I don’t think I’ve observed a two minute silence since leaving school, at least not knowingly. Our office is so quiet in general that apart from the patter of keyboards we could well be observing several hour silences for the victims of everything from cot death to old age on a daily basis. But today the decision was taken to troop out – not just outside the building but outside the gates – and observe the silence properly, and rather publicly.
Of course nobody had set up a signal, or synchronised watches so we sort of trailed off more than anything, the conversation dying away, and then we stood there – about thirty of us – in shuffling silence, listening to one lone diehard on his mobile phone ‘yeah, fantastic – great, nah, it’s rubbish…’ until even he ran out of inanities and wittered to a halt. After that there was just – I’d like to say birdsong here, but in the interests of strict accuracy it was more the rumble of traffic and the sound of thirty people furtively checking their watches. Then after two or so minutes had passed, we sort of sprung back to life and shuffled back to our desks. To anyone watching who didn’t know what was going on it must have looked like a very subdued and not particularly successful flash mob.
On the way home the train decided to observe a two – or three, or seven – minute silence of its own in the baking heat at Gospel Oak. At least that’s the only explanation I can give, in the absence of any announcement from the guard and the driver. And then this evening I was faced with a choice of twenty minutes wait for the train, or the number 30 bus right there at the bus stop. No contest.
Total time wasted today: 11 minutes
Total time wasted to date: 5 hours 34 minutes