I don’t normally do list posts because it indicates a lack of imagination to structure in my mind but I’ve been fermenting this one for a while now. The world out there is an odd place and there are things that happen that subtly act to make it more annoying that it really should be. Since it’s Friday 13th, I thought it would be good to share this now.

What like I hear you cry? Well try a few of these:

  1. the handrail on escalators moves at ever so slightly a different speed than the steps. Google it, there are plenty of people questioning why it happens but few definitive answers. It best manifests itself on some of the escalators on the London Underground Northern Line (the oldest and deepest line); by the bottom of your journey your hand is about 3 foot ahead of where it started. On normal rides though, it’s subtle enough to slightly unsettle you but no more.
  2. I’ve long suspected pedestrian crossings of being subject to foul play and an article this week on the BBC magazine site proved this: a lot of the time the button press does nothing, it’s purely a placebo to make you feel better about waiting whilst the lights go through their own labyrinthine cycles. Add to this the determination of councils to put excessively bobbly concrete pavement slabs by these crossings, and you end up with a long wait on an uncomfortable surface.
  3. evil plumbers who install toilets just ever so slightly further back than necessary, which means that the seat wont rest up on the cistern but has to be held up if you want to do an standing wee. These plumbers are men, why do they do it? Do they hate other men that much or are they just inept? The toilets where even the lid wont stay upright unassisted are definitely the work of Satan himself.
  4. the sleep patterns of children are pretty much evidence of an outside hand in the running of the universe. Why do kids wake up early on a Saturday morning? So much earlier than they do on a school day? They should be worn out after a week at school and a late night on Friday but no! It’s at least half an hour to a full hour earlier than normal.
  5. finally, this one is really an extension to 4. Call it 4.5 or an Applesque 4S if you will. The only point on a Saturday or Sunday morning that the kids will come in and cause aggravation is when the Paper Review is on Breakfast News. A long feature on resevoirs? No sign of children. A long disguised as news trailer for another BBC programme? No kids in sight. Me, appearing on NewsWatch? Nope. But the second Simon Fanshaw or someone sits on the sofa clutching a selection of newspapers there is a sudden shouting convention in our bedroom. It’s uncanny.