It is very difficult concentrating on a Philosophy for Digital Libraries with kids in the same carriage of the train. It doesn’t help that little kids seem to only speak at great volume for the simplest of things. The most annoying thing (ignoring babies that just cry and scream for the entire journey) is the kid that keeps asking the same question, over and over again.
“Look mum! A cow. Mum! Look! A cow! Mum! Look mum!…” and on and on. Each time the volume increases until ‘mum’ says something dismissive like “Oh yes, isn’t that nice” half an hour after the cow has disappeared. Surprisingly this kid today looked out the window and exclaimed “Look mum! A caterpillar! Mum! Look!” It did get her attention immediately. I assume he has the eyes of a hawk.
But it’s not something you get annoyed at. Unless the kids are actually misbehaving and sometimes not even then. There is a rule in civilisation that states that it is expected and therefore mandatory. Very different to the Victorian’s ideas! And I’m not advocating a return to such times. I think it’s important for kids to express themselves as they experience the world.
What I’m wanting is a train carriage where parents with children are not allowed. Like height restrictions on fairground rides, there should be a ‘sitting quietly and reading’ level that must be adhered to. And it should not be optional like the laughable quiet zones presently on trains. To show how this works, I’m in one now but sadly the parents and the kids cannot read the sign above their heads.
And so, instead of putting in a good hour of work on my essays, I am reduced to typing up the beginning of my blog entry for today. Of course, it does mean I can now get an extra 15 minutes of essay work when I get home, so I guess all things level out somewhat.
However, a lot of the disruption is to the impossible to retrieve flow. I had a lovely quiet four stations and was happily climbing into the writing zone when the carriage was invaded. I tried to concentrate on what I was doing but the sheer force and volume of the under 5 year old and the screeching of the baby slammed the brakes on my brain which simply shut down, losing the thread. Very annoying when I was hoping to get a substantial amount of work done during my two journeys today to see Mirinda for lunch.
They left the train at Clapham Junction which gave me 10 minutes before Waterloo. I decided to just do some reading.
I have become a bit bored with wearing a baseball cap and so I have changed my style somewhat. I am going for the ‘mislaid artist living happily in Tahiti’ look.