Vending machines, train journeys and opinion pages

7 Jan

Today’s blog comes to you live from my bedroom  – that’s a useless point to make as most of my post’s are written in my room but there you go. File that away, if one day you get a pub quiz regarding the infamous Alex Towler you might get lucky 😀

So it’s freezing cold weather here in good old London and I’ve recently returned to work. This means I’m waking up when it’s dark and cold, working until 7pm – when it’s dark and cold and then getting onto a packed train,  in the dark and cold.  Let’s try and stay positive even if I have pulled the short straw working late shift.

The worst thing about the late shift, is surprisingly the eating habit’s it creates. I normally wake early and so my day is extended by several hour’s at the least. I tend to eat 4/5 times in a day, even if some are just a quick snack from a vending machine – or if I’m lucky a fresh apple.
All over the place it’s easy to find something to eat quickly in London but not so much when waiting for a train. Today’s machine is on platform 4 – the first I came – and it only had chocolate and coke, so I decided to head up on to the bridge, hoping to get a coffee and an apple or a hot pie.
Instead, like all good idea’s I wasn’t the first to have it. I found myself running into a huge que of people all waiting to be served – annoying.

It’s back to the original idea of a vending machine, lucky for me I now have 2 on the bridge to choose from, although I’m not crossing my finger’s, lady luck has truly forsaken me today. The content I have come to expect being a lovely mix of junk food – fizzy drinks, chocolate and crisps. The sole concession coming anywhere close to a healthy snack being some kind of honey covered cereal bar, not my cup of tea.

What I want to know is why it’s not possible to get some crackers, maybe BLT sandwich’s, Cornish Pasty’s, salad pots? anything but this tasteless collection of crap. Anything that can truly punch a hole straight to your stomach and begin to fill that gaping emptiness of hunger. Why is everything on offer is over priced and insulting. After I have eaten a bag of crisps I feel crap, these deep fried and salty snacks surely can’t be good for me? – all this chocolate, though sweet and delicious (An obviously healthy combination) is not going to make a dent in my hunger…can I campaign for change? I know it’s possible, I’ve seen machine’s in Paris that are like mini super markets – I remember buying a pack of Ritz Crackers to eat from one of them at the station (I also remember people tutting in French impatiently whilst I sorted my Euro’s).
So please – give me something I want to eat. Is a hot freshly prepared jacket potato too much to ask for from this quick expensive machine….well maybe but a concession to the cause at least.

Let’s leave the vending machine on the Bridge and wait out in the cold for my train, I’ll be home within the hour – I’ll have to wait even if it is dark and cold (I don’t know if I mentioned that).

Anyone that live’s, has lived, travels to, has ever been in or visited London will know that during peak hours our trains are often packed like a tin of sardines, hot, smelly and dirty. It’s all I can do to push to the front of the que.  Squeeze into a seat and stick my head in a newspaper in the hope of removing some of the monotony of the day and effectively forgetting about the journey and awful travelling conditions, only made worse off course by the unfortunately overweight people either side of me, arse cheeks clearly needing a seat of their own and in their effort to fit on the train – bulging at the arms. To be less politically correct – fat gits!

I have found that by not watching TV, or often reading the newspapers – I am spared the constant barrage and pressure to conform, to live up to the constant peer pressure of society and off course my ears and eyes are saved the constant scare mongering that is used to keep so many in control. I know I sound like some crazed paranoid hippie but I’m not honest – I might have long hair, but in honesty it’s only there so that they won’t find me, they won’t recognise me….I know they’re out there. The only sections I ever read are the cartoons for obvious reasons and the opinion pages – the column and the section where people’s text’s and letters are printed. I find it strange that I actually spend so much time agreeing with everyone’s opinion, even the contradicting ones. I find myself wondering if maybe everyone has a point, it’s all valid too you and makes logical sense – but maybe I just don’t give a damn. It’s an interesting stance to have and I’m sure it’s one of the many things keeping me sane and happy, I want to care – I want to believe and off course I want to have a cause. Something to fight for and something to drive towards. But, alas. I do not. I have spent the last few months carefully ridding my mind of all external influences – besides Terry Pratchett – and settling into a lifestyle of utter bliss, arrogance is a wonderful thing and I’d like to finish here by suggesting that you all get some because it’s done me wonders.

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