Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The joys of commuting

I guess that for most people commuting to and from work, especially if they work in London, is the least enjoyable experience of their day. I am therefore probably in a minority when I say that I actually enjoy my daily journey to and from London, well most of the time. For me the journey provides a barrier between the working day and my personal time. So if I've had an awful day at work by the time I get home all the stress and anxiety has been chewed over and dealt with so I walk in my front door with a clear head and relaxed. In the mornings travelling to work feels like my time and I like to read on the train into London and I've got through some good books in the last couple of months.

Getting up early in the morning has never bothered me. I've always considered myself more of a morning person and I feel most alert and awake first thing in the morning. Now that the mornings are lighter (for a little while) getting out of bed is just that little bit easier. Although I do miss walking to the station while its still dark and seeing the sun rise, which on many mornings has been a beautiful sight. Plus, there's something I like about being out and about when most people are still in bed. The city has an altogether different rhythm to it at that time of the morning, that sort of netherworld between night and day, before the rush hour starts in earnest. Its peaceful too and most often the only noise apart from the occasional passing car is bird song and the distant rumble of trains hurtling back and forth through Bletchley.

I always walk to the station in the mornings unless the weather is particularly foul; only a couple of occasions so far when I've got the bus instead. I normally leave home with just enough time to get the train so I have to adopt a quick pace to get to the station on time and that wakes me up and allows time to think about the day ahead. I've never been one who understands why some people appear so loathsome of their own company. I enjoy being on my own and thinking things over. I like the time to reflect on things past and the day ahead and to just randomly muse on whatever pops into my head!

On the train into London, I like to read and I've got through about four books so far, which I would never have read if I'd been just reading at home in the evenings. Currently I am into Nimitz Class by Patrick Robinson, a rather trashy thriller but an easy read and despite its clunky dialogue and occasional silliness a believable and frightening story. This is definitely one for the boys though; I can't imagine many women getting excited about the tactics of modern submarine warfare or the details of US Carrier Battle Groups. You can tell its a 'man's' book by the inclusion its judicious inclusion of diagrams and maps.

At the end of my journey, its another fairly brisk walk to the office. One thing which often surprises me when I leave Euston station is just how noisy London is, especially in comparison to Milton Keynes. Not to mention that everyone seems to be in a perpetual hurry to be somewhere else.

The journey home starts either with a brisk walk back to Euston or if I am feeling lazy a short bus ride. The train get home is perfectly timed to get into Bletchley for just the right time to get a bus home, or sometimes I'll walk. The journey home is usually reading the free London papers, which are the only newspapers I read with any regularity. They're not particularly good but serve their purpose as an idle distraction and I've started having a go at the Su Doku puzzles most nights, which I find a great way to switch off from the day at the office.

Then it starts all again the following morning. My evenings maybe shorter than before but I value them that bit more and the travelling has its compensations. Commuting isn't all bad.


Joe said...

Good for you Mark.

I must confess the times that I've commuted in the past, the train journey has been pleasant enough, but the people I'd share the train with frequently look like something out of 'Shaun of the Dead'!

Carla said...

Sounds like you are living in the moment and enjoying the details of your life. That is fantastic! :)

So when are you coming to see us again??

jamie said...

hey,you think you'd have more opportunity to update your blog now you've got all this time on your hands...