Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Time When I Fell Off A Chair

It was a simple Wednesday afternoon at university. I had finished my Public Affairs class after an interesting, if relatively dull, trip to Surrey County Council.

I had just found out that there was a branch of Subway on campus, and in an attempt to cure my hunger, I headed over to the fast-food outlet.

After walking back to the postgraduate cafe to devour my Italian BMT, I waited for some people to leave their seats so I could sit near my friends.

I confidently strode over to the now vacant chair with a sense of urgency and a wanting to eat this warm and juicy 6 inch sub.

I sat down and subsequently tumbled onto the floor. The floor gave way like a flimsy piece of paper.

Embarrassed and humiliated, I looked at the broken chair on the floor with a look of puzzlement to give off an air of control over the situation. I hoped my face looked like one of passing the blame onto the chair.

My friends were laughing like hyenas and I stood in a passive-aggressive manner. The chair had let me down like a disappointed father.

The manager of the cafe gave me the e-mail address of the university cafe manager to complain, yet I have still to do this and tell of my anger.

Whenever I go to sit on a chair, I now have to check time and time again to ensure my safe sitting can ensue.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Run

I'm standing in the hallway of my house and I’m putting on my old, battered Nike trainers. I select an appropriate and energetic song on my iPhone, pop my earphones in and then I head outside to face the full force of this cold and crisp November day.

Today I am no ordinary student, I am student who is about to go running through the mean streets of Kingston.

It is at this point that I should probably explain. I have taken part in numerous sports throughout my life yet I’ve never gone jogging in Kingston, despite the fact I used to compete for my secondary school in athletics and cross-country events. I reasoned that it was probably time to become of those people you see pounding the pavement.

For my debut running adventure I rationed that it was probably wise to run a route that I was familiar with. I decided to head in the direction of university. Despite the chilly conditions, I began jogging down my road and through Green Lane Park. As someone who is afraid of dogs, I knew I had made a tactical error by running through a park full of the four-legged creatures. I plotted a course well away from any dogs and proceeded through.

During my athletics days I was always paranoid about setting off at too quick a pace. By the time I had reached the alley-way by Berrylands train station I began to suspect that I was sprinting. This must have made me look slightly strange, so I eased off the pace and tried to maintain a gentle speed.

After passing the sewage works and cemetery that have become regular sights on my daily walk to university, I reached the houses on Lower Marsh Lane. It was at this point that I passed a scruffy looking man carrying a plastic bag which looked to be containing cans of Special Brew. It wasn’t even Midday. I began to suspect that he wasn’t likely to join me in taking up running.

After passing the man, it struck me that the Royal Borough of Kingston is a wonderfully varied place. In the space of roughly ten minutes I had passed through a park, past a pub, through a winding alley and jogged by a cemetery, a Sikh temple and then a potential morning drinker.

Once this thought cleared, I had reached Villiers Road. I was faced by an important decision, which way to go? I could either head left taking the shorter route through Berrylands, albeit up a hill, or I could turn right and run the lengthy distance back home via Kingston town centre.

I opted left but the hill proved one step too far. Near the top I reached a conveniently placed bench which I proceeded to sit at for a while. I took stock of my run and gave myself a B- for effort. My report card would read – “Could do better but an encouraging first try.”

I walked the rest of the way home and began searching for running apps on my phone to aid my future endeavours. It’s probably better if I leave the selection of a route to technology next time.