Apologies to all those who have arrived here from Slate, Wired, Guardian, BBC and the National Review, but this queue is now over.
Off to the Post Office in Leicester as this is the nearest P.O. to me that issues International Driver’s Permits on the spot. I needed the permit straight away as it looks like I’ll be driving a motorbike while in the Congo. Although don’t tell my insurance company.
It was quite a long queue. And rather rowdy too, with much talking and laughing within the ranks. I had not been standing in the queue for a couple of minutes when a lady shot past on my right and planted a kiss on the cheek of a gentleman three persons ahead.
That’s her above. The fuzzy beige shape with buttons up the back of her legs.
She was very pleased to see the gentleman and was quite flirtatious. She often touched his arm and even placed her hand on his chest, twice. She clearly thought him a good catch, even though in his right hand he carried a McDonalds Happy Meal.
That’s him there, with his dreads in a ponytail.
It was at this point when the two ladies behind me, who were strangers to each other, started commenting on whether the Lady in Beige intended to keep her appropriated place in the queue. If it was not for her lascivious behaviour I’m sure that they would not have tutted quite so loudly, but tut they did. And I’m rather certain that the Lady in Beige heard one of their tuts, with her chosen response being to merely run her fingers through her full bodied head of hair. The vixen.
I actually didn’t mind so much, and rather enjoyed her show. She was very good at it and, although she was neither posh nor a market stall holder, she said Darling quite a lot, especially to the gentleman in front who she occasionally banged into with her bag. I am sorry Darling.
As we made our way around the barriers, and approached the front of the queue, yet another lady passed me on my right, but this time with a small boy in tow who was also carrying a McDonalds Happy Meal. She was delighted to see the Lady in Beige, and the Lady in Beige also showed delight but stepped away from the man with the Happy Meal.
That’s the edges of Lady number 2 and small child, to the right of the picture.
Cashier number 4 please, Cashier number 6 please, and the group were soon at the front of the queue. The Lady in Beige skilfully turned her back to the counters so that she could chat to the couple and also be at the front of the group, and once Cashier number 7 please was announced she was Lovely to see you Darling, and you Darling, and made her way to the counter.
I could still hear her Darlings when I was at till four, although to be fair, she wasn’t that far away from me.
As I leave tomorrow, the day before Valentine’s Day, Cashier number 4 wondered how I would get all my Valentines cards if I was already off on my travels. I was feeling rather bold and answered that I would get them all forwarded to me in a great big parcel. “To the Congo?” she said, “you’ll be lucky.”
She’s right. There’ll be no post and probably not any queues either. Although should I happen to chance upon one, I can guarantee that it will feature here on Standinaqueue.
I will, in a couple of weeks, be starting a new blog. One that is more appropriate to my location. Although the address of said blog is yet unknown, as well as the topic, but once decided I’ll post the address here and would love it if you all came along.
The time spent here at Standinaqueue has been rather lovely, and for that I thank you all.
Samantha spent Saturday night smashing up her built-in wardrobe with a hammer. And so Sunday morning brought with it a phone-call to drive both her and a pile of plywood to her local tip.
Unfortunately her local tip is not like our rural affair in Market Harborough, but is instead smack bang in the middle of the city of Leicester and is shared by a significant number of DIY weekend enthusiasts.
Here we have an aerial shot of the queue leading into the tip, which Samantha took from the roof of our car.
It was not a fast mover, and most had turned off their engines. This however led newcomers to believe that we were parked and not queued, and so they tried to enter the skip by driving past we patient queuers, who incidentally were all tuned in to BBC Radio 4. Or so I like to think.
In the above picture is a cheeky chap who soon learns the error of his ways and is compelled to make a hasty retreat, and shown below a second chap who, clearly rather embarrassed by his unwitting attempt to queue jump, decides to turn around and leave the area completely.
There were those who avoided the queue by entering and leaving the tip on foot.
Despite signs forbidding that you should do so.
And finally, here is the queue master, the chap in neon in charge of the barrier.
Who was terribly nice and called me ‘pal’ twice.
However do not let this distract from the fact that he waved in a friend driving a large white van who, after the removal of two strategically placed traffic cones, was able to enter the tip ahead of the queue.
PS. News about my imminent trip to the Congo and, more importantly, the future of Standinaqueue will be given this weekend.
Coming up to lunchtime on a Friday afternoon, which for a lot of people is the start of the weekend. I joined the anxious-to-get-home workers in HSBC and stood in the small queue, ready to pay in a cheque.
Although only two people ahead of me, it was a slow moving affair as those already at the counter were doing their end of week banking.
Either that or they were both going through the complicated process of purchasing endangered orangutans which are on sale this month.
A few minutes passed and the queue quickly grew, but with only one person ahead of me I was quietly confident that HSBC would not run out of orangutans by the time I got to the front.
It was at this point that the fellow who works at the welcoming desk, I suppose the concierge, approached the queue and asked if anyone was waiting to make a deposit.
Of course we were. We all were. But we all knew full well that he wanted to take us over to the machines. From past experience, there was no chance that I would be depositing my cheque into a machine. I’ve opened the slot before and found an envelope already sitting there, full of somebody else’s cash. Once in Falmouth I had a cheque disappear for two weeks and was told that there was no evidence of it anywhere, despite my receipt proving the contrary.
I stood my ground and waited in the queue, along with everyone else. However after a second attempt the concierge managed to pick off the weakest member of the queue, the lady at the very back.
A couple more minutes later and I deposited my cheque and was almost finished with the day’s banking. I just needed to see someone about getting a new card. Someone who was now stood in a queue for the Deposits machine, waiting to show the lady how to bank a cheque.
That’s him in the white shirt. Making mundane comments about the marvels of modern technology. The lady next to him made appropriate noises to show that she was impressed. But she clearly wasn’t. And neither was I. I had to wait several minutes until the pair were finished and thus created another queue in the middle of the bank. Quickly joined by two others, we all did our very best not to get in the way.
I’ve noticed in this Asda and the one in Manchester, that there is a red line that divides the tills from the main shop.
I’m afraid that although this separates the shopping experience from the packing your bags part of a shop, this demarcation upsets me terribly as it passes right through the queuing area.
Joining the queue till-side of the line is comforting and inclusive, however if the length of the queue pushes one over the line, shop-side, then you are forced to stand in this newly created no man’s land.
One wants to belong to the till area but you are instead made to feel painfully aware that you are actually in the shopping area and therefore in the way of persons still shopping. Note in the above picture how the man, made to feel self-conscious by the line, has put his trolley side on in the queue to take up less space.
I do not think that I would be taking things too far if I stated that this red line takes the pride out of queuing.
I found a designer label for less at TK Maxx and so we headed to the cashier.
It didn’t take long to settle into the queue and Sarah started to deliberate over whether she should go back for that purple top or not.
Before she could decide whether she should or should not, another cashier arrived and we were called to her counter. Next Please!
By the time we walked round Sarah had forgotten completely about the top. If service had been slower, I’m sure she would have gone back for it.
There was ice falling from the sky when I purchased my petrol, and a well intentioned chap was queuing up inside to pay while his wife braved the elements and filled up their Mondeo.
That’s him to the right of the picture, clutching the Leicester Mercury. The chap at the counter actually arrived after Mr Mondeo, but wifey outside hadn’t quite yet finished filling up, so Mr Mondeo offered his place to this second chap by taking a step back from the queue and pointing towards the cashier with his Mercury.
“All yours mate.”
He stepped forward back into his place at the head of the queue, and was seemingly confident that his wife would have finished filling up by the time the second chap was finished.
However, Mr Mondeo didn’t account for Sheila coming off her break and opening up a second till. Wifey outside was still not yet finished and I was guided to Shelia by a folded Leicester Mercury.
This is why we British know not to chat in a queue.
This youtube video was brought to you today by Gary Wood.
Took a trip to our nation’s capital yesterday and was interested, after a previous visit, in seeing whether the Londoners had figured out yet how to use their new Taxi Rank. But it seemed the big skive is still on and there was not one taxi-dependent London type in sight. Instead just a queue of taxis.
I was on the Kings Road at lunch time and, as its not the type of place where you can find a Greggs, I instead went to Boots for a Meal Deal.
The reason for this I found out when making my purchase, which was that a Meal Deal here in Chelsea costs £3.30; 31 pence more than other Boots across the country.
No wonder business was slow. Not even rich people can afford a 10% price hike like that.
Later on in the evening I met up with Alice and Charlotte, who queued together for a cashpoint.
Being young and carefree, they ignored the pressures of society and withdrew money quite openly in front of each other, without any attempt of concealing their pins.
At the end of the night they also queued together at the ticket machine in Oxford Street tube station.
And seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Oh, to be young.
May I thank you all for allowing me some leeway over the Christmas and New Year period, and I am well aware that I promised to stand in queues as soon as this year, that we’re already comfortably in, began. However, there does seem to be a hiatus of queues in British towns of late and I wonder if this has anything to do with the big skive that we heard much about last week.
This Saturday afternoon just past, I went to visit my older sister in the city of Leicester and was prepared to have at least three queues under my belt by the time darkness fell. Unfortunately, despite being in a prime location at a prime time, I have only two queuing situations to report on.
The first was in Tesco.
With my sister’s trolley full it was time to head to the checkouts and I anticipated, with a certain degree of excitement, that we could be in for a small wait.
Although it was at this point that Samantha realised that she’d forgotten to pick up Saturday’s Guardian, and so off I was made to trot.
And by the time I got back she was already packing.
The queue had already happened, without me in it.
Fresh out of Tesco’s car park we went to fill up at the petrol station, and I hoped that here at least there would be a small line of people waiting inside the shop.
But alas it was not to be as we could, and did, pay at the pump.
After lunch, we caught a matinee at Leicester’s Odeon and again I expected to queue.
But we were stood here only briefly and within no time at all Samantha was purchasing two adult tickets for Miss Potter.
Leaving the queuing area empty except for one small girl.
Although in the above picture you see her in a moment of contemplation, just after this photograph was taken the small girl, with the rebellious nature of a Dadaist, showed utter disregard for the rules set in place by the queue dividers, ducked under the red ribbon, and ran in a full circle around the metal stand.