1000 Shades of Grey
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Latest addition
A hearty welcome to Bline in the Meadows, the latest addition to the 1000 Shades Blogroll, from the only Swedish Nottingham blogger that I'm aware of.

The other week saw the two of us head down to Leicester to watch the Leicester Tigers v London Irish rugby game. Having cycled to the station, we boarded the train and attempted to find seats. The train was packed, with the usual Saturday traffic swelled by fans travelling to see both rugby and football games in Leicester. However, we found two seats round a table that didn't have people sitting in them.

They did, however, have people sat next to them with their baggage spread over the seats.

After a polite request, the people in question grunted, and grudgingly free-d up space for us to sit down. The gentleman next to me going so far as to carry his large bag the required 20 feet to the on train luggage rack, before shoving his much smaller rucksack in the overhead locker.

I took this opportunity to hit the buffet car, and returned clutching complimentary hot drinks for us both, and sat down to enjoy the twenty minute journey.

At this point, I was clattered on the head by the small rucksack, as it plunged lemming-like from the overhead storage rack.

Now, if that had been my bag, I would have been incredibly apologetic, and felt massively guilty that I had caused obvious pain to a total stranger. (Mind, if it had been my bag, I'd have stowed it securely in the first place).

However, the gentleman next to me may have mumbled an apology, before going on to comment that it was the danger of it falling that had meant he "hadn't wanted to put it up there in the first place".

In one sentence, he left me in no doubt that he believed it to be my fault that I had been hit on the head by his bag. If I hadn't been so selfish as to want to sit on a seat (and more precisely the seat next to him) then he wouldn't have had to move his ruck sack. If he hadn't moved his rucksack, he wouldn't have stowed it insecurely in the overhead storage rack, and so it couldn't have fallen down, thereby striking an unfortunate stranger.

Funnily enough, when I shoved his bag back up in the storage, it didn't fall down for the rest of the journey.

(The story of my slightly unsteady bike ride home, much later, can be found here).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006
There's a line in Rudyard Kipling's poem If which says something about meeting the twin imposters of triumph and disaster and treating them just the same.

Well this week that contrast was brought home to me in a very real way

Firstly, on Saturday, the football team I play for crashed out of the Nottinghamshire FA Saturday Minors Cup on penalties following a 2-2 draw with a team who we were clearly better than, but couldn't make our superiority count. Gallingly the referee had something of a shocking game, his coup de grace being his repeated holding up of our third penalty taker - asking his name twice and making him re spot the ball. The inevitable subsequent miss sparking our downfall.

Then, last night we went down to Watford to watch the football team I support storm into the quarter finals of the League Cup on penalties following a 2-2 draw with a team that we were clearly better than, despite not being able to make our superiority count.

In the lottery of penalties it really is a fine line between the euphoria of victory and the bitterness of defeat.

Monday, November 06, 2006
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The last week has seen me lose all patience with on-line ticket sales systems.

Last Friday, I attempted to buy tickets to see The Killers play live at Nottingham Ice Arena next year. According to the Ice Arena website, the only way to get tickets was via their online system. All well and good, you might think. Only when I tried to do that, their system crashed and crashed and crashed and in the end it sold out before I could even get close.

Fast forward to this morning, and I'm trying to get tickets for next summer's international cricket at Trent Bridge. Surprisingly, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club decided today was an excellent day to introduce a new ticket sales system. Gone was the tried and trusted and in came a new system which wasn't up to the task.

Four hours later, I'm still trying to make it work. When last anything worked for me, I'd somehow managed to get ten tickets for the same day's cricket into my shopping basket. I only want two.

Having phoned the club, they suggest I pay for them all and then seek a refund. They seemed somehow reluctant for me to put the extras on ebay...

Maybe if I sell enough of them at a profit, I could buy some of the Killers tickets that appeared within seconds of them going on general sale.

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