nil illegitimi carborundum*

Yesterday morning I stood on the platform at Hackney Central and the most pressing worry on my mind was whether the baby blackbird that was standing trustingly on the rail looking up at the oncoming train as though it was wondering if it might want to play was going to recover its senses before it was too late.**

Two hours later I was on an emotional rollercoaster and my concerns were entirely personal – were the people I knew all right, how close had it been, how the hell was I going to get home from work? It was only once we were home, safe, and with everyone we knew safe too that it was possible to start to see the bigger picture. The bastards had bombed London. We knew – or believed – it was coming, we knew that the tube was big and vulnerable and just too tempting a target to ignore. We knew all that. But of course we had to get on with it because what else was there to do?

This morning we got on with it again. The train was a little less crowded, maybe. The passengers a little bit more subdued, although it’s hard to tell at that hour in the morning. Certainly the newspapers were being read with a little more attention. The clear plastic bags that serve as litter bins on the station had been removed and there were still festoons of red and white hazard tape from where the entrance had been cordoned off. But other than those few signs, it was business as usual. Even the black humour has resurfaced.

At work, in the papers, everywhere, the consensus seems to be that we should just get on with things. Anything else is to hand the bastards an extra victory. So it’s back to business as usual here on Disgruntled Commuter, and my small contribution to the war on terror will be to continue to document the minutiae of frustration that commuting brings.

Therefore it was with a warm glow of pride that I found myself getting extremely irritated with the gombeen who stood right in the way of me getting out of the train this morning. And I make no apology for noting that the train was late, again. I think it will be a while before I play another round of Death Tube though, under the circumstances.

Total time wasted today: 6 minutes
Total time wasted to date: 4 hours 54 minutes

* I know it’s not proper latin, I got it off the internet
** It made it.


5 responses to “nil illegitimi carborundum*

  1. I admire your resolve at trying to go back to a normal day at work. I also admire your attempt at Latin. I belive it is correct, although I have never been noted for my prowess in the language.
    I just thought I’d post on here as I tend tot find that I write things on my own blog and no one comments, which is slightly disheartening. Just thought you’d like to know that someone is paying attention to you lol.
    p.p. glad the bird made it.

  2. For non classicists the latin tag was on the lips of every junior Roman soldier and British footsloggers in both world wars-being literally translated it means ‘ Don’t let people whose parents were not married grind you down’ Amen

  3. I remember this tag: in Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Talae, she finds it scratched on the wall inside the wardrobe (I think..)

  4. apparently ‘carborundum’ is not a latin root – you can get in touch with your inner pedant here

  5. The inner pedant is flawed in nor recognsising that ‘British Military Intelligence’ is the most striking oxymoron in the English language. Did General Joe S not know that? Carborundum is certainly a proper latin root-just look at The Aeniad Book 6, verse something.

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