Later today, I'll probably be watching the London Marathon from my sofa, feeling sorry for my hard working ex colleagues & current friends who'll be cheering on the runners come rain, snow, hail or shine.
So it was nice that another ex-colleague sent me a copy of a fab looking little magazine called the other side. Its rather snappy subtitle is "The cut and thrust of the Northern Line (not a pirate mag) Foisting its way into your heart."
There's the mag pictured next door to my Saucony trainers purchased at the 2004 London Marathon Expo and still going strong (probably through lack of use more than the quality of the brand).
Apparently "The Other Side began following a conversation with an elderly gentleman onboard the number 73 bus regarding the London Lite. His exact words were 'I wouldn’t wipe my arse with that drivel.' And lo the Other Side was born.
Not only telling you where to go and what to do along the Northern Line, but also entertaining you as you get there. No more will you have to turn to the tabloid hackery of the gutter press to wile away those infuriating minutes when you're stuck in a tunnel. Now you can open a copy of the lovingly fashioned Other Side and the frustration will melt away!"
This month's edition carries a feature called "Wee Here" - "We've all been there, the Tube pulls into Tottenham Court Road and you're busting for a wizz. It's still at best, a four minute walk to the exits. Then it's decision time; where to go, is it that desperate that you resort to the McDonalds bog or can you hold your bladder long enough to make it to the tranquillity of the Oxford Street department store WCs. ....".
There's stuff on the mayoral elections, and a three page feature on Brit film Son of Rambow. It's wowing the critics at Sundance and is released in the UK next week. The director Garth Jennings is interviewed & Spaced actress Jessica Hynes (formerly Jessica Stephenson) also stars in the film and gives her views on writing & a possible Spaced reunion.
Even though the London Marathon takes the cover spot, the writers are less than impressed with the event "On Sunday April 13th, watch a bunch of ruddy idiots run for ruddy charity and show how amazing they are. Go on. Boost their ego and laugh at the fools who dress up in suits of armour and fall over. If you're lucky a smarmy celebrity will sick their guts up trying to impress the world."
If you would like to contribute they are looking for new writers. Like most mags of this size I imagine they won't be able to pay you - but you get valuable exposure which could lead to something else.
Overall it's remarkably like the Northern Line - it's miserable, yet quite funny. It's not exactly polished and could do with some improved finishing, yet it sort of does the job. In magazine terms that's keeping you entertained on your commute. In Northern Line terms that's getting 206,734,000 passengers sort of from A to B each year. I wish them both well.
UPDATE - A few pictures I liked from Sunday's London Marathon: