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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, August 07, 2005
    White noise solution
    It struck me on reading Joe Moran's chapter on workspace that it's precisely ten years since I last commuted. Ten years since I left the world of the office, since so carefully and cringingly exposed by Ricky Gervais, whose sitcom Moran investigates here. There's little about office life I miss, now I'm a home-worker, but I do miss some things about commuting.

    Specifically, I think I miss that space in a day where there was no opportunity to be doing anything else but getting somewhere, and no obligation to be paying attention to anyone else (Moran is good on our unspoken rules of minimal engagement, eg on the Tube). And this precious time gave me the chance to do something I really like: to have a good read. In my first three years of working from home I managed to keep this gap going - keeping the habit of getting up quite early made that possible (Being an ardently underemployed church community worker helped a lot too). Now I've slid into a 'routine' of exhausted late-night TV unwinds, undersleeping and lying-in till the last possible moment required to get to Morning Prayer, that's gone. And I'm the poorer for it.

    But I'm guessing that the Merseytravel experience is different now to what it was in 1995, in one way especially. Then, no-one had mobile phones or laptops. Probably today my reading space would be invaded by other people's loud resumes of last night's clubbing, or stressed salespeople's hot-desking business antics. Hmm... on reflection, I guess the way I would deal with that nuisance, should I ever go back into commuter life, would be quite simple. Buy an iPod. Fill my ears with white noise. And read on.