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Travelling on the tube seems to turn humans into vultures. Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but there are clearly three types of people who inhabit the underground. You get the predators, who have a eagle eye for an empty seat and pounce across the carriage as soon as one becomes available. Then you get those who seem to be wrapped up in invisible bubble wrap – no matter what they won’t move down into the space in the carriage. And finally those who clearly want everyone to know they exist. They will sprawl their paper across their lap (and mine), or irritate the entire carriage with their own music.

Last week I found myself in an awkward situation. I was on the Metropolitan Line, travelling home after yet another long day. Tired, hungry and did I mention hungry. Anyway, I’m sitting on a three-seater seat, perched next to the window. There’s a fairly large man, six foot five to be exact, who I’ll call Aisle Man sitting on the aisle seat. The space between us would fit a small child.

Man Number Two enters. He sees the small space and is determined to fit. Here we go, I think to myself.

Aisle Man points out: “I know this is a three seater seat, but I’m big, you’re not going to fit.”

Man Number Two replies: “This seat was made for three. I will fit.”

Typical male characteristics may I just point out. Too much testosterone and lose of common sense as you will soon realise.

So in Man Number Two climbs in, with his numerous accessories; bags, umbrella and brief case.  He squeezes. At this point, the way it was going, he might as well sit on top of me!

I turn to him: “Excuse me!”

He continues to shuffle himself on the edge of the sit pushing against me and Aisle Man. I couldn’t move. He was so close I could feel his body heat.

Finchley Road felt like the longest journey ever and he didn’t seem to be bothered at all. As he read his magazine I could hear peanuts being crushed by his teeth. Yes, he really was that close.

Finchley Road arrived and Aisle Man got up: “I told you I was big and there wasn’t enough room. The poor girl in the corner is squashed.”

Man Number Two turns and sees me, for perhaps, the first time in the journey. He moves over oblivious to the previous 15 minutes and continues his journey.

The end of that journey as you can imagine was a relief. Getting off that train, I walked home, taking in the fresh air and came home and immediately showered. It was definitely one of those journeys I was glad to see the end of. And as for Man Number Two – Think before you act!

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sun

Sipping on a fresh banana and vanilla smoothie, I can feel summer is in the air. Yep. Bring on late night BBQs, painting my toe nails, chilling in the park and having to eat my ice cream quickly before it melts. Not to forget great water fights, which I do plan to win some time this summer! (Hint hint, Nikhil!)

Summer! It’s like a breath of fresh air! Bright wardrobes come out of their closets, flips flops, and oooh, the best thing is people are HAPPY!

Driving around the past couple of day, people are nicer. They let me stroll out of my driveway without beeping me. They even cracked a smile. Drivers let me pass on narrow streets. (Thanks) I also let them pass!

It’s a funny thing. Funny but true. I think in Britain we just get bored of seeing same dull, wet weather. A slight change in weather seems to create a HUGE change in peoples’ mood. Even when it was the snow day. It generally had a good effect on people. Random conversations with strangers, people unite.

I like it! I look forward to this summer!

10m05uoge_large3

My first opinion on the Google street map was ‘they know everything anyway so what’s the harm.’ But today I’m re-evaluating the service.

So my initial thoughts were wow this is a pretty amazing. You can check out places before you visit them, plan a route, or find a particular place on a very long road. And it not as if the images are live, they were taken months ago from a public street. Anyone could take identical images. Street view is taken from, er, the street, a public domain.

Plus in London, I feel like I’m getting watched all the time anyway. Walk out my house, catch the bus, oh, use my oyster card which tracks my journeys, get to university, not forgetting swiping my ID. And not to forget about the immense number of CCTV cameras which are at the corner of every street.

So what was the big deal? But over the weekend people are finding more than their car parked in the driveway.

Caught on camera are young children, some of who are naked. I mean, summers day and children are having fun in the park. As you do. But the fact that you considerably zoom into the images is being viewed as an invasion of privacy. My parents had problems taking pictures at my school concerts, so I can understand the fury which is mounting. Why should Google have the right to make images of us? Shouldn’t they have asked our permission? When I was studying my Foundation Degree in Media, we had to get permission from everyone we captured on camera. So is there some degree of double standards?

I’m not sure about it all. I’m finding it hard to point fingers at Google because at the end of the day if I was a burglar I don’t think I would be using Google Street View. I’ll repeat myself, the images aren’t live, and they were taken ages ago.

Perhaps Google need to go back to the drawing boards and ensure all individuals are unidentifiable. Walking out of a sex shop, vomiting on the street, just blur them all out.

December 2017
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Random fact of the week…

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

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