Tag Archives: London Underground

Thoughts for Friday – 10th July 2015

cliffhangerI left you on a cliff-hanger last weekend, hinting that my week in London was an eventful one and believe me, it was.

I’d had a decent enough weekend, including a raucous day at college on the previous Friday. Fresh from my Fire Theory training, I attended my college course, not really sure to expect but nervous about the fact that I would have to deliver a fifteen minute microteaching session.

A microteaching session is basically a condensed version of a normal teaching session, whereby timing is all important. If you overrun in a microteaching session, you lose more marks than you would for losing your train of thought or even just blatantly giving a wrong answer to a question.

After speaking to my college tutor, I decided to do a microteaching session on CPR because, as you know, everyone likes a good pump and a blow…

Firefighter-uniforms-Fire-002My microteaching session went very well and I also got to take part in the sessions delivered by my college buddies. The great thing was that we all came from different industries and so I got to try my hand at different activities and skills. I learned to play Malteser football, had my eyebrows threaded, attempted to make a braided bracelet and most exciting of all, I got to dress up as a fireman (woman).

Our college group consisted on nine women and one man, who just happened to be a fit and hunky fireman, so you can understand our excitement when he told us that we’d get to feel the weight of his equipment and touch his helmet…

It’s fair to say that his equipment was heavier than I expected, but we had a lot of fun dressing up in all the gear and looked like a female version of the Village People by the time we’d finished.

England_London_House_of_Parliament__2_I was feeling good at the start of the week and dare I say it, looking forward to a week in London. That was until I received a call at 8.30am on the Monday to inform me that there was an issue with my accommodation for the coming week. It turns out that the hotel I’d been booked into was far too expensive and so the room was cancelled, leaving me with nowhere to stay.

Cue a massive panicked scramble and finally a hotel was found that wasn’t at an extortionate nightly rate. I had a look on Google maps and assumed that North Acton (where I was staying) wasn’t that far from Canning Town (the venue I was delivering in). I assumed that everything would be fine.

black_cabI caught the train from my local station and arrived at London Waterloo just after 4pm and, due to the amount of luggage I was carrying, I caught a taxi outside the station and asked the driver to take me to my hotel in North Acton. I had assumed that it wouldn’t be more than about £25 for the taxi fare, and although the driver was a lovely guy and we had a great chat, I was alarmed to find out that the fare was the best part of £40.

The hotel I was staying in was situated literally outside the Tube station and I managed to find a pub walking distance so that I could at least get a decent meal (I was in a hotel that had no restaurant). I slept terribly that first night, probably due to the fact that I had no idea what to expect with my first time delivering in London.

london-underground_00267878It took an hour each way to get to and from my hotel to the training venue and loaded down with bags and battling the rush hour commute both in the mornings and evenings, I was starting to get a little frazzled by it all.

I did arrive at the venue in decent time on the first day and had hoped for a good group and a good week, however, you know that when your first joke of the day falls flat that it’s going to be a long week…

I had a mixed group of people, some of whom were obsessed with the sound of their own voice and prolonged the sessions and then complained at how long the day was. Then there was the pair of learners who turned up over an hour late and whom I allowed to stay and then complained that the venue was too far away for them. That’s an issue for their manager, not the poor trainer who has absolutely no say in where sessions are held, so why leave it on MY feedback form?!

dear-lordPeople on the London Underground are some of the most ignorant and rude people you’ve ever met. Even though I was loaded down with bags, looked in pain (because I was) and uncomfortable, not one person got up and offered me their seat and so I stood for an hour each day, every day with one exception when a group of students from Texas boarded the Tube train. Even though I only spent a few minutes with them, they were the nicest bunch of kids and made sure that everyone made room for me to get off at my stop.

Leave it to foreigners to be the politest people on the Underground…

Somehow I got through the first few days, trudging back and forth from one side of London to the other. I enjoyed a lovely meal on the Wednesday night and felt relieved that that I wouldn’t have to battle the Underground the next day, knowing that I had pre-booked and pre-paid a minicab to get me from the hotel to the venue.

Just one more session to get through and then I could go home and put a trying week behind me. I was over the worst, wasn’t I?



Filed under Thoughts for Friday

New awards

I am delighted to announce that I have been nominated for another two awards this week, both of which I am proud and honored to receive.

My thanks and appreciation goes to Jennifer Windram who nominated me for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award and Nina Kaytel who has nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Award.

dragons-loyalty-award sister-hood-award

As is tradition for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award, I would like to ask all of my readers to please check out Jennifer’s wonderful blog at http://jenniferwindram.com  I am sure that you will all agree that she has a fantastic site full of great posts.

I also now need to tell you seven things about me. I can’t promise that they will be interesting, but I’ll give it a go:

1. My nickname as a child used to be ‘Bear’.

2. I fractured my coccyx as a teenager.

3. I support Arsenal Football Club – that’s soccer to folks from the US!

4. I’ve met they guy who played Chekov in the original Star Trek and have his autograph.

5. I’ve met the actors who played Worf, Data and Deanna Troi in Star Trek TNG and also have their autographs.

6. I’m a closet Trekkie in case you hadn’t already noticed!

7. The thought of peanut butter and jelly being put together in a sandwich makes me feel nauseous.

My seven nominees to receive the Dragon’s Loyalty Award are as follows:








The Sisterhood of the World Award:

I would like to highly recommend that those of you who are not already familiar with Nina Kaytel’s great blog to please check her out by clicking on the following link: http://ninakaytel.wordpress.com

I now have to answer the following questions:

  1. Your favorite colour …. Umm…..blue…I think. I’m quite fond of red, too.
  2. Your favourite animal … Dogs – without a doubt.
  3. Your favourite non-alcoholic drink …. Err, does coffee count?
  4. Facebook or Twiiter …..  Twitter – because my Facebook status updates are just way too rude to make public.
  5. Your favourite pattern …..  The ones on the London Underground maps that they hand out a tube stations….
  6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? Definitely giving presents. Does my mere presence count as a present? 😆
  7. Your favourite number … 7
  8. Your favourite day of the week … Every other Saturday – when I get to chat to someone very special.
  9. Your favourite flower …. Self raising. Wait – what do you mean not that type of flour?!
  10. What is your passion? ….. Writing.

Blog nominations:












Filed under Starting out