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fragments from advent

I am the reluctant commuter. On the towpath, a man is shaking a carrier bag at the geese. He engages me with the easy patter of the practiced professional, wishes me happy hannukah, and coaxes me into helping him feed cake and corned beef and mustard sandwiches to geese, ducks, seagulls (but no swans this morning). His name is Ishmael. After the leftovers from his weekend with the kids have gone to the birds, we head into town, talk and walk with the practised speed of people who spend their lives walking to work. It makes me feel poor, sometimes, poor pedestrian wearing out her knees and face on the road and rain. He shares an eventful life; I navigate his politics. The perpetual patter of the professional peacemakers. At Folly Bridge he's off to see someone as part of his pastoral work; I'm off to the council offices to test my will against the redtape maze.

Having forgotten to get an advent calendar (I fancied one from Hotel Chocolat, but came to my senses) this chrismas rave compilation with 25 tracks turned up at just the right moment. So, I had this idea of doing little javascript advent calendar that would play the appropriate mp3 when you opened the window, and downloaded a calendar blank and made up a photocollage and then... oh it would have been fiddly, and I wouldn't have been able to put it up anywhere, anyway and... anyway, Sunday 13th on the imaginary advent calendar of christmas rave is Ramin & Silver's Amazing Grace [Vocal Trance Mix], if anyone fancies a little DIY calendar opening.

Which brings me to blip.fm, and its tragic unusability. I was having problems with it freezing my browser and hanging, and went to the FAQ (like you do) where it told me that Adblock Plus was known to cause issues with the site. Fair enough, thought I, and turned it off; and it did fix that particular problem. However, the site's now full of adverts, which means that I have problems with it freezing my browser and hanging. Oh well. Enter http://rcrdlbl.com/ -- its social aspect is nub-like and it looks like its been built out of hope and string, however it takes care of its key business -- playing and downloading music -- with nonchalent ease. That'll do.

Comments

( 5 worms — Feed the birds )
zengineer
14th Dec, 2009 09:06 (UTC)
Cycling to work makes me feel poor but not as poor as taking the bus.
I think there are a couple of entangled factors. TV (and other) conditioning implies that rich people drive, poorer people take public transport and very poor people walk. My granny used to walk 5 miles each way to work in the 50s because she was too poor to afford either a bicycle or the bus. I could overcome this but I can't shake off the feeling that sooner or later I am going to be run over and this combined with the general shittiness of cycling in the rain makes me feel that I am only doing this because I am too poor to get a decent house in Oxford itself.
cleanskies
14th Dec, 2009 14:09 (UTC)
I think the rain turned acid again
My skin's gone all blotchy. And my knees have gone again, so I'm back on the bus. Oh, depressing.
motodraconis
14th Dec, 2009 12:05 (UTC)
I've always chosen to walk to work when I was close enough to manage this. Driving to work doesn't make me feel privileged, it makes me feel pissed off that I'm too far away to walk, that I'm turning into an unfit slob sat on my arse 24-7 and as we get closer to icy weather - incredibly stressed about having to drive in dangerous conditions.

One of my quests is to try and remedy this, by moving close to work again, alas, life won't always play ball, so for now I'm stuck in the wretched car.
cleanskies
14th Dec, 2009 14:11 (UTC)
Mmmm. It's another thing I'm worried about if I lose my job here. People do automatically expect you to be able to drive and well, well I can't.
motodraconis
14th Dec, 2009 17:09 (UTC)
This is a problem, I recall when I did temping work I was never out of work, as I was one of the few girls with her own transport (a motorbike as it happened at the time) and thus got all the jobs that the other girls couldn't do. (In bizarre remote offices outside the bus-ring.)

It's probably only small comfort, but Oxford possibly has richer pickings than most cities outside London for the carless.
( 5 worms — Feed the birds )