Thursday, November 27, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
It has been an annoying week at work. A courier lost a bag of orders a few weeks ago - something I didn't discover until customers started emailing to ask where their books were. After a three week tour around the Midlands, the parcels were returned on Tuesday in a large box, along with a packet of 10,000 staples.
I think the staples were another mistake, rather than some form of recompense.
I have now switched to Royal Mail. They may have an online ordering system that makes the Enigma machine look simple, but at least I know that the books will reach their destination instead of sitting in a warehouse in Leicestershire.
I enjoy working in the countryside, but can't quite get over its oddness. On Monday a stranger asked me if I'd like to see his puppy (you could get arrested for that in London). He opened the back of a car and handed me a beautiful 13-week-old spaniel, with adoring eyes. Later, on the way home, I saw a man standing on the corner of a road with a falcon perched on his hand. I've no idea why.
On other days, I'll suddenly see a succession of people ride past in horse-drawn carriages, or spot someone casually carrying a rifle with a telescopic sight.
It's only a matter of time before I go native.
Friday, November 07, 2014
This morning, my wife and I took our younger son to the Museum of London, where he was supposed to be studying the Romans:
On the other hand, the prehistoric gallery was surprisingly fascinating, reminding us that elephants once grazed by the banks of the Thames, whilst people lived in straw huts in a landscape that was mainly marshland and forest. A flint tool from around 450,000 years ago was genuinely awe-inspiring.
Every gallery was really well curated and arranged in a way that created a strong sense of a narrative. My son loved it and we all resolved to make a return visit.
After the Museum of London, we walked to the Tower of London through a particularly ugly area. This picture is from Wikipedia, as I forgot to take one:
The thought of having to sit in a meeting, listening to humourless people talk complete bollocks on a daily basis, sent a chill through my heart. I remembered being subjected to 'brand wheels', KPIs (key performance indicators) and 'upskilling' (training). It was awful.
Fortunately, just as I becoming a little grumpy about the business world, we arrived at the Tower of London and saw this incredibly moving tribute to those who died in the First World War:
I was also extremely moved by the huge crowd of visitors (there were several thousand when we arrived), some of whom had travelled a long way to look at the display. A few had simply come to see the spectacle, but I suspect that many were paying tribute to a lost grandfather or great-uncle, and felt that one of the poppies was theirs.
I certainly did.
N.B - Click here for some stunning photos of the full display.