Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Lazy Sunday Service

Every time I travel into London on a train the same question pops into my head – how the heck does this place work? Why doesn’t the city simply crash in on itself under the weight of all its competing demands and overstretched infrastructure and services? Whilst many Londoners might complain about aspects of the city, the fact that it functions at all seems a miracle to me. As a system, London is an astonishing place. Goods, utilities, people, waste, services, flow in, out and around, and are distributed to where they’re needed. Society for the most part works, and hasn’t descended to total anarchy. There might be inefficiencies, differences and tensions, but the city does, for the most, part work.

The sheer logistics of making everything happen are mind blowing. Well there are for me in any case, because I do spend a lot of time thinking about these kinds of things. Though not too well on today’s journey into the city. I spent the weekend with five friends from my undergraduate days. We’ve been meeting up at least once a year since graduating in 1991 from Lancaster University. The problem is we go out and pretend that we’re all still students. And we’re not. And it shows the next morning. And the day after that. And the one after that.

I failed to find a copy of C.H.B. Kitchin’s Crime at Christmas in any of the bookstores in Oxford, though I did buy the following books in the closing down sale in Borders.

They’ll go into an already bloated TBR pile where they’ll have to try and jostle their way up to the top.

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