The Return of Alternative Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

As per tradition (and by that I mean I did it last year) today is my day to have a moan. I try to keep ranting to a minimum on the blog, but once a year I like to take the opportunity, while everyone else is being happy, to share a few of the things that bug me. Feel free to join in – you’ll feel better afterwards, I promise.

So let’s start with…

Rain

Rain is annoying, unless you’re at home and have no reason to leave the house all day. And if you’re in bed, it’s pretty much the best thing ever. But if you have to go out, it’s a pain, particularly if you have an unfortunate habit of leaving your umbrella on the tube like me. (Yes, I did it again.) You end up with wet feet and rubbish hair, and occasionally driving with very little idea of where you’re going thanks to the gallons of spray being flung at your windscreen by passing trucks. Not a fan.

Barcelona airport in the rain

Southeastern Trains

I try not to get annoyed with companies, mostly because it doesn’t tend to do me much good. I also know that to some extent, the problems faced by Southeastern commuters aren’t the train operator’s fault. If a man decides to sit in a tree all day, what can they realistically do? But that’s not always easy to remember when you’re sat on a stationary train, or, worse, stuck on the platform, facing the dreaded ‘Delayed’ status with no idea if or when you’ll get home… In a few weeks, London Bridge, a major station on my route to and from work, is closing for over a year to be rebuilt, and I’m dreading the chaos that’s bound to ensue. Expect many more train rants in the future.

This leads me neatly on to…

People on trains

I always think that my daily commute would be much more bearable if not for the other passengers. Not all of them, obviously; some are lovely. But I could really do without the space invaders, who think it’s ok to sit on your lap because apparently one seat isn’t enough for them. And the people who expect everyone in the carriage to listen to their loud phone conversation. The gum chewers. Those with a cold who don’t seem to realise it’s not okay to sneeze or cough on your fellow passengers. The ones who want to share their music with the rest of the train. And, of course, the people who mistake the carriage for a bathroom. Although to be fair that’s only happened once (so far).

The X Factor

Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to watch this show for so many years. What was I thinking? I turned on the TV on Sunday and caught a few minutes of the repeat from the previous night. To be fair, I think I turned on for a particularly bad bit (someone called Stevi?) but it only served to remind me why I stopped watching. I don’t know if the singers were always this mediocre, but I have a feeling they probably were. And apparently it’s their dream to be judged and ridiculed on live TV by four people who surely have better things to do with their time (except Louis Walsh, obviously), on the slim chance that they might actually get somewhere.

I also can’t forgive The X Factor for giving us One Direction, but that’s another story.

X Factor

Cyclists

Again, not all cyclists. My dad cycles, for instance, and I’m sure does so very sensibly. What really bugs me about cyclists is the way many of them seem to think it’s the responsibility of everyone else on the road to keep them safe. Of course it is, and I know that many cyclists are hurt every year because of the careless actions of drivers and pedestrians. But surely it has to work both ways? A lot of cyclists seem to think the rules of the road don’t apply to them, and I’m sick of taking my life in my hands every day on the pedestrian crossing outside work. I’m perfectly happy to look out for cyclists, but only if they look out for me in return.

While I’m on the subject, people in supermarket car parks bug me too. Where else is it acceptable to just wander in front of moving vehicles and then get annoyed if they don’t stop for you?

The O2 Arena

Not the whole place; it’s actually one of my favourite venues, mostly because it’s really easy to get to from my house (and the view from the top is great). But I was frustrated a couple of weeks ago, when we were there for the ATP World Tour Finals, by their new ‘no food’ rule. I understand it; they want us to go in and pay a small fortune for their food. But did they really have to go to such extremes that they made me throw away a packet of mints? And a brand new, unopened pack, by the way. It’s not a big deal on its own, I know, but when you consider how much food and drink must have been wasted that week, it makes me pretty cross.

The tennis was good, though.

ATP World Tour Finals, O2 Arena

And that’s all for this year. Happy Alternative Thanksgiving! In a funny way, though, thinking about what upsets me actually makes me feel better about everything else, so maybe it isn’t as alternative as I thought…

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7 thoughts on “The Return of Alternative Thanksgiving

  1. I am sitting on a train at this very moment listening to someone else’s music -it’s at that volume where you can’t identify it but it’s loud enough to be irritating. According to the BBC the food ban was a security measure. Someone confessed to the BBC that they smuggled in their bag of sweets, so I wasn’t the only rebel!

    1. Ah, lucky you. I was sat next to a girl the other day who was on her phone and instead of laughing when something was funny she kept saying ‘Jokes, jokes’. Is that a thing now? Am I just really old and out of touch?

  2. Ha ha! Brilliant! Yeah, like you I used to watch X Factor all the time and was addicted to the live shows, Xtra Factor, all of it. Crazy. Felt so liberated and free when I gave it up. No wonder I found the time to start studying again!

    1. I suppose I can’t really judge, as I still love some other reality shows, like Strictly, Bake Off and The Apprentice. Maybe it’s the fact that none of those shows take themselves too seriously, whereas X Factor still thinks it’s genuinely changing lives. I don’t miss it at all!

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