Health & Safety, SE1

So far I’ve managed to avoid an on-line Elfin Safety training questionnaire at the office. It asks questions about the angle of your computer screen, and what to do if dazzled by incoming sunlight, that sort of thing (did you ever see McKenzie Crook’s H&S training in The Office?).  It doesn’t tell what to do if you trip over the huge yellow Cleaning in Progress sign that sits in the middle of the toilet floor.

The training is also useless the moment you step out of TfL World on to the mean streets of Southwark, SE1. Apart from the mad, bad and dangerous folk who inhabit any inner-city area, the place is full of hazards.  On my ten-minute walk from the office to my cab parking place I am forced to cross Union Street to avoid building works, then worry about scaffolding falling down on me further along the road, at yet more long-term building works (I’ve been doing this journey for four months, there’s no sign of the works ever being completed).  There are bikes chained to posts on narrow pavements, and piles of rubbish bags everywhere.

On the way in I’m often terrorised by that irritating urban phenomenon, groups of runners.  If I use Ewer Street I pass a glass-fronted building housing  a boxing gym.  It’s a strange pastime, boxing.  In the early morning I mused on an imaginary conversation with a friend who might have taken up boxing as a sport:

“So what’s boxing all about then?”

“Well, you put on a pair of giant gloves and hit another bloke repeatedly in the face as hard as possible”.  Presumably the other bloke’s aim is to hit you repeatedly in the face.  Just what you want at 7am under a railway arch in Southwark, I don’t think so.  You might as well just become a Millwall fan and have a fight every Saturday.

I suppose it keeps you fit, but I’m not sure that I see it as a legitimate sport. I suspect boxing appeals to the violent person that lurks inside us all.

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