Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Strange days.......

For the first time in about a month, I've had a day pretty much to myself. Early this morning my wireless router arrived, hence my posting - I'm back online.

After a relaxing morning checking emails, websites and generally sorting out my long neglected paperwork and bills, I decided to take a long walk before my afternoon lectures.

I set off without a direction in mind, 'letting the mood' (ha - sorry, that sounds so lame) and coldplay on my ipod dictate the direction. I ended up along a popular London shopping street, in a waterstones - Without thinking at all, as I walked past the philosophy section, I spotted the only book by Bertrand Russell left on the shelf, 'The Conquest of Happiness', I picked it up and kept on walking, to have a look at some science books - I saw the Feynman books and 'The Character of Physical Law' was in my hand and I was walking to the till to buy them in seconds. This may not sound very remarkable to you, but it is certainly is to me, very remarkable indeed.

Moving on.....

Afterwards as I was walking towards my all time favourite coffee place, I spotted some of my most hated foes and absolute arch-enemies - Yes, people blocking the pavements holding clipboards trying to get you to sign up to some charity or cause or whatever. Luckily for me, the pavements are quite wide and there were enough other pedestrians, so my wonderful 'shield' defense technique could work (there has to be at least 2 other pedestrians between you and the 'clipboard soldiers', thus protecting you from them).
I broke throught the first cordon with ease, then the second, just one more and I would be free and safely in my favourite comfy chair, with brand new books in my favourite coffee place, just one more....but no, I was totally blindsided by a piece of honesty and slight naivety.

As I was using my shield technique to perfection (oh yes, I actually meander on the pavements to maintain a buffer of at least 2), my defenses crumpled as my 'shields' were very rude middle aged men with mp3 players who just sped up and ignored the charity worker.
This happened just as I was passing, I thought, 'Oh shit, just speed up and let's hope you are in a blind spot or already considered gone'. As you may have guessed, no, I was spotted and the charity worker said (no, pleaded),
'Oh, please don't ignore me and walk past'

Never, ever, ever have I heard anyone, doing her job ever say that to me or anyone else. I had to stop and turn around to face this new breed of street pledge collector.

Turns out she was a delightful girl of about maybe 19/20, good looking (Oh come on, who didn't see that coming?), who most importantly of all, was only on her second week of the job. She knew all the relevant facts and made a good sales pitch, even had a nice fridge magnet to give as a gift if I signed up there and then (of course I didn't sign up though, I'm too paranoid to give up any financial details to anyone, let alone strangers in the street).

When it became clear to her that I wasn't going to sign up there, she said she believed I'd go to the website and sign up as I had indicated because she said she can trust me. We said goodbye, even exchanged names and as I was turning to walk away she said, 'I love you for stopping and talking to me'.

She knew perfectly well that I had no intention of even going to the website, let alone signing up to donate any money.

I'm well aware that she could have of course been using her 'women tricks' in order to get money out of me, but I doubt that is the case this time. She was good looking, but not in an imposing and dazzling way, she also had an honesty and shyness, which would prevent her from consciously using her looks as a weapon. Added to the fact that this is a new job for her, and most people walking past at that time were of older generations who totally blanked her or even gave her a cold stare as they marched past - she must have been at least slightly disheartened by the job. Thus the chance to speak with someone who was within a few years of her age and had a neutral demeanor must have seemed like something not too be missed, hence the pleading for my attention.

Of course, she have just been playing along and being a good sales girl only to be thwarted by my paranoid ways - either way, she did well.

My 'good deed' done for the day, I carried on to get some coffee. A few hours later in my lectures, while absent mindedly drawing and writing silly quesions on my empty cardboard coffee cup (from a different place, tasted awful) and drawing clovers, sunflowers and clocks on my arm, the sound of idiotic questions stopping the lecturer and destroying the flow of the lecture a mere background noise at this point, I suddenly got thinking about many different things, most are still in my mind now.

How is all this related?

Well, it all happened to me for one and two; it isn't.

It's just been such a long time since someone has asked me how my day went and what I got up to, I thought I'd take the liberty and just answer as if that question had been asked.