Of Musings and Wonderings











You-keep-using-that-word1For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, or has been ignoring the internet, the title of this post comes from The Princess Bride. The rest of the sentence is as above, over the face of Inigo Montoy. Okay, so now that’s out of the way…

Politics is something I try to keep out of my writing. Sometimes it might seep through, and I think maybe someone could get some idea of my views from my writing. But I try not to be too heavy handed with it, and I try to stay away from it here. Why, though? Even I don’t know. Part of me is worried about offending people. Part of me doesn’t want people put off buying my books – whenever I manage to get anything out there. Among other reasons. But, you know what, it’s stupid. I’m just being stupid.

Because, really, there are many things I actually do have strong views on, things that get my blood boiling when they’re mentioned on the news and it’s about damn time I talked about them in the one place I can. This blog is the place me to talk about what I want to talk about – books, films, TV shows and music and now, well, politics & other linked things.

For anyone not living in the UK, or who doesn’t keep up with the news, you may want to check out this link to a BBC news article, regarding Lord Cary, former archbishop of Canterbury, and his views on how Christianity is being persecuted. He basically accuses David Cameron, PM (Prime Minister) of, well, I’m not quite sure. Does he think the PM is persecuting Christians himself? Does he think Cameron is pushing for a secular Great Britain? It’s kind of hard to tell, though I’m sure it would be more clear if I actually read the Daily Mail article in which Cary outlines his views. But, well, no one in my family buys the Mail and I’m not going to give them another view on their web page. (From everything I’ve heard, I’m pretty sure just going to the site will send me into another rage, anyway. And I’d like to keep my blood pressure low.)

This has actually been going on for a while. Christians crying that they’re persecuted, anyway. In the UK. Because, you know, we totally have people outside Churches picketing them, there are clearly witch hunts tracking down Christians to strip them of any and all signs of their faith, and God forbid you show a cross in public!

Note: That is sarcasm. None of those things – from what I’ve seen – are happening.

The cases of people being fired because they refuse to take off their crosses…well, that’s not persecution. A cross is not a necessity in Christianity. (Unless the rules have changed since I went to school. If they have, then things are way more messed up than I thought.) Being told when you start a job that you cannot wear jewellery, well, then, don’t wear jewellery. Being told to take off a necklace because jewellery is against company policy is just being told to act like other employees. Let’s look at it this way; if someone was a Wiccan, or Pagan, or anything else along those lines, and wore a pentagram, and was told to take it off because, according to company policy, jewellery is not allowed, then would a Christian seriously jump to defend their right to wear something from their faith?

But, what really irked me about this whole thing is a debate that, quite frankly, is ridiculous. To me, anyway. The whole recent bout of OMG we’re being persecuted because of our faith cries has come about because apparently, these people don’t understand something very, very simple.

Marriage is NOT unique to Christianity.

3oOqQe3I don’t understand the logic used to argue against same sex marriage. I really don’t. To me, it seems blind sighted and ignorant. The article linked to above explains that

Lord Carey spoke of being “very suspicious” that behind plans for gay
marriage “there lurks an aggressive secularist and relativist approach towards
an institution that has glued society”.

Okay, seriously, WHAT? People don’t just get married in a Church anymore. Many don’t have religious marriages and I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people from other religions who get married. And how has marriage ‘glued society’? As far as I’ve seen, growing up, some people just feel trapped in marriage. My parents are still together, happily married after thirty years, but growing up I had a number of friends whose parents weren’t together. And one thing I learnt from speaking to them was that their parents splitting up was the best thing for, not just the adults, but the kids involved. Even if divorce can be a lengthy and costly process.

Ignoring the stupid ‘glued society’ aspect, how does opening marriage up destroy that? I just can’t get my head around it. And every argument I’ve heard is easily shot down. So, marriage is supposed to be to create a stable environment to produce children and help them grow up. Well, point above regarding my friends, that doesn’t always work. What about people who are infertile? People who never want children? Should they not be allowed to marry, either? What about IVF? Because, hell, with the way the marvels of technology are going, every one can have children, even if both parents aren’t biologically involved.

And there’s adoption, fostering, all those other options for kids who were produced from the coupling of a man and women and who ended up in a situation where they weren’t wanted.

Beyond that, a same sex couple is not going to have a kid by accident. Children in those situations are not going to be unwanted.

Christians are not a minority in this country. They are not being persecuted. They are not having their freedoms stripped, not being told they cannot practice their faith. And I’m sure there are many Christians who don’t feel they are being persecuted. We’ve long come past the point of divorcees not being able to remarry, we’ve moved on from the origins of marriage where a woman was simply a piece of property to be passed from one man to another. The truth is, marriage is not simply a Christian idea. It’s all encompassing, it’s simply the union of two people who love each other and want to stay together for the rest of their lives.

I went to a Church in Wales primary school. I learnt the Bible stories and I learnt that Christianity was not just about going to church and praying and telling people “Look what a good religious person I am.” My school taught me that being a Christian was about loving thy neighbour, about accepting everyone and about celebrating love. I no longer identify as Christian because I got fed up of all the bullshit people sprouted out about it. But to me, those points are what the Bible teaches. Not that one set of people are lower than others or shouldn’t be valued. I learnt that everyone is equal.

And marriage is a celebration of love and equality, is the ultimate declaration of love. Why the hell someone wouldn’t support that, AS A CHRISTIAN, is beyond me.

And if I – a straight woman – can marry someone, can celebrate love in front of family and friends, then why the hell can’t everyone else? Because, really, two people in love should be able to do that, if they want.

What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that if, as a Christian, you feel persecuted, take a step back. Look over history. Gain some perspective. Maybe look at what being persecuted actually means. Read a dictionary. Or, hell, pick up that Bible of yours and read about the people who were taken as slaves, read about Moses leading his people to safety because they were being persecuted. Think about WHY the disciples wanted Jesus to do more than just preach, because the Romans were ruling over them and they were getting fed up. And try to imagine Peter or Paul or John or whoever, standing there today, looking at you with a face palm face and going “You’re being persecuted? Really?” Because, you know, you’re not.

Jesus, if you believe in him, died for everyone, not just a bunch of stuck up arseholes who act like a kid with a toy, sitting in a corner hugging it to their chest going “No! MINE! No share!” while every sensible adult around them rolls their eyes and shakes their heads.

Essentially, what I’m saying is, this doesn’t affect you. Someone getting married does not affect you. Grow the hell up. And stop pulling out the persecution card without realising what it really means.

Advertisements


georgerrmartinh7boxedA very sad thing happened to me this week.

I finished reading the (currently) last book of George R.R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I resisted talking about them on here until I had finished them all, and now…now I feel like there’s a gaping hole where the characters of Westeros should be. Because up until now, the next book in the series was always just a purchase away. Now…well, I’m going to have to wait.

And bloody hell, Martin doesn’t like making you wait patiently. He throws his characters into fires, then sits back and watches you twist and turn as you try to work out what is going to happen next. All I’m saying is, hurry the hell up and get the next book out there!

Via the series or through the books, the characters in these books have managed to squeeze their way into the homes of so many. And right now, I’m eagerly awaiting the next series to see what direction they take it in, if it stays close to the book (which the trailers do seem to suggest) or shift it slightly away (which, when it’s happened in the first two series’, happens in a way that makes a hell of a lot of sense). It’s taken me ages to read through the seven books (what with Storm of Swords and A Dance With Dragons being split into two), but that’s mainly because I was at University when I started reading the first one and it just took me ages to get into it, what with the lack of time to read.

Now, I read on the train to work, from work, and at lunch, which means I blasted through the last six in as few months.

So, anyway, you can tell that I like the book. But what I really need to address is why I like the books.

Let’s jump in.

For those of you that don’t know (and if that’s you, I strongly suggest you pick up A Game of Thrones or watch the series, like, now) the books are set in Westeros and the lands near it, following strands of stories from a huge cast of characters. Martin leads us through each strand with third person POV, and does it brilliantly. The language matches the characters we’re reading with each new chapter; Bran’s chapters are filled with child-like words and imagery, Dany’s chapters feel like a teenage girl yet to discover who she is, full of confusion and uncertainty in the first books. Jon (who makes me go all fan-girl) has this sense of bitterness yet love towards his family, and it’s clear he feels all too strongly that he’s the odd one out.

imagesCA4687SS

These characters weave together at certain points, and flow apart at others. The relationships built between them come through strongly, and you can almost see the webs and lines that connect them all, even as they move apart and end up in completely different places. The style allows you to see just enough to know what is going on, but never the whole picture, and Martin is brilliant at keeping you hooked right up to the end, and after. The cliff-hangers are evil, as you wonder if this or that character will survive, as hints are placed throughout and everything presented feels like one part of a puzzle. More than that, the characters hated and despised in the first few books become, well, pitied in later books. You root for certain characters, want to see others fall, but when those do fall, it’s hard to watch.

Like a train crash.

Martin has a brilliant talent for writing these characters. To me, one of the signs of a great book (or series) is leaving you with the feeling that these events could still be carrying on. When the book is put down, you wonder what is going on in their world, like old friends. And although up until the end you can just pick up the book and carry on, once it’s finished…

Well, you’ll just have to wait.

I would strongly suggest reading these books. They’re moving, exciting, containing adventures, magic, distant lands and interesting characters and, more importantly, freaking dragons. And who doesn’t love a dragon?

game-of-thrones-dragon-babies



MV5BNjY2Mzc0MDA4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTg5OTcxNw@@__V1_SX214_I read the book back in the summer, and absolutely loved it. It’s brilliantly written, and the characters really do come to life right in front of you. Last night, I finally got a chance to watch the film, after wanting to see it for ages. I didn’t really know what to expect; I’m usually quite forgiving with film adaptations, because I’m fully aware that what makes a good scene in a novel doesn’t always make a good scene on-screen. Some things just don’t translate well, especially as film has to fit more things in a shorter space, and keep watchers more engaged. So dialogue, drama-heavy pages get replaced with a quick conversation and movement. You’re targeting not just the fans of the book, but fans of whatever genre of film it would eventually fit into.

And Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was clearly going to be a sort of action film, more than a drama. It was never going to be Lincoln with vampires, because that would just be a strange mix that wouldn’t really work. (I haven’t seen Lincoln. I don’t know if I’d want to – it just doesn’t seem like my cup of tea)

I felt like the film, from the start, put more on the race issue of slavery than the book did. The book kind of focuses more on Abe finding out about vampires before he realises how evil slavery really is. It’s underlying the book throughout, of course, but it doesn’t become his main focus until later. And the book spends more time building up his skills, too, and his loses. Of course, the film doesn’t have time for all that but I still felt it skipped over a lot.

I feel like they forgot about the whole axe thing until he starts actually training to be a hunter, yet he’s shown to be awesome with it straight off. In practice, at least. His previous job is a throwaway line, nothing more, when they could have done something a bit more with the axe earlier on. Mary Todd’s importance is built up a lot more in the film, too. As far as I remember, she didn’t come into the book until much later on (I think. That could be wrong) and her role is played up a lot more in Abe’s life as a whole. Plus…well, I think some of the early scenes between Mary and Abe feel very, very awkward. Nothing wrong with the dialogue, but the two actors just don’t seem to click. They do, however, work much better when they’re both older, even if they start out looking the same age and Mary ends up looking like three years older, while Abe looks like an old man.

Someone should remind him that trees cannot be vampires...

Someone should remind him that trees cannot be vampires…

A lot of the first few vampire huntings you see Abe go on have this sense about them that he’s getting through by luck; at first, it makes sense. After all, these are only his first few vampires. But then it cuts to a vampire, Abe defeats him using his amazing luck skills…and you find out he’s killed a hell of a lot by that time. It’s only when there’s a mass of vampires that you get a real strength that he’s good at what he does, but until then, I almost felt like I was trying to work out how he’s survived this long.

The film is really not subtle with its vampires, either. Abe should just be going for anyone who is wearing sunglasses when no one else is, but instead he walks blissfully along, ignoring the people who seem to be shying away from the sun. What kind of vampire hunter are you, Lincoln? Cos I feel like Buffy would have made a speech, spotted the vampire and lunged right at him. Or at least gone after him when no one else was around.

For the love of all that is holy, will someone PLEASE make this film?

For the love of all that is holy, will someone PLEASE make this film?

The film gets rid of some of Abe’s most interesting friends – in the book, when he arrives in the town where he meets Speed, he is threatened by a group of men, part of a large family who are basically the jocks of their town. After he beats one of the men up, the guy becomes a good friend, and later joins Abe on hunting. This is missed in the film and replaced by Will, Abe’s childhood friend. It’s something that wouldn’t have bothered me, if they hadn’t changed so many other things. It suffers a lot from not being able to have more, either. As far as I can remember, Abe actually does manage to kill a vampire – although ends up nearly dead himself – just before he meets Henry. He discovers that many of the politicians he’s working alongside actually are vampires, as is Mary Todd’s original fiancé. Actually, the film shows a Senator, who suggests Abe should go into politics, wearing sunglasses. But then he’s never seen again. As for Abe’s love’s fiancé….WHAT THE HELL? There are suggestions that he’s going to play a bigger role, or at least become some obstacle for Abe, and he would have been perfect as minor vampire/villain, AND IT’S ALAN TUDYK!!! Looking only slightly like Alan Tudyk! Missed opportunities right there.

Always the bad guy, always good at it.

Always the bad guy, always good at it.

BUT, I enjoyed it. Despite all this, I did like the film. I think if it hadn’t been so long since I read the book, maybe I wouldn’t have liked it as much. It’s barely recognisable from the book I remember, but that can be okay. (Personally, although I will watch it, I have a feeling I’m going to absolutely hate World War Z) It’s only really the core characters and plot that stay the same, and one of the things I really, really liked about the book (which would have been easy to show in like five minutes in the film) was missing. They didn’t even show him at the theatre! But still, it was fun.

Some of it was very, very stylised. I have to admit, I kind of like some bad CGI in films now. I don’t think it gets enough credit. Yet the whole over the top feel of some scenes was just added to with how very fake those horses looked. If you’ve seen the film, you know what I’m talking about. The stylised feel works, especially in the larger scale scenes; the horse-chase scene and the traditional epic battle near the end. On top of that, when you see the soldiers fighting in the Civil War, the camera starts above them. They look like toy soldiers, almost mirroring Abe’s son Willy playing with his own toy soldiers. As the camera pans in, you start to get a sense of the men fighting, and it works well to draw you in.

And I loved the fight scenes. The slow motion effect is used in almost every ‘non-realistic’ film now when there’s a fight taking part, but ever since The Matrix and, more recently, 300, I love the effect it produces as you watch a bullet slowly hit, and see the blood sloooowly spurting out. It just gives the fight another edge, and it’s used well here.

This is one of few films that really tore me in two. I really didn’t like what happened to the book, but if it was a stand alone film I think I would have loved it. As it is, I just enjoyed it. Then again, I think there are very few vampire films I’d dislike. (As long as the vampires are, you know, vampires, and not just sparkly boys wandering around going “woe is me my life is so difficult”) So overall, I’d say if you want just a bit of fun, a chance to turn your brain off for just under two hours, check it out.



standI finished this book on Sunday, and since then I’ve already finished the All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse novels). Let’s face it, I needed something lighter after getting through this hefty volume. The version I read was the re-mastered version, with some parts left in that King had originally edited. Despite this, and despite the sheer weight of it, I still felt like it was lacking some things. Minor things, but I’ll come to them later.

The Stand is the story of the end of the world. When a plague destroys a vast amount of the population (it’s never clear just how many), people begin to travel. As they do whenever the world ends. There never really seems to be a reason for it (unless you have zombies on your tail and you’re in a city), but usually the impression is they’re looking for other survivors, or just escaping the memories. In The Stand, as the characters slowly drift away from their homes and the dead, they begin to experience strange dreams. Some show a mysterious old woman, who claims to be 108, while others show a man who soon becomes known as ‘The Dark Man’. The characters King focuses on seem to have a built in instinct for knowing which one is good, and which is evil.

It is by now a pretty standard set up. Disease is unleashed, follow select groups of survivors as they try to, well, survive. But this book was out way before the recent apocalyptic trend (1978 for the original, 1990 for the one I read). Not to say it is completely original, but it takes old ideas and weaves them into something that even now feels fresh. I have the feeling that King added a lot more than just his original manuscript when working on the 1990 version; without reading the original, which I will hopefully do one day, I can’t say for sure, but my gut feeling is that a lot of the references and even the slang of the characters was updated. Which makes sense – the book is set in 1990, so updating it to fit into that year makes it feel more realistic than some films and books written decades before they’re set.

The characters are engaging, and soon, even during the build-up to the main events of the book (starting with the plague), you become deeply invested in them. Knowing pretty much what’s about to hit, I found myself early on knowing which characters I was rooting for and wanted to see make it to the end (Stu and Larry at the top) and which I wanted to see die an early painful death (Nadine and Harold). The characters all offset each other, and clumped into various groups they work well together. That said, I felt like once certain characters got to Boulder, we missed a lot from the journeys of the others, even when they pick up other survivors.

I would have liked to have seen just a bit more of Stu’s group on the road near the end of the journey, and Larry’s group just before we actually do catch up with them. But the book (as I’ve pointed out) is already quite lengthy, so maybe it’s a good thing we only got sections of them.

At times, I was a bit put off by the sheer scale of it. It begins to build up into an all out war between the forces of good and evil; in this case, Mother Abigail and Randall Flagg, God vs the Devil. (Not embodied in those two characters, but rather…well, it’s hard to explain, really.) And yeah, it’s mostly build up, as people move towards one or the other.

One of the most interesting things I felt about the book was the use of direction. It follows the characters across America, and moves from one group to the other, though you get the strong sense that at some point, they’re going to cross paths. Direction is used to give a sense of the characters, to make you gauge their motivations and emotions purely through the way they feel about the way they’re going. As they move, there’s the very real feeling of these characters shedding old skins and moving on, of changing. The ones that don’t are the ones to be pitied, as they cling to old ideas of who they were or are, as they see the shadows of their past lurking in every corner. Harold and The Trashcan Man are, without a doubt, the greatest examples of these. The Trashcan Man is in a way mirrored in Tom Cullen; both are ‘slow’, to use one of the most mild terms in the book to describe them (in most places, I had to keep reminding myself it was written in a less, err, politically correct time) and the different ways they’re seen in the book play off each other.

Then you have Nick. Nick, one of the most fascinating characters in the whole book, the one you almost cling onto, even if he can’t speak. Even as a deaf-mute, he has a commanding presence whenever he’s on the page. The changes in characters like Larry, Nick and Tom are subtle, and it’s only via Larry that it’s explicitly stated. But there’s still the sense in all of them.

Some of the ideas in the book were drawn out really well; via Glen Bateman, King manages to explain the situation from a sociologist’s point of view. Bateman puts his predictions of what will happen next out there freely, and he acts as the logical mentor for the other characters involved, helping them see what they need to do.

Most books would focus only on the good characters and their struggles against their fear of The Dark Man, who pretty much feels like a forerunner to Voldemort. He lures the weak to him through his promises of a better life, gives them what they never had before the world ended with a hack and cough, and once his name becomes common knowledge, only the braver characters seem able to say it. Even his own followers stick to The Walkin’ Dude or other names they have for him. Actually, the more I think about it, the more similarities I can see between The Stand and Harry Potter. But maybe, again, it’s the scale of it, the good versus evil feel.

Anyway, going back to direction. King moves from one part of the States to the other, feeling like he’s leading you by the hand as he smoothly moves you from one set of characters to the other. And rather than jumping back and forth, the sections tend to stick to the same general area, the characters grouped not by alliances but by their location. And it works. It feels like you’re really moving, and it means it’s easy to build up a stronger idea of the characters.

Some of the ideas broached seem just a tad outdated, but others resonate. Bateman muses on how long it’ll be before people just pick up the guns that have been left laying around, how long before people return to the old ways that have destroyed them. People aren’t shown to be wholly good or wholly evil. Just because they’re in Mother Abigail’s camp doesn’t mean every action they take is good, that everything they do is done with the idea that it will better them or that it’ll help others around them. Similarly, just because some characters are following Flagg doesn’t mean they are simply destructive. More often than it, it means they never fit in before, but now have somewhere they can make a difference.

There is a point where Fran sits and thinks (for a fair while) about how a woman in this new world needs a strong, solid man in order to survive. At first, I was thinking “hmm, yeah, that could be true…” but then I remembered White Horse, and how it showed women not only surviving in a post-apocalyptic world where humans have been greatly changed and altered by plague, but actually, in a way, showing great strength in it, too.

Then I remembered that the main character’s arc in White Horse was to find the man she loved. Which is fair enough. Not saying in a similar situation I wouldn’t do the same, but I pondered on this a while as I lay in bed, and even though the two books are pretty contrasting in the way they show women, in some ways they are the same. Zoe can’t really rest until she finds Nick. The female characters in The Stand take a background to the male, even Mother Abigail. The strongest female characters – and they are there – are shown to be a tad unstable, or have more typically masculine traits.

But that’s something to get into deeper in another post (Women in Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, if only I’d thought about that for my dissertation!).

For now, I’ll say this. The Stand feels a lot like an homage to the era it was written in; fear of the Cold War, the road movie, the whole dystopian feeling in some of the New Hollywood films…it’s typically American. Again, I could write a whole essay on that. It shares a lot (in my mind) with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, in the feeling of constant movement and the epic-mythical scale to it. It’s got hints of almost any other apocalypse tale in there, but done in King’s style. (If you can’t guess, I’m a big fan of his style)

If you’re looking for an engaging, intelligent-but-not-too-difficult apocalypse tale, check out The Stand.  (US readers can get it here) For now, I’m running out of apocalypse books to read, so if you have any suggestions, chuck them down in the comments. If you have any thoughts on this book, I’d love to hear them. (All other book recommendations also welcome.)



{March 3, 2013}   The Pedestrian Problem

simpsons_beatles_pedestrian_wallpaper_-_1024x768As a warning, this is going to be a bit of a rant. A rant that has been building up for a long, long time.

I work 8am – 5pm, which means I’m usually in Cardiff before the rush hour of any form of transport, including pedestrians. Saying that, even when I did start at 9, getting in the same time as everyone else heading to work wasn’t too bad. We’d all be there for the same reason, after all, usually heading the same direction from the train station, and all walking at pretty much the same pace to get to the shop before work or get straight to work with some time to spare to browse the internet before the day began.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had to go back and forth to the doctor’s for jabs. Six jabs in two weeks. Luckily, my team leader was very understanding about me having to come in a few hours late to work. (Most of the jabs were around 8:30, with a couple about 9:30.) So I was usually getting into town after 9am.

The trains were blissfully quiet. But once I got out of the station, almost every day I was reminded of why I hate people.

Firstly, let’s start with before even getting to the doctor’s. On my way, I have to pass a small post office there solely so people can pick up any packages they weren’t home for. This place has a ramp and stairs leading up to it, so the pavement is very thin. Which is fine, unless you have a number of people coming one way while you’re trying to go the other. So, the other day, I got there and there was a trail of people with prams on the pavement. No problem. I stepped onto the road.

And not a single one of them smiled or even said ‘thanks’, not even the guy who almost hit me with his pram. It wasn’t the stepping off the road that I minded, it was just the sheer lack of manners. Just past this there’s some scaffolding up, and, again, difficult to get past if there’s someone coming the other way. Once more, I was confronted with a parent with their kid in a pram. Again, I slid onto the road and stood by the skip as she went past. And, once more, not a single ounce of manners was shown.

Skip forward to getting to town. Tesco is on my way to work, and it’s there I stop off to grab a drink to see me through the day, and cigarettes, when needed. I finished at the till, and turned to leave. There was a group of women in my path, one with a pram and the other with a small boy, who was standing right in the middle of the only place I could really walk. As a note, if you want to stand around and chat, do it outside. In the middle of a shop just means people are going to be constantly trying to get past you. And the mother of the boy made no effort to get him to move when she saw me coming, none of them made any effort to make any room, and when the boy did move (just slightly) there wasn’t even a “sorry!”. Jesus bloody Christ. I know for a fact that not all parents are like this, but the ones who are really deserve to go to lessons designed to give parents manners. Like, you know, please make sure your children aren’t sitting on the floor playing in the middle of a shop. Or that a quick “thanks” is always a plus when someone moves out of the way for a trail of you.

You know, simple stuff. Like me saying “thanks” when someone opens a door for me, or “sorry!” if I find myself in someone’s way.

To cut this short, here’s a few other things which I can’t help but find incredibly annoying when on the pavement –

  • Groups of people moving slowly, taking up the whole pavement (sidewalk, if you’re American.)
  • Standing around chatting right in the middle. Seriously, just move to the side.
  • Either of the above, glaring at people moving past because they’re trying to catch a train and get home.

There’s another aspect during my daily commute to and from work that annoys me, too, and I’m sure there are plenty of rants about this all over, but seriously, if you’re on a busy train, why are you sitting on the non-window seat? It’s pure ignorance, especially when it means other people have to stand. The next one is worse, and it came up the other day.

I managed to leap on my train right before it pulled off, and ended up getting blocked by a whole load of people just standing near the doors. I get on at Cardiff Queen Street, and a lot of people on the train are getting off at Central. These people standing were getting off at Central, but because they were blocking the way down, I couldn’t get to any of the empty seats past them. And while standing there, I noticed a man reading a paper, sitting on a four seater, with a huge bag next to him on the empty seat.

I’ve been watching The Last Leg on Channel Four (it’s brilliant – check it out if you can) and to quote some of my favourite Adam Hills rants on that, if you do any of the above you’re being a dick.

Stop being a dick.

Okay, rant over. Thanks for putting up with it. And, while we’re at it, anything about dealing with the public – in any way, shape or form – really get you worked up? Feel free to rant in the comments below.



et cetera