Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh June

So many bits, so little time or energy.

Summer is here. The odd thundershower threatens but basically its nice and hot mostly (although at 45 degrees in Delhi, my parents regularly dispute my version of hot with a roll of the eyes I can see through the phone) - and of course this has dulled us into forgetting how horrible winter is. Although at this point I am ignoring the idea that the longest day has passed us and winter is months away. I guess it all depends on my mindset - is it MONTHS away or months AWAY?

Our balcony has a serious spider problem. Two successive cleaners have declared that having spiders is good luck and therefore they will do nothing to help eradicate them. I convinced both to atleast remove the tangle of cobwebs that the spiders keep weaving on our outdoor furniture. Pest control companies assure me that spiders are good for the environment and therefore not considered pests. We've polished up the furniture and wipe everything down as speedily as we can but they always come back. To the point where I am thinking of getting rid of all the plants (before I kill them that is). I have not managed to find any medication to remove the darn spiders. All suggestions are welcome. Workable ones which work could win a prize.

London's tube sytem is officially a shambles. We had a 48 hour strike over pay and redundancies. I worked from home one of the days. I thought I could manage one of the days by taking a direct bus to work. Only instead of taking 40 minutes it took 2 hours each way in a city gridlocked by road traffic. So essentially I spent 4 hours on the road and 6 hours at work. What a waste.

Additonally every weekend large parts of the tube system shuts itself down for 'upgrade work'. This has no noticable results as during the week there are still perpetual delays and sardine can carriages. A startling example is a platform extension programme at one station that shut the station down for over a year. When it re-opened with great fan fare we went to check it out and it turned out to be the same platform concreted over and with a glass/ perspex siding (so that people would not fall off the other side) and a similar roof to stave off the rain. And this took them over a year. Yet another station has no interchange because they are repairing escalators - and this has so far run into its second year with no one seeming to care how much we pay to travel around the tube, how much we pay in taxes and how ridiculously low our expectations are.

To top it all they have announced some fabulously revolutionary system of *-gasp-* airconditioning on some parts of the tube that are outside the underground bit (which other cities like New York and Tokyo take for granted). Of course this is on 1.5 lines for 0.6 of the line and after their wonderful beauracracy is scheduled to be completed in 2013 (with delays I make that 2017). And not without those lines being shut EVERY SINGLE weekend from now till completion (in 2017 I hasten to add).

The olympics is nearly here - in 2012 as per schedule - in 2013 in reality (which they will blame on the recession) ha ha. The truth is crap budgeting to start with from well before the recession (but hey you can blame anything on the recession these days). Nothing is on schedule or within budget. They have already used more than 3/4th of the contingency budget, cut down on new buildings by declaring random parks as possible (and free) venues. Shambles. Expect nothing short. So people who are planning to come and sleep on our floor to watch the games, don't buy those tickets just yet. Oh, and the tube is being upgraded purportedly to cope with the deluge in those 16 days. Because at the moment London clearly has no people. Jeez.

I'm addicted to the Wimbledon. Terribly sad not to be able to see hunky Nadal. Not sure Andy Murray will be able to win it, no matter how hopeful the crowds of Henman Hill are. Sure that now they have the retractable roof the rain gods will spite them all by holding off. Hoping Federrer wins it - although his coat of arms and crazy suits are more than a bit OTT - he is a dream to watch.

And finally Michael Jackson. I mean OMG. Can I say that again - OH MY GOD! Was woken this morning by V, hopping around and yelling while brushing his teeth, Michael something something (obscurbe by mouth full of toobrush and foaming paste). I was too fast asleep to figure it out but he was persistant and I finally got something through sign language that made me hop out of bed and lurch blurry eyed to the TV. I have to admit that after a whole day of endless news bulletins on the subject I am still in shock. I listened to him on my ipod as I took the tube this morning. I don't think I can fully describe what an impact he had on my growing up years - I can't comprehend it yet or make any sense of it and what a loss this is yet. He was about to come to the O2 arena not far from us for his final tour. And even though we couldn't manage to get tickets for any of the first 10 shows, the idea of nearly 2 year residency and 40 other possible shows was thrilling. Michael Jackson - no matter what his personality, his problems, his complex life - it's his music for which I am thankful. RIP.

Tata June.


  1. Deepa3:20 PM

    I hope he doesn't rest in peace- the blo...dy child molester!!!! His music and the rest of his jazz does not excuse that, ever!!!

  2. Anonymous10:23 PM

    OMG is correct!!! i am still in shock and cant get over i know how people felt "THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED" and when Elvis died...40in2006

  3. fyi, trains in Toronto have AC. It's really comfy. Although they have those same cloth seats as London tube does. Who thought it would be a good idea to have cloth seats instead of vinyl ones where if someone pees or drops their drink atleast you can tell.

  4. At my tube station, the "refurbishment" was supposed to have been completed in 2007-they've got about three new tiles on so far.

  5. hey news about the tube is so awful - I am in London for a precious 17 days from 14 July and maybe we can finally meet if you don't mind a rambuctious toddler in the midst. Email me please

  6. OMG sums it up. Ours was probably the last generation to have grown up on Michael Jackson's music. All his subsequent weirdness cannot negate the influence of his music. RIP indeed.