Too Reserved?

I’m currently sitting on a poorly air-conditioned, very packed and therefore extremely hot train back from Leeds to London. And the temperature is not the only uncomfortable element, passions are running high on this train. Arguments seem to be erupting at every angle – I have witnessed four already since claiming my seat.

And there is a clear central issue driving this passanger rage…reservations.

Maybe it’s the 35degree heat, but even I am starting to get frustrated here. This train is completely full – all the seats have been pre-booked and protruding from every headrest is a big white label emblazened with one bold word, RESERVED.

My ticket clearly states both my carriage and seat number, and I arrived early enough take rightful ownership of seat 16A. But unfortunately others on my coach haven’t been quite as lucky…

Most people seem to understand the very basic ‘code of conduct’ – you sit in the seat that you have booked… but not everyone. For there are some people who seem to use the Ryanair approach to every asset of life – if they see an empty seat they have every right to sit in it. And this set not only have a complete disregard for the basic rules, most also seem to take an arrogant, confident and confrontational approach to defending their position.

I have already witnessed two happy pre-bookers skulk away, defeated by the evil, aggressive and immovable seat squatters. Only the very brave seem to have the resolve to stand their ground and go toe-to-toe to claim what is rightfully theirs. But when the righteous are victorious every ticket holder on the carriage can silently share in their success.

However while I have been typing the atmosphere has relaxed. A new player has made his mark – the advance purchasers now have a new hero…

As soon as the ticket inspector shuffled in, the two remaining spongers immediately hung their heads. One then quickly bolted for the far door – the other at least kept in place, but when challenged he too silently slumped off. And now even the original ticket owners have returned…Victory!

And I think the air conditioning has just started working, everything is finally cooling down.


What are the blogging ground rules?

I feel I need to establish some solid ground rules – it’s important that I have a set ‘code of conduct’ to control my daily posts.

Two immediate topics spring to mind, both naturally linked and both very important.

The first is the question of anonymity; is this an anonymous blog or should I be open about who and what I am? I have put some real thought into this… but I have come to the conclusion that I have to open up.

This is largely because I don’t have enough time to properly construct an anonymous persona. Ultimately I want people to be able to read this blog and I therefore need the freedom to promote it, link to it and direct my family, friends and loose connections towards it. I don’t have the time, ingenuity or will to construct and populate alternative social media sites to market this largely pointless blog. So the only way I can inform my small circle that “I blog” is to basically promote it through my personal twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Therefore if you now look to your right you will see my twitter feed, which clearly states my name; follow the links and it is easy to find out where I work, what I do, and who I am. It’s a big decision, but I have reached the point of no return, I have linked myself to this blog.

This both leads to and answers the next essential element, namely how colourful can I be with my content… and by that I mean my language? Now I don’t want a stale, stagnant, dull blog, and will do my best with the glorious English language to write with sentiment and style. But I am not anonymous, so I need to at least hold back and not use my full “loose” vocabulary.

I do work in a nasty, male dominated office and occasionally, very occasionally, I have been known to utter the odd rough profanity. In fact our group swear pot for 2011 swelled into a sizeable fund, enough to provide a substantial, hearty Christmas lunch! But that language must not find its way onto this blog. Rule set.

I really hope I don’t update this blog when I’m drunk, at least WordPress make it very easy to edit!


I’ve always loved the word epiphany.

As an old Theology graduate the word itself has always conjured up images of heavenly rays of light arrowing down and ‘opening the eyes’ of a heathen unbeliever. It is a beautiful sounding word, ancient, almost onomatopoeic, full of Greek charm.

Well I have just had an epiphany – I have just been struck – I must start blogging.

There have been 2 major catalysts for my epiphany:

  1. Yesterday my boss, whilst proof-reading an email, told me,  “you write just like you speak”- I took this as a big compliment, although I am sure this wasn’t his intention.
  2. Then, on the same day, I hit 200 followers on Twitter.

With my tweets I am limited to just 140 characters and with such limitations I struggle to make my point. Yet I can link to a blog from my twitter feed (once I have written something interesting) and be free of all constraints.

I have a 45 minute commute to work (twice a day), largely on the tube where intermittent internet access is extremely frustrating. Despite owning an iPad I am limited as to what I can do underground, and I desperately want to appear more intellectual than the mass of gamers and metro rustlers on my carriage.

Therefore I am going to write this blog. I am going to use my hour and a half to ‘generate some content’ worth reading. Once I have done this I am going to announce the blog to the world (well, my 205 followers), and hopefully become a blogging sensation.

Now I just need to think of something interesting to write (twice a day).