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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My 4Gb precious

There are two things that I really dislike about public transport: these are the transport, which is generally hopeless, and the public, who are annoying at the best of times and unbearable at the worst. My dislike of both was considerably amplified yesterday because I made the catastrophic mistake of leaving home without my iPod. I made a mistake because I had to be in London early for a couple of meetings before heading over to Heathrow to fly out for a client. The early start meant that I was still medically asleep when I left the house and therefore fail to pick up my precious as I walked out the door.

Despite arriving at the train station before half past seven, I found myself jammed into a South West Trains hommage to the Tokyo subway and had to stand all the way to Waterloo. This meant I couldn't get any work done. Now only did I have to stand, I couldn't even enjoy the book I was reading in lieu of doing any work ("The Vikings" by Magnus Magnusson) because the two guys next to me were wittering on about planning permission for some office they are building. It's very rare you get to overhear an interesting conversation which is why my precious is so important, and was choc-a-bloc with goodies that I'd been looking forward to: the new Led Zep "Mothership - Very Best Of (2CD/DVD)" album, the official Manchester City podcast and last week's In Our Time for a start. But instead I fumed all the way into Central London and learn nothing and was not entertained.

The airport was equally disastrous. I had some really bad luck. The British Airways plane that I was on developed some kind of fault before takeoff and so we had to sit on the plane for a couple hours while a replacement plane was flown in from somewhere or other. Then we had to wait to while they transferred the luggage and the catering and everything else to the new plane, and then finally we had to be bussed back across the airport to get onto the new plane. I did manage to get some work done but my laptop battery gave up after a couple of hours and are no power sockets in Club Europe, so I read for a while, and fumed some more that my precious was so far away. When I eventually arrived at my destination hotel several hours late, all I wanted to do was put my feet up and listen to some music for a while. Once again, thwarted.

At least I did hear something interesting on the bus between planes though. I was standing next to a couple of guys who worked for some kind of media organisation (I couldn't be sure if it was some kind of magazine publisher or something) and they obviously had a large well-known international organisation providing management consultancy to them. One guy was asking the other guy what he thought about the consultants that he had working for him. The other guy said the consultant in charge was "a talentless thief" and that his team were "pointless muppets".

Anyway, back to my precious. So when I go to conferences and people say, as they often do, that people often leave home without their wallet but they never leave home without their mobile phone because it's more important, I always think that is not true anymore. If I forget my mobile phone it is certainly annopying and inconvenient, but it would never leave me fuming for hours on end as I was when I couldn't feel the comforting presence of my precious in my shirt pocket.

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]


Ian Brown said...

Ditto my precious on the train to Oxford. Especially when I have the latest podcast Prime Minister's Questions to laugh at ;)

GreatSheElephant said...

I've simply taken to carrying earplugs. I'd rather listen to my brain fluid sloshing around than other people yapping.

I just don't buy that mobile phone stat, however often it's quoted. You can't do anything if you leave your wallet at home, at least not in London. Leaving your mobile phone at home is inconvenient if that.