James Marson

Writer of Comedy Writings

Date: February 3, 2016

Lazy Planet: How to get about it (London)

By Lineaus
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As I slide gaily through London’s bright and vibrant streets I am often struck by the variety of transport available, and cyclists. While I’ve nothing against cyclists they are very shiny, and largely frictionless which can be disconcerting.
But there are lots of ways to get around in this city. My personal favourite is the Tube.
The tube can be a wondrous place, where all of humanity is bundled together like toys in a toy box. Where the toys are all slightly nervous of each other. It’s a great place for smiling at girls. Girls love to be smiled at.
Also there are free newspapers and if you are feeling adventurous, free sips of coffee and discarded juice. I mean I don’t but I could. If I was hungry, you know.
Pricing varies, but the tube can be the most expensive form of transport in London, and if you have to actually do anything other than walk about and breathe, it can get pricey quickly.
Below is a tube map of places that are accessible by tube if you have less than £20 to spend a day.
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This is here is some map of the tube for under £20 a day.

Alternatively you can get a bus:
A bus

This bus is nearly empty. I would like to sing to her.

Buses are red and go everywhere, and are cheap, and are easy to get on. Here is Lineaus simple guide to getting on bussses.
  1. Find a bus stop and wait
  2. Get on the bus.
Pretty easy huh?
And girls like buses too. I always have my guitar with me so I like to play some songs to amuse fellow passengers. At the moment my favourites are
  1. You’re Beautiful by James Blunt
  2. Anything by Jack Johnson
  3. sometime I just find humming can be appealing.

If you are going by bus don’t stand on the upper deck or stairs. They don’t like it and the driver will throw you off.

 

The Docklands Light Railway is also handy for getting around out east but it is a bit like being driven by a drunk.

 

There are also cars but you must pay the congestion charge and have a car, both of which are pricey and not an option for the casual traveller. Also you have to have a licence apparently.

 

And there are also Boris bikes which are a very easy way of getting around. You will need to have a chip in your arm implanted in order to release one. There is a man at the edge of Hyde Park who will do this for you for money using an unsterilised penknife but I haven’t yet. Let me know if you have.  If you are a good cyclist then maybe this is for you but please remember that the bikes willoperate two levels below your own ability.

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Where the boats live.

Oh and boats but I get sea-sick and there are not so many girls on the riverboats but maybe in another post I will explore this.

Finally there is the unusual option of hiring a crane to get around. I found this a very good way of transporting lots of heavy stuff, but I didn’t travel very far and it wasn’t worth the being shouted at by men in hard hats and being arrested.
crane in Farringdongle

A crane. This is a last ditch travel arrangement and requires a degree of manual skill

So I hope that has been helpful and inspired you to explore this beautiful city in whatever way you would like to. Here is a picture that I took, just walking around. I hope you like it as much as I like it.
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Look at all the red cars in the background! 

Please let me know if there are other transports I haven’t considered. Or if you are a girl.
Happy travelling!
Lin

The Enneagram – Part 1

Part 1 is an explanation of how the Enneagram works. Part 2 will explain how to use it in your writing.

Quite simply, the Enneagram is a neat little way of categorising your characters by their psychology.

According to Enneagram theory, everybody falls into one of nine character types and each character type exhibits certain behaviours, based on what drives them. For some it’s the need to put things in order, for others it’s the need to be in control, or be original, or be helpful.

As a writer, I use the Enneagram a lot.

Here are the character types, along with a brief description:

  1. reformer The Reformer or Perfectionist – who likes to see things in order.
  2. Helper The Helper or Giver – who likes to assist others and receive love.
  3. Achiever The Achiever or Performer – who likes to win.
  4. individualist The Individualist or Romantic –  who dreams and likes to be original.
  5. investigator The Investigator or Observer  – who likes to know everything going on.
  6. loyalist The Loyalist or Skeptic – who needs to trust and be trusted.
  7. Enthusiast The Enthusiast or Epicure – who loves to indulge in everything life has to offer.
  8. challenger The Challenger or Protector – who craves security and control.
  9. peacemaker The Peacemaker or Mediator – who brings harmony to situations.

It’s easy to see how having a relatively short list of potential character types immediately creates a range of characters who all have different goals and desires – which opens the door to a wide variety of conflicts, much more subtle than simply good guys versus bad.

More of this in part 2…

Additionally the Enneagram describes some key traits of each type:

  1. holyidea HOLY IDEA – what the character truly believes in. Where their moral compass firmly points.
  2. egofix EGO FIXATION – when they’re at their most selfish, they’re here.
  3. desire BASIC DESIRE – what they really want on a psychological level
  4. fear BASIC FEAR – what this type of person hates and takes great pains to avoid.
  5. temptation TEMPTATION – what is the characters compulsive behaviour.  What they revert to under pressure.
  6. virtue VIRTUE – what redeeming behaviour this character has learnt. What they’re capable of at their best.
  7. vice VICE – what they’re up to at their worst. What foul habits they have.

Again it can really help to build a character from being mostly driven by one particular aspect of their personality. It comes to define them and drive.

The traits a character displays are all related and form a consistency that makes it easy to build up an image of a particular type that is easily accessible.

Perhaps you’d like to try to work out which type you, or some of your  (favourite) characters are!

To summarise the various traits of the types I’ve grabbed this little table. All of this, and descriptions are available in the App.

Type Ego Fixation Holy Idea Basic Fear Basic Desire Temptation Vice Virtue
Reformer Resentment Perfection Evilness Goodness Hypocrisy Anger Right Thing
Helper Flattery Freedom Being Unloved Unconditional Love Manipulativeness Vainglory Altruism
Achiever Vanity Hope Worthlessness Value Pleasing Everybody Deceit Truthfulness
Individualist Melancholy Origin Commonness Originality Self-blame Envy Equanimity
Investigator Stinginess Omniscience Uselessness Competency Overthinking Greed Detachment
Loyalist Cowardice Faith Vulnerability Safety Suspicion Fear Courage
Enthusiast Planning Work Boredom Experience Rashness Gluttony Sobriety
Challenger Vengeance Truth Loss of Control Self-Protection Rejecting Help Lust Magnanimity
Peacemaker Indolence Love Loss Peace of Mind Submission Indifference Serenity

 

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Click to go through to the App store

If you’d like to have a pocket guide to carry around with you, then please check out the App

And, in case I haven’t laboured the point enough already… more on how to use the Enneagram in part 2! (which is coming soon)

Thanks for reading. I always love to hear your comments! – James

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