Donald MacInnes: Two wheels good as I escape the Underground's Circle of hell
In The Red
Donald MacInnes writes Tales from the Water Cooler, which can be found every Saturday on page 2 of i. And, although a financial near-imbecile, he writes a weekly column in The Independent’s Money section, also on Saturdays. He writes regularly on a broad range of subjects in i’s Freeview section and occasionally fills in on Simon Kelner’s daily column when emotionally up to it. @DonaldAMacInnes
Saturday 28 January 2012
Most of you, I'm perfectly sure, have brains enough to live outside London. Sadly, I'm sufficiently deficient in common sense to have forsaken the eagle-swooped glens of my motherland to willingly inhabit one of the capital's higgledy-piggledy boroughs.
This would be all well and good if I worked from home and didn't need to traverse the city's squalid boulevards to earn a dollar. But I don't. So I do.
And although London boasts one of the world's most lemony-fresh, reasonably-tariffed, Swiss watch-like public transport systems (stop that sniggering! Stop it!), a couple of months ago I decided to make the big change and buy a motorbike. Well, a scooter.
Now, there are two reasons for this. One, it was ages since I had dropped several thousand of the Queen's pounds on something Japanese and shiny and I felt the need to do so again. Two, I had just spent a year and a half donating most of my wages to the Tube drivers' magnificent pension funds in order to reach this newspaper's twinkling edifice from my flat at the fag end of nowhere.
As a result of this – and the daily struggle to fight my way through what felt like 162 billion people – I was ready to a) have a loud and troublingly public nervous breakdown and b) start begging for spare change next to an ATM.
In all honesty it was, like me, a no-brainer. I had to do something. There was absolutely no way I could have continued using the Underground's Circle Line. Not only does its name reflect perfectly its place in Dante's descending path of unfathomable misery, but while it may be the perfect way to get from A to B (see earlier), it really is about as economically sane as withdrawing the bulk of your savings in fivers and tenners, marinating them overnight in maple syrup and stuffing them into a termite mound. Or alternatively giving them (unmarinated) to my girlfriend when Tesco has a Buy One Get One Free deal on Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Or cheese.
Therefore, I'm hoping my contribution to Honda's yen mountain will free me from both the inexorable drain on my trust fund (I'm kidding. Do I LOOK like I have a trust fund?) and all those afternoons spent 300ft beneath Oxford Street in a dark, motionless, fetid train.
So, rejoice with me. My mingling with the populace is over. All I have to do is afford £5 a week for motorbike petrol.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Authorities failing in hunt for 'most wanted' tax dodgers who owe HMRC £844m
How to protect your assets if the stock markets begin to head south again
A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university
You'll need £220,000 for a minimum wage in your retirement
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£45000 - £75000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior C...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: GUI Developer (GUI,C#,.NET,VB6)SurreyCompetitive...
£30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior Database A...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony