February 24, 2004
Beautiful Slough

Well - the office move happened. I am now getting used to commuting from NorthWest London to Slough. It’s not too bad really - I have a choice of ways in which to get to Ealing Broadway - starting with the Route79 bus of course - perhaps hopping on to another bus along the way - or maybe even the tube. At Ealing Broadway I have to jump onto a train that started it’s journey at Paddington - and probably finishes it’s journey at Oxford or some other provincial English town - but stops at Slough along the way.

It seems that Slough is fast becoming a really fashionable place to be. Kind of like the new “Dallas”. And I am told that this is because of a really popular BBC comedy series called “The Office” - which amazingly won a Golden Globe award recently. I have never watched that show - but because of it everybody in the world, it seems, now knows about Slough! Well - I suppose it takes some of the depressing edge off the fact that we relocated there from Hammersmith.

Click here to read one of my really early postings about venturing out of the office in Slough when I was visiting there a couple of years ago.

You see the problem with Slough is not so much the office, my new office is actually a bit nicer than the one in Hammersmith - very spacious, not too far from the station - practically next door to two major shopping malls (Queensmere and Observatory) and a humungous Tesco. No - the problem is three-fold:

  • Firstly: It’s the name “Slough”. It’s hardly a glamorous sounding name. It just doesn’t sound cool to say “I work in Slough”.
  • Second: It’s the location - Slough is the London-end of what commuters often call the “M4 corridor”. However, the image of Slough is not one of hi-tech buildings nestling amontst idyllic green meadows and pastures - no - Slough is far from being “London” - and far from being “countryside” - it’s not even stuck in the middle of those two things. It’s more like a giant industrial estate with a provincial shopping centre and council estates bolted onto one end.
  • And thirdly: the people. I hate to be egotistic here - but the people of Slough seem so - er “cold”. It’s hard to describe really. I know that many people would say that Londoners are “cold” - but if that’s the case then I’m positively “hot” compared to the people of Slough! I dunno - I’m not sure what it is - but I get given funny stares by everybody I walk past in Slough. Expressionless ones. That’s just not done in London.

Anyway - I’m sure we’ll get used to it. Here is a picture of our office - on a street called Wellington Street - which is one of the main roads that runs though Slough. (I have “smudged” out my employers’ logo in case you wonder.)

The office at Wellington Street in Slough
(Don’t you think it looks a bit like an Embassy Suites hotel in Florida?
It has an atrium that certainly looks like one!)

Somebody in the office asked me to consider relocating the office to a Carribean island - since it is known that I am a bit of wiz with Photoshop. So I did. I created a picture-postcard that we could use as a “wallpaper” for our Windows on our computers. So, Slough has now become “Beautiful Slough” - and Wellington Street has now become “Wellington Beach” :

Now relocated to Wellington beach in Beautiful Slough.

(Actually - the request I got was to produce a holiday-postcard-style wallpaper that would include more than just a nice beach. The above image is crop of the original, more-titillating-for-men image. Click here to see the full picture - starring an Indian fashion model called Kavita Verma.)

Posted by jag at February 24, 2004 10:56 PM

Jag, if I had known the real Slough you are showing here I would have never, never gone back.
I am coming …
Many greetings from snowy Munich

Posted by: Thomas on February 24, 2004 11:12 PM

Hi Thomas! Greetings to you too. So glad to see you back here after so long! Still snow in Munich? That’s just too bad - the sun is shining and it’s hot-hot-hot over in Slough! :-)
Hope all is well with you - and hope to see you again sometime.

Posted by: Jag on February 24, 2004 11:22 PM

Actually Thomas: in case you didn’t see them - I took some pictures of snowy Munich when I was there a couple of weeks ago:

Posted by: Jag on February 24, 2004 11:25 PM

Only a Londoner could describe Oxford as ‘some other provincial English town’… ;-)

Posted by: James on February 25, 2004 12:42 AM

Ah - now you may have to change yur blog title tagline to
Half of my journey to and from work in Slough is a 30-45 (presuming) minute bus + tube ride through Ealing Broadway. London Bus Route 79 - from Alperton in West London to Queensbury in North West London.
PC : A request : Next time - dont name images which contain words like “girl” and “beach” . The wellington-beach-no-girl-blur.jpg didnt load because it contained the word -beach-no-girl and was blocked by the server in the computer facility (We have very strict rules here)

Posted by: sat on February 25, 2004 04:55 AM

One more thing to be added to the previous one. Probably it may take some time to get adjusted to life in Slough, just like it probably did in Hammersmith.

Posted by: sat on February 25, 2004 04:59 AM

Ever since you first mentioned that your office was moving to Slough, that poem by John Betjemin kept going through my head - well, only the first line, because that’s all I could remember. Now I’ve finally made the effort to find the entire text. It would be interesting if he were still around to do an update.

Posted by: David on February 25, 2004 08:30 AM

James: Isn’t Oxford just another English provincial town then?

Sat: Yes I’ll have to change some of the words in by top-banner now. And you probably better off seeing the pic with the girl rather than the one without the girl anyway!

David: I have seen that poem by the great former British Poet Laureate before. I think I can really see the point of some of the sentiment! Not sure he’s still around though - he may have passed away a few years ago I think.

Posted by: Jag on February 25, 2004 12:18 PM

Good luck with your new job Jag.…I love the look of Southall…hope some day I get a reason to go there. And your postcard of Slough by the sea is wonderful :-) Don’t you miss route 79?

Posted by: sue on February 26, 2004 10:01 PM

Hi Sue - sorry to correct you ever so slightly here: first: not a new job - just relocating - our office in Hammersmith is closed - and we have all moved to join folks at another office in Slough. Secondly: since Route 79 is my local bus - it still forms an essential part of my journey to and from work - even Slough! Yes - I get 79 to get to Ealing Broadway now (to catch a train to Slough) - instead of switching to the Picc tube at Alperton. Of course - I still have to switch at Alperton - only now I switch onto a Route 83 to get to Ealing Broadway. So - not abandoning my beloved Route 79 just yet. If I had to that I’d be gutted!

Posted by: Jag on February 26, 2004 10:11 PM

ha i know your company i live on the same road as that i spose u didnt say the name for a reason but ill say it has something to do with phones

Posted by: cloud on May 21, 2004 06:08 PM

Hi again Cloud! Yep - you guessed right! Now you know where I work - so maybe if you see me - you give me a sign one day - and if we “connect” I will take you out to lunch and we can have a natter about beautiful Slough! :-)

Posted by: Jag on May 21, 2004 09:34 PM
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