The Surprising Bliss Of Tottenham Court Road

Tonight I walked down to the Tottenham Court Road Tube station, which I was very impressed by. Long ago (well, a few years) Tottenham Court Road was horrendous: a series of cramped ticket barriers jammed together in a low ceilinged hall, with exits that spat you out into the miserable end of Oxford Street. Transport For London can’t move that, but they have transformed the entrance hall into a wide, bright and airy space. I actually felt happy to walk through the concourse, rather than terminally depressed at the prospect of boarding a Northern Line train.

Today was calmer than the rest of this week. That may be because I left my phone in my parents’ car when they gave me a lift to the station, so I couldn’t stare at the screen on my personal disappointment machine all day. I spent hours talking to IT support people, most of whom had an unbending sense of their own importance and infallibility, and some of whom got offended when I suggested we would reap productivity gains if we put them all on intravenous drips (removing the need to stop work for mealtimes) and catheters (removing the need for toilet breaks). What, did they not realise The Matrix was a user guide?

Then I had a boozy lunch. It wasn’t really lunch, because lunch implies food, not just pints of beer. Although I do work in media now, so perhaps that’s as healthy as lunch gets. At the end of the afternoon we had a wine party: maybe I was right to assume everyone in London is drunk all the time. They need it for the cold, if nothing else.

Coming back on the train, I had no phone to help me ignore my fellow commuters. I had to read a book for a change – what madness was that?

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