Tuesday, 17 April 2018

London Work Day

Today was a very odd day for me. It was like living someone else's life.

First I woke up in a tiny, sightly smelly room in the Kensington district of London. It wasn't even 6 AM yet, so I got an hour's work in. Then I had a shower, took my bag to the desk, got a double macchiato at "Paul", and headed for the Tube.

I took the Tube to Westminster, while idly trying to guess people's jobs from their clothes, and then I went to the Court of Justice to see if I could get in yet. I couldn't, so I went to Pret-a-Porter  (free wifi) to do some work.

At 8:50 I went back to the Court of Justice and attempted to chat with big, tough, chummy paparazzi who looked at me as if I were a multi-coloured squirrel, so I meekly subsided. At 9 I went in and found the courtroom. The security guards were very amiable and kind.

Eventually I met some young journalists, and they were amiable too. I suspect the one from the Daily Mirror was surprised when I said, "Daily Mirror? That's AWESOME!" Not something he probably hears every day, but then he probably hasn't written almost exclusively for the Catholic/Christian press for twelve years. There was a young man from the Liverpool Echo there, too, and two or three people from the BBC. One of them was using actual shorthand.

Then court was in session, and everyone in the press gallery just wrote like mad. The hearing was, of course, very sad and rather complex, and I wondered how I was going to pull stories out of all this sad and complex stuff. I managed not to puff and sigh until near the end, i.e. about six-and-a-half hours later.

I understand why the judges think dying is in Alfie's best interests, but I can't get my mind around why they think his "privacy" is so sacred. He is 23 months old; even a fully functioning AGPAR-acing 2 year old has no real concept of privacy. In Liverpool I mentioned the privacy question to a cabdriver, and he reacted as though privacy was abuse and neglect and assured me that Alfie would never have any privacy even when he dies, for the whole city will go to his funeral.

Anyway, they managed not to mention privacy until about 4:30 PM, and I sighed before I could remember about contempt of court and stop myself. Fortunately it was a quiet sigh.

There was a two hour recess, during which I gobbled a sandwich at Pret-a-Porter and wrote messages to work, including my notes. Then I went back to the Court of Justice, and was there until 5 or so.  As it was too late (and hellishly expensive) to get a direct train to Edinburgh, I took the Tube back to Kensington. They gave me a nicer, non-smelly room, and after dinner at Wagamama (don't ask), I went back to work.

So that was my 9-5 work day in London. I wore my excellent grey tweed suit and not my rain boots.


  1. Thank you for covering this story! Loved reading about your London work days.

  2. I glad you liked it! It was certainly an adventure. I just wish I hadn't been so TIRED. I'm very tempted to start taking iron pills.