Miss Minnesota

BT is driving me a bit mad. Our broadband connection keeps disappearing and the phone is all crackle and pop. The main problem is that you can only talk to a machine when you ring the fault number. I don’t call it very good. I can understand problems; I can’t understand not letting your customers know about it.

Disregarding the normally reliable BT, today was mainly spent cleaning up the remaining bits and pieces down the side of the house and setting up our new time lapse camera. The camera is to record the construction process.

I had to try the camera in various positions before settling on its final resting place. Hopefully it will now just snap away every hour between 7am and 5pm each day. Fingers crossed that, come August, I’ll have a short film of all the pain and inconvenience we’ve been through.

Nicktor was due to come over tonight but work and an evening with his wife won out so I decided to go to London to have a Tuesday Date Night with Mirinda. We had a lovely World Famous Pie each at Canteen before walking back to the flat.

On the train going into town, I read about the British dockyard strikes that ruined the Thames for container ships. The unions effectively stopped shipping in and out of London. So it was quite ironic that I turned up at Canary Wharf Tube station to be confronted by about 500 waiting commuters.

I thought there must be something seriously wrong as I joined one of the ridiculously long queues. Then I remembered: the Tube strike started at 9pm.

I didn’t manage to get onto the first train that arrived and was stood, waiting for the next, chatting to a young girl from Minnesota. She’s studying in Kensington and doing work experience in Canary Wharf. She told me how she felt like she was in the middle of a massive ants nest, surrounded by billions of busy little workers rushing around the place. She was trying to cope with the lack of personal space but wasn’t enjoying it.

I think Miss Minnesota was suffering a bit of culture shock. She’s only been in London for three weeks and, for the little while I spent in her company, was not enjoying herself at all.

The worst thing for her was that she was trying to get to Kilburn Park. She had been catching the Bakerloo Line to get to and from home and now was completely confused as to how she was to get home. I tried to find her a bus but there’s no direct route from Waterloo (the only place the Tube trains were going to since the beginning of the strike) and the combination of two of them would take her almost two hours. She groaned at the thought of a £40 taxi ride.

As we crammed onto the train, we were separated and I picked up an Evening Standard (because I’d left my book at the flat) where a list of services running during the strike alerted me to the fact that the Bakerloo Line was still running but missing out on a few stations (including Kilburn Park). As we arrived at Waterloo, I intercepted her to tell her the good news, showing her the way to go. I wished her luck as her sad face disappeared down the long corridor.

It’s odd that I’ll never know how Miss Minnesota reached home tonight. I hope I made it a little easier for her. She said she’d been to the pub with her workmates because, they told her, it was a very English thing to do. I told her that strikes, like the pub, were also a very English thing to do.

Because of the long wait at Canary Wharf, I missed my usual train and ended up getting home half an hour later than usual. Unbelievably, it was raining. I took a taxi home. I am so looking forward to the sun in Marrakech tomorrow.

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2 Responses to Miss Minnesota

  1. Mirinda says:

    A random act of kindness – very good! I wish I was going too…

  2. I bet Miss Minnesota was glad she run into you very well done my son.
    love mum x

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