Monday, 9 June 2008

Travelling To Work In London

Last week I was working in London. After seven years of singing for a living in the Spanish sun, I returned to working as a voiceover artist in the UK at the end of last year. Recording in studios is not quite as glamorous as putting on my glad rags for a gig but the adrenaline still pumps and I still get a real sense of fulfilment. I guess I am one of life’s lucky people – I thoroughly enjoy the work I do.

The studios I’m sent to can be just about anywhere but recently I have had a string of bookings in London which is much easier for me to get to than somewhere like Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Going to London for work is a totally different experience to a pleasure trip. More often than not, I am driven to the studio but, last week, luxury travel was replaced by regular train travel. When I’m going to work I worry that the train will be delayed and I’ll be late as, invariably, I leave home later than I plan. Often I don’t know what will be expected of me until I arrive at the studio so I am usually quite uptight during the journey. Silly things wind me up on a train journey to work; people talking noisily on mobile phones; people playing music too loudly on their iPods; people who stare; people who eat; people who share my carriage! Yes, I am Miss Grumpy Train Traveller 2008! Actually, I am most easily riled in the morning and the later I travel, the less irritated I seem to be. A direct correlation between early mornings and grumpiness methinks!

My slightly strange tube phobia is an extra drawback when I’m working in London. If I’m in town for some sightseeing and fun then I prefer to take my time and take the bus. I have grown to love these bus rides and wish it was a practical option every time. If I’m going to work then I have to face the tube head on as, time-wise, it is usually more predictable. But, of course, my stress levels rise when I’m down in the underground (actually, it starts as soon as I reach the ticket queues - pictured right). I try hard to keep calm but perpetually fail and resort to a shot of Rescue Remedy to settle my nerves. I dearly wish I could overcome this inexplicable tube phobia.

Another inexplicable thing is that, when I’m walking from the tube station to the studio, I rush. Last week I had no reason to rush. I had plenty of time to amble slowly along the street and enjoy the leafy London suburb. When I’m in London for pleasure I stroll from A to B - I certainly don’t rush - and am even learning to look around! Maybe when I’m on my way to work I feel the need to appear as though I’m in a hurry, that I mustn’t be stopped or delayed because I am on my way to somewhere or something important. I’m no psychologist, but it does make me wonder if I subconsciously induce this officious demeanour and cause myself to get all hot and bothered unnecessarily.

Anyway, I shall not dwell on these strange anomalies as, with any luck, I will be able to relax in a car again next time I have a voiceover job. Last weeks work was the conclusion of six months post-production on Dr Who and, whilst I cannot reveal what is left to come in this current series, I will say that the final few episodes are positively explosive! Come to think of it, I may have the answer to my travel tribulations… does anyone know where I can buy a Tardis?!


Jonathan said...

Excellent post! I'm working in London at the moment, and can relate to a lot of what you wrote about the underground.

Depending on your mood, it can either be really interesting (in a people watching kind of way), or intensely annoying...

Anonymous said...

..and the pictures are now much more straight ...... is everything ok ??

Sparkly Songbird said...

Thanks Jonathan.
I imagine that commuting by train this week would be worse than any of my travel related nightmares! Total chaos by all accounts!
Best Sparkly Wishes xx

Sparkly Songbird said...

Hello Mr/Ms Anonymous...
I am glad you have noticed the improved quality of my photographs! I have discovered that if I hold the camera straight then the photos come out straight too! Genius!