26 Jul 2012

The Daily Grind - A Guest Post from Joe

Right, so Jai has gone on holiday and with some excellent good luck has managed to bag the only sun available this summer.

I on the other hand am stuck working and am unable to get away from the desk for this lovely bit of sun, furthermore I have been roped into writing a guest post.

If I wasn’t an avid fan of this blog I’m sure I’d be more incensed however the armed with a pre-determined subject (courtesy of Jai) and the deep seated worry that I am going to alienate the entire readership of this blog I have taken up the gauntlet.

So, this morning at 05:40 am when most sensible people were still snoozing I awoke to my raucously insistent alarm and prepared myself, both mentally and physically, for my daily 1hour 40 minute commute to work. But this was not quite an ordinary day.

Ignore the date stamps, the camera got it wrong!
Equipped with a “not quite as good as jai’s” digital camera, and a head full of half formed ideas about this post, I prepared my “daily grind” survival guide; just in case anyone else out there thinks that commuting is a good idea.

Right, so, the essentials!

Good Quality Coffee

I can’t quite stress this one enough; if you’re “not a coffee person” I’m afraid you’re not a commutey person. This stuff is the true black gold; however, there are pitfalls that can lay low even the most experienced commuter.

The most important of these to bear in mind is the thermos. This is the amateurs mistake I’m afraid. There is nothing good about trying to pour literally boiling hot liquid, single handed, in to a cup that is not much bigger than a thimble whilst travelling at 60 mph (that’s 27 meters per second people!) in rush hour traffic.

At the very least you’re looking at a coffee stained shirt/ dashboard, at the other end of the spectrum it can be second degree burns to your crotch. Think about it.

But don’t despair, help is at hand. The tippy cup has arrived (see picture below for clarification as I don’t know the technical term for this item).

The excellent little receptacles not only hold close on to a pint of coffee, but allow it to cool to the perfect drinking temperature and can be used with one hand and no concentration. 

A caffeine filled essential for every commuter.

 Audio Books

As good as BBC Radio 4’s programming is (something I never thought I would say when I was young) it will not fail to let you down at some point if you commute 3hours and 20 minutes every day. 

  Whether this results from their often horrendous attempts at comedy or another economic analysis programme it’s essential that you have back up! Especially as the likelihood of the music stations playing the songs you like is minimal at best.

Now I have to say I’m a big fan of the audio book, whether I’m learning French, doing extra studying for work or listening to a brilliant story, these things help the hours fly by. You very nearly almost look forward to the 3 hours of me time you’ve managed to carve out in a hectic schedule.

I feel the need to give a recommendation now… ahem… The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Iain Banks is not only an absolutely fantastic story that will have you completely engrossed throughout but is a mammoth of an unabridged audio book and at £21.24 from Amazon for 12 CD’s is a bit of a steal.

Now we wait for the sales to pour in.

Chewing Gum

I bet you weren’t expecting this one. But as I have ranted for a while now, and felt the need to end on a bang, Chewing Gum is an unexpected essential for the daily commuter.

The first reason for this is based on daily eating habits. I have found that the best thing to do when commuting long distances is to graze throughout the day and have a small lunch as a big lunch will make you very sleepy just in time for 18:00 and the drive home (see!! this blog is full of tips).

As a result by the time you set off for home you do tend to be very hungry. Chewing gum chewed for just 10 minutes or so (not until it loses it flavour) works as an excellent appetite suppressant, which is exactly what you need to keep away the inevitable service station munchies.

Secondly a quick sugar hit from chewing gum will keep away the tiredness often caused by long days and early starts, a side effect of the commute. This does mean that you need to avoid the sugar free stuff.

Leave the Extra Fresh Mint gum alone and treat yourself to a pack of lovely immoral Hubba Bubba which has enough e-numbers and sugar to keep you bouncing off the walls the whole drive home.

Finally Gum gives you something to do and helps to focus your mind and relax. 

Studies from Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia, St. Lawrence University in New York America and Coventry University in Coventry England (The Benefits of Chewing Gum) have all added to an impressive body of research that shows that chewing gum both focusses your mind and helps you to relax, essentials for a calm and safe drive.

 So that concludes the “daily grind” survival guide, hopefully this has helped and/or entertained you enough that you weren’t disappointed that you have read it and I promise that Jai will be back very soon (and I won’t) so please keep reading this blog, as usually it is very good.

Enjoy the sun everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment