Tuesday, 27 November 2007


Sarf London, home of the hoodie, where even dogs wear them. He's hard (actually I think being an alsatian is hard enough on its own without resorting to intimidating clothing as well).

Friday, 23 November 2007

Follow my leader

Battery of tests, again. From before it came out that I have a power motive - not necessarily about taking over the world or lording it over people, but probably manifesting itself in a need to be recognised for effort and good work. It also came out that I have achievement values - knowing that finishing things is important (but ultimately boring to me). It told me the organisational climate I was working in at the time of taking the test was extremely unhealthy (I did know that, thankfully it has changed now). Leadership styles I use mostly are visionary, affliative, participative and coaching (I don't manage anyone directly). And I most commonly use the following influencing strategies: empowerment, interpersonal awareness, relationship building and impact management.

So there we go. But what does it mean, and how should I use my new found knowledge... Perhaps its time to try to take over the world (I feel a Pinky and the Brain moment coming on).

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Sent to Coventry

The commuters and I rode the train from Euston. Jolly, crammed on. Dark fell suddenly, dark clouds been overhead all day. Rain falling. From the cab on way from the train station it was hard to see anything more than the lower branches of trees, thinning leaves, yellow and orange. Raining.

Not looking forward to 3 days of leadership training. 3 days of being stuck inside. It ends up feeling very other worldly. Not seeing more than the bedroom, conference room and dining room. Barely stepping foot outside. Certainly not going far. I feel cabin fever before I even get there! I forget how much distance I travel in a day usually. The landscape of my life is relatively wide really - travelling from North to South London everyday.

Sunday, 18 November 2007


A man walks down the street. It is night and a chill wind carries icy rain into his face. He is wearing a blue and white striped plastic bag on his head.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


He bounded out of the bus all rubbery legs and leaping like Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz when he first gets off the pole. His girlfriend follows, stiffly. She gets cross a little way up the road, noticeable by the way she stopped rigidly in the middle of the pavement. He bounces back and kisses her cheek. This is not enough to defrost her. So he comes in for an altogether more elaborate embrace - full kiss on the mouth, arms pulling her to him. She is unresponsive. Her arms hang down like a child who doesn't want to be put into its buggy - stiff like board. They do set off again though - he grabs her hand. They walk off reflected in the wet pavement under the yellow street lights.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Things I'm loving about November

  • Fallen leaves on tarmac driven into the fabric of the road.
  • Frosty mornings and crisp nights.
  • The chill of parks at night creeping over the street from under the fence.
  • Warm body, cold face, visible breath.
These things are appealing because its the first time this year - 3 weeks from now when I've been freezing at bus stops, nose running and red from cold, and its dark when I get up and dark when I leave work it will have lost its appeal.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Tea cosy

Outside work, standing at the bus stop, was a woman who was wearing what could only really be described as a human-sized tea cosy. Roll neck, with a huge all enveloping knitted pleats that went down to the ground. One gigantic poncho.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


On the way into the Louise Bourgeois we stood on either side of the crack. Couldn't go all the way along to the widest part because it was closed off. The crack was cut deep into the floor.

Monday, 12 November 2007


A fire's light flickers against the curtains at 1.30am. Looking out of the window my neighbour is burning old kitchen cupboards in a brazier in his garden. Strange time of night to be doing it.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Cold wind blows

I sit in the open doorway wrapped in a blanket watching the last dozen or so yellow leaves torn off the tree. Garden is closing down for the winter. The bare branches have new growth though. Birds skit about in the garden - robins, great tits, blue tits, sparrows, collared doves, thrush, blackbirds, magpies. Searching for worms, eating the last of the berries. Sky is blue, sun is weak and low in the sky.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Guess Where London

I'm a bit addicted to this London picture game! I haven't known any of the places so far though. Time to get more observant!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Angsty Halloween

Bus stop Archway. Saw my old English teacher Peta Webb. Small with henna-red hair. Folk singer. She once sang to our class, unaccompanied. I thought that was brave - girls can be so judgemental.

41 bus came and we piled on, grateful that we didn't have to stand in the wind tunnel, that Archway is, any longer.

At the second stop a drunk got on. Dropped his money. Picked it up. Fumbled in his pocket. Couldn't find enough change. Bus driver kept telling him it was £2. Drunk didn't have it. Bus driver told him to get off the bus. He punched the door in anger as he disembarked. The glass door shattered. We all decanted. Two men felt agrieved enough to want to run after the drunk and beat him up. The bus driver disuaded them. We waited for the bus behind.

A young man walked past in halloween costume. A skinny Alex DeLarge complete with slightly short white trousers and eye makeup. Instead of black DM boots he was wearing patent black lofas with his socks pulled up his calfs.

Second bus came. We got to Turnpike Lane when a group of three Albanian men got on with 2 passes. Big altercation happened when the bus driver insisted they pay for the final fare but couldn't accept a £20 note because he didn't have any change. Eventually after arguing for some time and insisting the bus driver was a wanker they produced a £5, which he didn't have change for and the bus continued on its way. Everyone a bit edgy incase there was any more trouble.