Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Strange things on a train

Yesterday I went to London. And it was very worth it. Because I'd been asked by our marketing agency to meet someone who is very concerned about reuse, recycling and waste in her sphere of work, which is the student population of London. Although it is really no surprise, the numbers of folks, and the consequences of their living and working in London even for just a few years, are quite staggering. And the nice part is that Junkk.com is already being seen as a potentially very good way to engage with this audience in the areas and ways we know, and perform, best. So look out for some rather fun new initiatives coming very soon!

Moving on, there's no real 'theme' to today's blog (at least none yet... let's see what transpires), but in getting to this meeting a few unconnected things became 'blogworthy', and I guess now’s as good a time as any to mention them.

We're still juggling with the optimum enviro/eco[nomic and logical]/convenience way to do the Ross to & from London trip, and for this one I opted for the train to Paddington from Newport option, with obvious consequent costs either side of that. What was interesting, and depressing, was that in the several weeks since I last did it, the cost of parking at the station had gone from £4 to £5.50. That’s a 37.5% hike which, I'd say, is a tad more than inflation. How on earth are we to encourage good travel practice when such things take place? And unless it is just a summer lull, I could have parked my car sideways across several bays and still had a 30m zone around it, so empty was the lot. Market forces?

Finally, the joys of train travel. Can't really fault it, though between the odd delay here and there my 1 hr 'buffer' was used up and I did only just make the meeting in time. But what I really loved was the total 4hr opportunity I had to read a book, which I have done almost as often as Victoria Beckham in recent years. Just too many emails, reports and articles around Junkk.com's business to fill the day!

Of course the book was about the same thing, but at least it was a book. And what a book it was, despite a misleading quote from that well-known person in this field, Ben Elton (?), saying 'Be scared. Be very scared. But be sure to read this book' (I would have re-written it, Get annoyed. Get very annoyed. Read this book and then get cracking on holding those responsible accountable). But let me recommend 'Rubbish' by Richard Girling.

For what it's worth, and if you're reading this it must be something, I really rate him and his writing, as it is what I aspire to with Junkk.com. He is agenda-free and in no camp but that of common sense, and owes nothing to any side, by they be arboreally amourous, bureaucratic box ticker or grasping capitalist. It is on the whole depressing reading, to be sure, but mainly for the vast waste of time, effort and money that's been worthlessly consumed so far in trying to address… waste.

I need to find him and hopefully make him aware of what we're up to. He posed a few notions I'd like to think Junkk.com would neatly address, and he would be a good person to have onside from whom to seek advice and, if we are lucky, endorsement. Or, if we're really lucky, constructive criticism. There are very few around capable of that skill and if we are to succeed it's one of the most valuable of all.