying with a Visa card and cash. While they do accept cash in the store, online they cannot, making ticket and merchandising purchases inaccessible for people who are not customers of Visa.

I suspect I will not the only one to be incensed by the idea of a payment monopoly for what is billed as an inclusive sporting event. I do have a Visa card, but this has left such a foul taste in the mouth that I'm considering switching to a less obnoxious credit card provider.

Mooching round the store in a half-hearted attempt at browsing I was un-tempted by the vast variety of t-shirts and the like carrying the naff 2012 branding, nor did the various representations of Wendel and Wossisname get me reaching into my pocket.

Then I came across a display of 50p coins. This may seem like a daft question, but how much would you pay for a 50p coin? Well the London 2012 Shop thinks you'll be prepared to pay £3. Yes, that's right they're selling 50p coins with a 500% mark up. If you are struggling to believe me why not visit their online store and see for yourself.

Welcome to the London 2012 Olympics,
It isn't about winning,
It isn't about taking part,
It certainly isn't about sport,
It's all about the money!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Rise, leap, move

I love the perfect duality of the word spring. It is the name for the season of regeneration and growth. It also means to rise, leap, move, or act suddenly and swiftly. Both senses of the word come together in me as the season of Spring arrives, and I can fly into action after months of being constrained by the bleak winter weather. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Run, Harry, Run!

Once again I've been led a merry dance from platform to platform at London Bridge train station. Arriving at Platform 1 on a service from Cannon St, I crossed to Platform 4 to catch my onward train. When it arrived it was already packed, and after everyone piled on it left resembling a sardine can, an experience I decided to forgo. A little while later my next train option was announced - back on Platform 1.

See Harry. See train. See Harry run. Run Harry, Run!

Other than that, my journey back to my London digs was much less eventful than yesterday. We were rocking along as usual last night when suddenly something started clanking around under the train. We had either run over an object, or a piece of the train had fallen off. Either way it sounded large and metallic, striking the underside of the train a dozen times with floor vibrating clangs.

The was a nervous titter around the carriage when I remarked to the lady opposite "that's not a reassuring sound." When she replied "I hope it's not the brakes," a worried silence fell over us all. Soon after the train started to slow as we approached my station, and with people visibly relaxing I disembarked and transferred to a bus for the rest of my journey.

The bus was just about to turn onto my street, when I noticed blue flashing lights, and the driver announced a diversion. Turning left up the hill instead of straight on, I felt a little uneasy, not knowing the area where I stay in London during the week very well. When I eventually escaped the bus I was able to retrace my steps back to the right street, where I found a bus on fire just opposite my building, complete with attending firemen, and gawking crowds.

Who says commuting is boring?