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Blog: Across North London With A Computer

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I felt like one of those haircutted comedians in their thirties yesterday, the ones who suddenly decide to take up a ludicrous yet somehow whimsical and occasionally moving challenge just for the heck of it and not, definitely not, because they have a book deal. Except that my challenge was mostly annoying, and didn't have a book deal.

For LO! I was due to go back to our old house in Leytonstone, pick up our old computer, and take it to Computeraid in Arnos Grove where it would be used for Good Causes abroad. When we moved I took the computer BEFORE that to be recylced, leaving the other for The Landlady to use, but it turned out to just be in the way, HENCE my journey.

It started off in the way it would continue (i.e. ANNOYINGLY) when I decided to have one last check that all the old accounts and details had been taken off, and I remembered ONE of the reasons I had decided to get a new computer - this one was BALL ACHINGLY SLOW. My swanky new laptop what I am typing on even now STARTS within a few seconds, but this one was of the old "You make a cup of tea while I sort myself out" school, and everything took AGES. Thus when it was finally done I unplugged it with some GLEE and fetched the SHOLLEY to put it in for transport.

Then I remembered the SECOND reason I got a laptop - the old computer was MASSIVE! It didn't fit any which way round in the sholley, so I filled that up with the monitor (which did JUST fit) and the bits and bobs, put the TOWER in a HUGE shopping bag in case of rain, balanced it on top of the now closed sholley, and tottered out into the street.

I got to Leytonstone High Road Station, which I have used HUNDREDS, possibly THOUSANDS, of times, and was amazed to see it had changed - it's got ticket barriers! It's all quite nicely done, and as I admired it a TRANE pulled in. The station is one of those that is basically a railway bridge with a platform, so there was no way I would get up there in time to catch it, so Oystered my way through and then LUGGED the Sholley and computer all the way up, doing each flight of stairs as a STAGE, running backwards and forwards in relays.

I was faced with even MORE stairs when I got to Blackhorse Road and HILARIOUSLY thought to myself "Cuh! All these years helping people with pushchairs, where are the people with pushchairs helping me NOW eh?" When I got into the station I was HORRIFIED to see that they STILL hadn't finished repairing the escalators, so I had to go all the way DOWN with everything. Doing it in relay was UNAPPEALING so I carried the tower in its bag one hand and the sholley in the other. It was BLOODY HEAVY but actually a bit easier than the relay. At this point a Nice Lady did offer to help, which I politely declined as I was BALANCED, and we all stepped daintily down, following some VERY SLOW TODDLERS.

There were YET MORE stairs when I changed at Finsbury Park and YET MORE again at Arnos Grove. As on other occasions I thought how daft it is for the tube to TRUMPET wheelchair accesible stations here and there when the overwhelming majority are IMPOSSIBLE. There's no point being able to get ON at a station if you can't actually get OFF anywhere, though having said that the WORST part of the experience was all the inconsiderate arseholes who barge on board when you're trying to struggle off with piles of GEAR or CUT YOU UP just as you've managed to get in a position to move. The fact that people IN wheelchairs or WITH pushchairs DON'T constantly go kill crazy and mow down commuters in a hail of machine gun bullets is, I think, a testament to the human spirit.

Things were MUCH easier after that - I remembered the route to the offices from last time, and the people there were LOVELY and HAPPY to see me. I practically SKIPPED home, light of heart and almost LIFTED by having merely a dainty sholley to transport. I tell you what though, I am INCREDIBLY glad that next time I do this I'll be doing it with a laptop!

posted 8/5/2014 by MJ Hibbett

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