Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Extend the Sheffield Supertram!

Please support the Sheffield Stagecoach Supertram and complete the online customer survey and ask for the Supertram to cover more of the city.

The Supertram is a fanstastic service which is reliable, affordable, quick, comfortable and frequent and it's a shame that more of Sheffield isn't able to benefit from this excellent transport facility. Unlike trams, buses are uncomfortable, more expensive and have to use the roads and we are being encouraged more and more to use cars less and less.

Support the super Supertram!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A Smooth Criminal...

On the tram on the way to work it seemed a usual quiet morning until a class of children aged around nine or ten boarded the tram to take them to a visit of some kind. The seats in the main car are arranged in fours: two pairs of seats facing each other. There were two spare seats facing me and the teacher firmly but politely told the children to sit down. Two young girls sat opposite me and started to chat amongst themselves whilst the other children filed past to the remaining seats.

Whilst he was passing, one of the boys leaned over to the girl closest to the aisle and accused, "You're a killer. You killed Michael Jackson!", to which she proclaimed, "I didn't. I didn't." Her friend, in a supportive manner, put her hands on her hips, sighed and said through gritted teeth, "For the last time, she didn't kill Michael Jackson!"

The tram journey continued and the free Metro newspaper was passed from child to child to read, though from what I could tell this consisted mainly of quickly turning pages until they were all turned, then passed on quickly. The young girl who had protested her friend's innocence so fiercely piped up, "I want to read the newspaper. I want to read about Michael Jackson, God rest his soul. He writ all the best songs." I wondered what Michael would think of her English. Just when I thought she couldn't be any more entertaining, she said, "I think he's gonna arise from the dead anyway, y'know, like in Thriller." The innocence and imagination of youth, what a joy. But then again, knowing Michael Jackson...

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Devil can drag you under...

I love the musical Guys and Dolls and for some reason (maybe a forgotten dream) I was happily singing when I woke up this morning, "I got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere...can do, can do, this man says the horse can do". The character Nicely Nicely sings the song at the film's opening with two other gambling characters but he also sings a song about his epiphany later on in the musical, which I'm sure you all know. "The people all said sit down, sit down you're rocking the boat!" I began, of course, on this realisation to sing the second melody whilst I got ready for work.

The song was still floating around in my head on the tram on the way home, "Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down you're rocking the boat!" I decided to read the free Metro newspaper to take my mind of it and after reading an amusing story about the behaviour of monkeys being not too dissimilar to that of humans sometimes, I turned to pages four and five where the headline in gigantic font spread across the top of both pages read, "Stand down, stand down, you're rocking the boat..."

I did a double take. I thought that somehow through the constant repetition of the song in my mind I had managed to materialise my musical thoughts into print. However, this turned out to be an incorrect conclusion on closer inspection as I noticed the picture of the badge which accompanied the headline. It was the badge which Hazel Blears wore yesterday after her resignation from the Cabinet stating 'Rocking the boat' and I then realised that the headline was referring to the call for Gordon Brown to stand down.

Now I'm wondering. Could the fact that I saw the badge yesterday have reminded me of Guys and Dolls subconsciously and my mind had fed the song into my dreams, even though it wasn't the song that I woke up singing? Could it just be a coincidence, even though I don't walk around singing songs from Guys and Dolls on a frequent basis. Or is it possible, though least likely, that my singing of the song was a premonition that I would read that headline.

Perhaps the message is that because of the imagination of headline writers, you can find youself reading a cultural reference of any kind when you least expect it!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

I love rock 'n' roll...

On the tram on the way home I was stood opposite a skinny, young man wearing a fashionable, knitted hat perched on the back of his head, which I can only think of to describe as tea-cosy-like (but which young people think are so cool). He had a terrific belt buckle on his skinny jeans in black and white which showed each of the 6 sides of a die and was playing some form of thrash metal at a very high volume. I love all kinds of music but heavy thrash is way too scary for me, especially when the singers 'bark', which I could plainly hear that this particular singer was. He was generally fashionably kitted out and was behaving as a nonchalant, cool, rock kid.

Halfway through the journey he was joined on his side of the aisle by a more conservatively dressed, and slightly chubbier, young man. He was wearing a shirt and trousers (although he had removed his tie and unbuttoned his top button) and was obviously returning home form work. He was also listening to music, though I could not hear what he was playing. He, however, was enjoying it immensely and was bobbing his head like a feeding chicken. At one point he clasped his index finger and thumb together as if holding a plectrum and started quickly strumming his thigh, as if holding a low-slung guitar. If that wasn't amusing enough, for a few moments during his mime his nose was wrinkled and he was biting his bottom lip. I had to smile at that point (and stifle a laugh).

Of the two young men that stood opposite, he did not appear to be the type who would rock-out on the tram. If he was dressed like the other guy he might have got away with it, but then again, if he was dressed like the other guy then maybe he would've acted a little cooler? I'll never know.

Note to self: this incident also confirms that I should not wear any form of portable music device in public due to my innate need to move in rhythm with any kind of beat. I would end up as John Travolta in the opening sequence of 'Saturday Night Fever' listening to any kind of music, though I would not look cool, I would not look cool, I would not look cool, I would not...

What's Flu Got To Do With It?

On the tram on the way home it was filled with older, female, rock-chick types going to a rescheduled, Tina Turner concert (postponed because of flu. She is 70 years old which I find amazing). As the tram sped along I looked out into the rain, although the condensation was thickening quickly on the inside of the glass. This prompted me to remember the only two words of the song I know (though they are the most important) which I repeatedly sang in my head, in a suitably husky voice, for the remainder of the journey...ste-eamy windo-ows!

Coming to think of it, that's a not a bad song, maybe I should have got a ticket...

TramGirl's Log, Supplemental: Star Date 3.14159265...

On the tram on the way home a few weeks ago I became aware that characters from Star Trek are roaming around in broad daylight among us, previously unnoticed by myself (or anyone else, to my knowledge), until I overheard a man during a moderately heated mobile phone conversation. He was supposed to be meeting a person that evening (probably a partner or a daughter, I thought) but I couldn't help noticing that his plans seemed to have gone a little awry.

"When shall I meet you in town later...we arranged to meet in town, love...where are you?...we arranged to meet in town later...I'm on my way there now...what shall I do?...OK, OK, I'll meet you there instead...OK...bye then, love...see you later...live long and prosper".

I can't say that he had the appearance of a Vulcan (not in my limited understanding of the Vulcan appearance anyway, i.e. pointed ears), but with their extreme limits of emotional expression I would think that only a Vulcan could end a conversation to a loved one that way!

Oink, Oink

On the tram on the way home the other night there were two slender, trendily-dressed, young girls in their early teens having a conversation in their giggly, high-pitched, fast-paced, chit-chat, Vicky Pollard way that young girls do.

The first girl was moaning to her friend that, "God, I'm so fat, I can't believe how much I ate yesterday, I've been eating far too much recently, I've got to stop", to which her friend asked, "What did you have yesterday?".

"Well, I had an apple for breakfast, for lunch I had a cheese sandwich with an apple and a banana and for tea I had three pieces of sushi and two mini-muffins! God, I was such a pig!", at which point the second girl offered her sympathies.

Although the surprisingly short and healthy list made me smile, it fills me with shock and pity to think of the meagre portions that passed her lips on that day to make up for her perceived overeating the day before.