Thursday, 31 January 2008

Newcastle chaos

It took me nearly three times as long as usual to get into work this morning.

bus journey is fourteen minutes or so. It takes longer than that at rush hour, but never more than half an hour normally. This morning, it took me one hour and twenty minutes.

I'd heard on the local news that Jesmond Road was closed between Portland Terrace and Sandyford Road, but not why. That's close to my route to work, but not actually on it. I assumed it was just an accident. These things have usually cleared up by the time you hear about them on the news.

I didn't realise that this time, it was a fire at a local hotel and that the police had closed the road because of all the fire engines. It was still closed when I got to Newcastle. It took the bus a long, long time to get through, moving all of a mile an hour I would guess.

I got off the bus in the end, grumbling to myself about how it would have been noticeably quicker for me to walk the whole way rather than get the bus. I walked across the front of the hotel; I wish I'd counted the fire engines; there were a lot. Smoke was pouring out of the roof still and the firefighters were in that crane thing, playing water onto the roof; no flames were visible, but the smoke was thick. The air smelled of bonfires and attached itself to my jacket and my hair. At first I thought it was just in the air, but it's been windy today and the smell was present when I turned round long after the gusts of wind would have blown the last scraps of smoke away.

My gym is in that hotel. I'd planned to go today. Apparently it's untouched, but it'll be closed for a short while. Hopefully it'll open again soon.


It snowed at lunchtime. The wind whipped it across the air, almost horizontal. Apparently it's going to get worse tomorrow.

(Three posts in less than 24 hours? Count yourself lucky!)


Imperatrix said...

Your bus ride is often disrupted, isn't it? At least your boss doesn't give you a hard time about it, right?

And talk about Murphy's law: the day you plan to go to the gym is the day there's a fire in the building! :-P

B said...

I do seem to attract bizarre events on the bus :) As for work, I don't *have* to be in til 10am as we have flexitime, and my boss (and my line manager) are quite laid back about what time I turn up anyway, as long as I a) do turn up if there's anything I need to be in for and b) get my work done. Anyway, this morning I was trying to get in early, so I ended up arriving dead on 9am. I shudder to think what time I would have arrived if I'd left any later. Someone who got onto the main road ten minutes after me told me it was backed up twice as far by that point.

And I was quite frustrated really - I'd thought about going to the Turkish baths tonight, but decided that I should go to the gym instead, and didn't want to take two lots of stuff - definite Murphy's law at work!

loria said...

B, two comments.

A) your posts like "taakin' Geordie" so make me want to jump on a plane and visit you


B) we are expecting another foot of snow to happen here tonight.

If I could send some to you I would ;)


B said...

A) next time you feel like that you should get drunk and book a flight
B) you really do get a very lot of snow! hope it's not too disruptive :) I was thinking about you yesterday when someone said the wind chill today would be -6C. That's quite warm for you, isn't it?!

John said...

Lucky you were not in the gym then, untouched or not it would have been pretty horrible.

Reading your blog is slowly but surely convincing me to avoid public transport. I would avoid Newcastle but I love that place so public transport it is!

pierre l said...

Hello B. I hope the book signing went well. To continue the snow theme, may I point towards a writer's blog:
which happens to have a picture of some snow where she lives. She also runs a short-story review blog which I enjoy.
We had been promised some snow in the South, but it never came. Having said that, walking towards the bookshop in Bracknell was rather chilly, and their stock of "in Search of Adam" hadn't arrived.

B said...

It's fairly unlikely that I'd ever be in the gym at 5.30am ;)

Public transport is good, honest! I think it's just me that attracts crapness ;)

There were 17 fire engines there. The road wasn't totally open again for nearly 10 hours. It was a bad fire.

I am so excited about Caroline's book. And the new books :)