Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The River Rodent

Today marked an important turning point in my essay work, I actually started to do some and the inevitable happened - procrastination was promptly replaced by panic!!! Panic has now subsided as I've spent the last few hours being very industrious and am now taking what I think is a well earned break during which I would like to reflect on my trip into work this morning.....

..... For once I actually managed to catch the W19 bus which is an achievement because they only come every 30 minutes and so it's crucial you get the timing right. As most of you are well aware, perhaps poor Lindsey more so than others, timing is not my strong point and so most mornings I fail miserably to get to the bus stop on time. Usually I end up getting the 145 into Ilford instead which is OK but takes longer and involves a longer walk, whereas the W19 drops me neatly off right by my place of work - Becketts House. Today however I managed to get the W19 and although it was more by accident than design because I was even later leaving the house than usual, the point is I travelled a different route to work - a route that meant walking across the River Roding........

.......now you may be forgiven for thinking that there isn't a river in Ilford, even though the name gives it away, - it's not exactly in the commercial bit of the town centre and it's hidden under two busy roads; the choked up Romford road from Stratford and the A-road flyover thingy that zooms in from Barking direction and touches down at Redbridge roundabout. But the river is there, buried underneath the tarmac, its banks barricaded in by monstrous conrete and metal. It is an ugly dumping ground for litter, shopping trolleys, and other such urban faeces. In short it is an unloved stretch of water that seems to be present only in so far as it is clearly a transport inconvenience because there are limited crossing places for motorists. It is because of needing to cross the river that causes the bottleneck into Ilford from Romford Road and whilst I hate the pollution this causes and the angst of the drivers at rush hour I can't help but smile smugly to myself at the fact that even in our cities, nature still keeps us in check.

So, I was walking across the Roding in my zombie-like state this morning, only to be shaken from my reverie by a rustling sound coming from small patch of grass by the side of the river. I turned rather startled, to see a creature sat on a branch of a young tree. Blurry eyed I initially thought it was a squirrel but then quickly realised it was actually a rat!!! Suddenly I gained the ability to move fast and hurried into work. Realying my trauma to people in the office I was promptly informed that there's a woman who throws bread down there to feed the pigeons, but then the rats suddenly appear and there's a kind of showdown between the rats and the pigeons for the food. I am thinking of starting a campaign for the immediate distribution of "Do not feed the rats" signs, what do you think?

One final thought - my blog is entitled - "Where London Ends", a topic I think about a lot especially in relation to having been brought up on the edges of London in dreary suburbia. Is Ilford part of London or is it really Essex? Well, if the rodent population is anything to go by the debate is settled!

9 Comments:

At 10:09 am, Blogger Jessica said...

Don't you DARE put up a "Don't feed the ratties" sign"!!!! Did you know that if you tickle a rattie's tummy, he'll laugh ultrasonically? Ratties are SOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!

 
At 3:47 pm, Blogger meg said...

Surely a map will tell you where London ends??? Ilford's in London, anyway. It's not our fault that stupid Royal Mail couldn't be arsed to change the postcode.

And I love rats. We used to have loads in Stratford but I haven't seen any in ages.

 
At 9:50 am, Blogger Katrina said...

Not surpised there are lots of rats in Stratford - or St Ratford as someone that worked at Connexions used to call it!!! Actually I wonder if there's a patron saint of rats - I doubt it somehow but you never know.....

 
At 2:59 pm, Blogger I'm Over The Moon said...

Dear katrina,
Sincerely,
Bored of London
By the way, the police are getting younger every day.

I consult not a map, but my moral compass. it says Ilford is in Essex. And aptly named, as you forded a sick bit of water indeed.

 
At 2:59 pm, Blogger I'm Over The Moon said...

oh, and the patron saint of rats is St Roland.... Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

 
At 10:51 pm, Blogger Katrina said...

Hello "I'm over the Moon", do you have a more common name by which you go by?

London's a funny thing, sometimes it feel more like a state of mind than a geographic location and whilst I get what you mean with your moral compass I can't help wondering sometimes if our Essexophobic remarks are based more on aesthetics than ethics - a prejudice against Burberry and fake gold! So what part of London do you live in and are you really sincerely bored with the whole of it or just certain sections? You can't possibly have explored it all?

 
At 11:51 am, Blogger I'm Over The Moon said...

hello,
yep, it's celine. I'm an old chum of meg's, used to live in Buckhurst Hill and work in a shop that sold orange lipstick, so i know whereof i speak! Would you work in the nearest place to chigwell to sell a full range of guerlain? oh the things we do when we're young.
You are quite right, i am not sincerely bored of all of london, just the bits i've actually been to! I am principly bored sick of zone one, particualrly the area around oxford circus. that is one of the spots of concentrated badness in the universe where people are at their worst and most numerous.
I live in muswell hill which i have decared an independant state, as the aforementioned compass wont have it that it is part of london. it's above the smog line and just too nice. I'd still rather live in the country though, sigh.....

 
At 8:09 pm, Blogger Katrina said...

Yeah the Oxford Circus/Tottenham Court Road/Soho/Leicester Sq area bores me too which is why I love to explore the other bits. I think of all the things that the tourists miss in London by just focusing on Zone 1 and then I wonder what I must miss as a tourist when I travel to other cities.

If you'd rather live in the country why don't you? (- If you don't mind me asking, it's a genuine question, I 'm not meaning to sound rude!!)

 
At 11:20 am, Blogger I'm Over The Moon said...

Oh no worries! Because my husband's self employed in a trade where you can only guarantee work in london (and not constantly here), so to move i 'd need to have a good ish job to go to, paying more than the ones i can currently get. To get one i need more office experience than i currently have (been temping too long, not enough months in any one thing), so the plan is to get a job here for a year or so, then apply for jobs in Devon and move when i've got one. then if it takes him indoors longer than expected to get work we can still pay the rent!

 

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