Thursday 6 March 2008

Buskers and other underground things

Green Park have had an absolute rash of really good buskers this week. Busking used to be illegal on the Underground (punishable by a £500 fine). However recent years have seen an initiative to authorise buskers. There are authorised busking pitches at a number of London's larger underground stations. They used to be sponsored by Carling, but are now sponsored by Capital Radio and there is a dedicated website.

This morning there was a guitarist playing (I think it was the same one who was playing Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring the other morning), totally brilliant. Yesterday evening was a saxophonist, again very excellent. I was particularly taken by his sign which read "Support live music before its too late. I'm not getting any younger". He was a gentleman of mature years, it must be said.

Shortly after this I had one of those 'annoying commuter' experiences. The man on the escalator in front of me (with his large suitcase and laptop bag) decided not to walk down and stopped, fair enough. But on the left hand side of the escalator. Why would you do that? He stood and looked around, and saw me standing behind him and another person in front both standing on right (as is right (pardon the pun) and proper). Yet he remained steadfast and caused all the people walking down to weave around him. What an idiot.

I've figured out the trick to morning commuting. If one arranges to arrive at North Greenwich just around 8am there is a train that arrives at Platform 2 and then turns round and goes back to Central London. Guaranteed seat!