Wednesday, October 11, 2006

“Oh great, another instrument”

I have recently acquired myself a ukulele for the princely sum of £25 and so smitten with it am I, that I have recently incurred the wrath of Lisa by strumming it at any given opportunity.

On Saturday, I was sent to town to purchase some new threads as the money I recently accrued from a loan was burning a hole in my already hole ridden pockets. I dislike buying new clothes, as I am particularly picky about what I wear. Yes, I appreciate this may not seem possible if you take into account the shoddy garments I don but it's something of an ordeal for me, so after purchasing a couple of shirts and the obligatory visit to Probe Records (whereupon I purchased the new Bonnie Prince Billy and Beirut L.Ps) I found myself enticed at the idea of adding another feather to my musical bow (or should that be another string to my hat) and I was soon bounding home like a school girl, uke in hand.

Lisa wasn't impressed, and it was as if I'd spent money on magic beans.

"Oh great, another instrument" she wearily exclaimed.

Perhaps I'd set my self up for this fall, as I had walked though our flat's door bursting with joy and something hidden behind my back. Lisa's initial thought was that I had bought her a present, but she should have known better really.

In the past, Lisa showed great compassion and understanding whilst I was engulfed in a grip of a mild obsession with buying cheap (and mostly rubbish) Casio keyboards, after all she enjoyed the pleasure of pressing random buttons and laughing and the resulting cacophony of sounds that ensued. My brief flirtation with playing the harmonica was not tolerated at all (understandably so) and of course my constant guitar playing was always relegated to the spare room. Eventually she did lighten up to the idea and described it as "cute". Still it has been threatened that she would hide from me it to give her some peace, so I must tread with caution and have my wits about me. Perhaps the wearing of my new shirts will have some positive impact on this delicate situation.

Back to the more trivial and banal- I have once more been enraged by the total lack of consideration and common sense displayed by them's chaps at Mersey rail. Firstly I missed my train by seconds as I decided to purchase a ticket as opposed to my rebellious recent streak of sneaking on without paying. What does honesty cost? £2.65 and being late for work. Lisa and I then waited in the fine drizzle until the next train arrived some 15 minutes later. Unbelievably, despite the 8.30 train being the busiest of the day, they only provided 3 carriages and the train was jammed packet before its door had open for us. When the guard stuck his head out of the window, I asked "Is there any room on the roof?"

"yeah we've got a luggage rack" he retorted.

We stood looking at the open doors with the other 70-80 commuters on the platform. There was little to no space.

"There's another train in fifteen minutes" he yelled to the masses.

"Balls to this" I said to Lisa and plunged myeslf into the mass of bodies and squeezed in…just. When the doors shut, I was unable to move at all, except to slightly move my neck to I could talk to Lisa. At the next stop, Brunswick, the doors opened and the commuters took one look and burst in to laughter. A tannoy announcement proclaimed that "due to severe overcrowding –please do not board this train." This was ignored by several plucky commuters and I was thrust further back in to the sea of sweaty office attired bodies. I did see one noble act as a man told his lady friend to "go on without me darling- I'll get the next train" I thought this beautiful until the said lady proceeded to stand on my foot for the duration of the journey until we arrived at Central station.

All of this had a resonance of de ja vu, and reading a previous blog entry from 12th Oct last year

I seemed to be in a most unsavoury frame of mind regarding the state of the public transport system then. Having said that, last year I wasn't the proud owner of a ukulele as I am now- so things have improved somewhat.

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