View through my window

October 30, 2006

If this is 'street' you can keep it

The family Crisis went down to that there London over half term. I had some nuns to see, and the LOML has a cousin who lives in a nice, leafy, safeish, expensive bit and has spare rooms, so we thought we'd make a trip out of it and stay for a couple of nights.

Fuck me rigid with a cowprod.

What a nightmare.

I used to live in London - indeed, the LOML and I met at uni there. But now that we live in the sticks, it is a total culture shock to ge back. We went on the tube and smiled indulgently at Child One working out how many stops we had left and so on - a few years ago I would have tried to shush him, because it makes you look like a peasant to have children who thinks the tube is exciting. I've grown up now. Then we went to Tate Modern to do the slide thing, and queued up for a long time for tickets. Then we went to Leicester Square to try and get some show tickets, but anything that was worth seeing was going to be two hundred quid for the four of us, so we gave up on that. So, happily,we went to the Globe Theatre for a guided tour, which was fab and the kids enjoyed it. And I squashed down my conscience and we went for a coffee and cake in the Salvation Army headquarters and tried not to think about funding their ridiculous organisation (I'm sure they do loads of charitable caring stuff but as an atheist they do it for all the wrong reasons, but still. Nice coffee. Cheap, too. For London).

It was going back onto Leicester Sqare tube that I really started to think about the life choices we've made. Child Two was happily holding my hand, as she was a bit overwhelmed by all the people. Child One was doing the "I'll go first and work out the right way to go and you can follow me" thing. He's ten, and quite a lanky sod, with blond hair - so fortunately he's quite visible. He happily worked out the route - we have to change here to that line and so on - but hadn't got the hang of the station concourse. We had to call him back gently a couple of times - "It's this way mate, don't go through that barrier or you won't be able to get back" - "Oh. Okay Dad" - and we duly got where we were supposed to be going. But just comparing him to the other kids on the train and the streets, and he just didn't compare. He has a wide-eyed innocence, a belief that everyone is nice (until proven otherwise), doesn't watch his back, worry about getting lost, or notice any potential threat. All the local kids had hard faces, shifty, wary, knowing. There wasn't much difference in the way they were dressed, but they were totally in different worlds. I was trying to think of what it reminded me of, and it came to me that it was the bit in Oliver where Oliver is introduced to the Dodger and Fagin's gang. My boy just is Oliver: polite, innocent and, uh, blond.

Until a few years ago, I was a bit proud of the fact that I did the London thing, knew the places, did the look, didn't stand out or look out of place. I got to snigger at tourists, jostle past people dithering because they didn't know the right tunnel to go down, flash travel passes and not queue for tickets. It occurred to me, watching my unselfconscious, trusting little bloke making his way with quiet confidence through an unfamiliar world, that we had done the right thing after all. All of a sudden, I had a complete reversal: I was proud of not being local any more, having to buy a ticket, happy to point at the map on the carriage and count stops with them - and happy for them to be excited at the distant rumble of an approaching train, to tell us "it's coming, it's coming" and to jump up and down when the train came whooshing into the platform. Proud that this marked us out as from out of town. And uncool. And not 'street'.

My little girl, as she emerged blithely from being crushed by sour-faced commuters studiously ignoring each other on a District Line train, asked me: "Why is everyone in London so sad?".

"I don't know, sweetheart. Perhaps they all wish they could live in a village in the country like us."

I used to miss living there. Not any more. Not at all.

3 Comments:

  • good for you

    very important to be pleased with your life choices

    now, I'm off to pick a pocket or two. . .

    By Blogger I, like the view, at 4:45 pm  

  • (oh, but what about the North London nuns?)

    By Blogger I, like the view, at 4:47 pm  

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    تواجه مشاكل مع مكيف الهواء الخاص بك؟ العديد من المشاكل التي لديك مع مكيف الهواء الخاص بك قد تحل ببساطة تفعل ذلك بنفسك خطوات الصيانة التي يمكنك اتخاذها. القول المأثور "يبقيه بسيط غبي" يقطع شوطا طويلا. قبل افتراض أن لديك مشكلة تقنية الرئيسية التي يتطلب اصلاح مكيف لإصلاحها بعد اتهام لك ثروة، تبدأ من خلال القيام ببعض الخطوات البسيطة صيانة أجهزة تكييف الهواء وفحص بعض المشاكل واضحة.
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    أولا عليك دائما أن تكون على يقين لديك فلتر الهواء النقي في النظام الخاص بك. إذا كنت وحدة لم التبريد وهل لاحظت تراكم الجليد أو حول وحدتك في الأماكن المغلقة أو في الهواء الطلق يجب إيقاف مكيف الهواء وإيقاف المروحة على لمدة 6-8 ساعات للسماح الجليد لذوبان الجليد. تذكر الجليد ترى من خارج النظام الخاص بك ليست سوى جزء صغير منه. معظم البناء الجليد حتى على المبخر أو لفائف داخل عمل القناة الخاص بك ان كنت لا تستطيع رؤية ذلك تأكد من السماح لها ذوبان الجليد لمدة 6-8 ساعات قبل ان يتحول حدتك مرة أخرى. بمجرد تحويله يعود على يقين الفلتر نظيف، جميع سجلات مفتوحة، والمنطقة المحيطة عن العرض والعودة السجلات هو واضح. إذا كان النظام يتجمد مرة أخرى بمجرد تشغيله سوف تحتاج إلى استدعاء المؤهلين اصلاح مكيف الهواء. يمكن أن النظام الخاص بك تكون منخفضة على الفريون. إذا يضيف الفريون ولكن غير قادر على تحديد موقع تسرب يمكنك محاولة "الفريون طقم إصلاح تسرب" تباع عبر الإنترنت التي هي سهلة لوضعها في النظام الخاص بك.
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    By Blogger almostakbl company, at 4:52 am  

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