Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Green Cross Code

I was born in south east London, raised in south east London, and currently live in south east London. This makes me, A: not very well traveled, and B: intrinsically suspicious of people who live on the other side of the Thames. Before I started working in Islington I'd never really had much call to go there -- I used to go shopping in central london, and sometimes around Camden Market, but those places are like a sort of demilitarized zone, they're an independent entity, not really part of north or south london. In the two years that I've been working in Islington and Old Street I've learned, unsurprisingly, that north Londoners are much like their compatriots in the dirty south; they have a bit more money, and they dress like prats, but they're otherwise identical.

With one important exception. You see, while working in Islington has given me the opportunity to see how the other half live, it has also given me the opporunity to see how the other half die. While most of them seem to work the normal live, love, get old, get sick, and die pattern, a significant minority seem to want to cut straight to the end. Sit yourself down on a park bench near Angel station and you'll see it clear as day -- the people of Islington cross the road like people who have given up on life.

I don't mean that they're a little cocky with motorists, or that they perhaps misjudge their timing a little. No, I mean they will try and cross a busy dual carriageway by going across the middle of an intersection. Without looking. With headphones in. Writing a text message. I suppose I'd be ok with this if it wasn't for the fact that I don't like seeing dead people when I'm out on my lunchbreak. It really tends to sour the day. Incident boards with "Fatal Accident: Did you see anything" are pretty common pieces of road furniture, and the air ambulance roars over my office so often they may as well just paint a big H in the middle of the Upper Street and be done with it. I've seen the immediate aftermath of 7 fatal car accidents within about 300 meters of my office.

As a result of all this, I found this song interesting. It's well worth a watch, catchy pop song, good video, and it looks to have been filmed around Old Street station.