All entries for Wednesday 14 November 2007

November 14, 2007

Goodbye Waterloo

Goodbye Waterloo

A small, almost family event took place yesterday to see off the last Eurostar train from Waterloo. The service will now run to and from St. Pancras station, which has undergone an £800m upgrade to welcome Europe and ‘186mph’ speedrail into central London.

Waterloo station is among the busiest in the capital, catering mostly for long and short-distance passengers to the South and South-West of London, covering destinations such as Alton, Guilford, Woking and Porthmouth. Talks of incorporating the Eurostar tracks to help relieve congestion on stations such as Charing Cross and Waterloo itself have produced no results so far.

Amidst celebrations here in London, first passengers to France are likely to face a less warm welcome due to transport strikes in France as the union confronts Sarkozy.


Christmas ambush

Xmas temptation

To avoid the “Oh my god it’s already Christmas season and I haven’t got any presents for anyone yet! Oh, they are gonna be ma-a-a-a-d…” effect, Christmas now begins in October. Restaurants, bars, clubs and even pubs have started advertising their ‘exclusive’ and ‘ultimate’ Christmas plans even before I started shopping for a Halloween pumpkin. So really, there is no excuse for not having a good Christmas present now. Except… if you get philosophical.

If you start by pondering aloud, in an as-a-matter-of-fact manner, “why, oh, why do I have to buy?”, any reasonable person would just give up trying and make a mental note not to get you anything worth more than 2 quid for next Christmas.

If, however, they manage to miss the sarcasm in a haze of holiday hype and courteously listen in on your deep and meaningful monologue, then you can bring in the religion card. Caught in the spirit of ho-ho-ho, even Muslims and Sikhs go on spending sprees and set up emergency Christmas funds. But if you take a step back from that ever-so-charming spirit and go back to the roots of the holiday… most of us aren’t even Christian! We just like the sales, and the ribbons, and tearing up layers of wrapping only to discover your boyfriend doesn’t know you all that well after all.

Another philosophical thought worth a PhD thesis is whether all the consumerism is in accord with the Green idea that is so en vogue these days. Perhaps as a gesture of desperation to save the planet and to make poverty history you could buy each one of your friends a copy of the Big Issue: a quality read for them, a big sincere ‘thank you’ for you and a hot meal for the homeless.

And if all that fails, then perhaps you should consider getting some new friends. After all, it’s all about the new beginnings.


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