Friday, 19 December 2008
It was not to be. The exciting, new, 7.15am train just didn't happen and it took the best part of 3 hours to complete the journey to work. Fortunately Hitch and I had a lot to catch up on so we didn't mind the slow trains as much as we might have.
It does seem to me that the change to the timetable just seems to confuse the whole network and we all have a bad day as a result.... So may I suggest something?
On the first day of a new timetable, work from home or take the car.... if you can....
Thursday, 27 November 2008
I must note that we've had some exciting new announcements on my little journey to work - "in this festive season, please do keep a look out for any suspicious items OR PEOPLE and report them to a member of staff or a police officer".
Yes, how festive.
Yes, officer, that man over there. The one who looks like he isn't from round here....
That's gonna work.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
However the really exciting thing was seeing the train driver walk past my window.
It's a bit like seeing the pilot of your plane walking on the wings.
Monday, 20 October 2008
"Is Political Correctness the new Orthodoxy?"
Political correctness stiffles thought and opinion. Welcome to a world of mediocrity, shades of grey and no real colours.
I feel bored just thinking about it.
Monday, 13 October 2008
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Now I know this is a bit strange sounding but please stay with me on this:
I was on the train this week and had to go to London for some meetings. I was working hard on my laptop, attempting to get the 3g card to work for more than 30 seconds at a time.
At Reading, a large young lady placed herself none too gracefully in the spare seat next to me, thus pinning me against the window.
I managed to ignore her in true British style but I did manage to note the items on the tray table in front of her:
1. Large chocolate chip muffin.
4. Romantic novel.
She took a while to settle, eat the muffin, lick all the chocolate off her fingers (I am not joking) and then turn her attention to the Ipod.
She placed the earpieces in her ears, selected the playlist and then, to my shock, pulled her dress away from her body and placed the ipod in her BRA. She then did the same with her phone on the other side.
Now I don't want you to get the idea that I was watching her every move but I was shocked to the core when I saw out of the corner of my eye what she was doing.
Later on she started a very loud phone chat with some mate to whom she said "CAN I TELL YOU A SECRET?" (Imagine here the whole carriage silently willing the person at the other end to say "no"). "I SPENT £500 ON CLOTHES THIS MONTH AND I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH ON WINE AND OTHER BOLL**CKS".
I tell you no lie that I saw her at the Burger King stand at Paddington.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Sadly I have been running so hard that my right knee is giving me some proper pain which makes running for the train a bit of a challenge. You see I've been falling into the trap of assuming the train will always be a minute or 2 late at the station even though they leave soooo much time for us to get to our destination.
This morning I was just pulling in to the car park as the train was pulling in to the platform.
A very ungainly hobble on to the platform was followed by a round of applause from my fellow passengers.
We'd be standing there for a couple of minutes and then, without explanation, she let go of her bag and it toppled over smacking me in the goolies.
Of course one makes light of the situation but it really hurt...
Many bad words uttered under my breath.
Monday, 8 September 2008
And so I made my way to the station feeling slightly pressured as I had to leave for a client meeting fairly soon after arriving at the office.
But by the time we arrived at Reading, we had made up ALL the time we had been late by and in fact arrived early.
Collyn was clearly delighted by this and made us all fully aware of the fact we'd caught up! Now I was very pleased but it did point out one thing to me.... What a nonsense the time table is. Given the fact that the train arrived 16 mins late and arrived 1 min early, the train could depart at 7:29am thus allowing me to stay in bed until about 6.30am
It's just not fair. I want to stay in bed longer.
Friday, 5 September 2008
I decided to take the 4x4 to the station on account of all the rain and the forecast floods, disaster and general pestilence. This car doesn't go as fast and I left late to get to the station.
Also, in my haste, I managed to overshoot one of my turnings thus delaying myself further.
The praying that was going on was only punctuated by the screeching tyres as I took another corner a bit quick in order to get to the station - Sarah Kennedy (Radio 2) informed me that it was 7.13am already. My train departs at 7.12 so I thought I'd had it....
So you can imagine my suprise when I screamed in to the station car park and saw the train still there...!
I parked badly, grabbed my bags and ran like the wind. And then the car wouldn't lock properly so I had to go back. And then run again.. As I made it on to the platform, unbelievably, the train was still there! Up the steps I went, running as if through water shouting the immortal words at the top of my voice "wait for me! Wait for me". And he did.
I saw the highly efficient, much respected and frankly wonderful train manager. He looked at his watch, then at me with his finger hovering over the "LOCK ALL DOORS" button. I ran towards him and said as I approached:
"You are a beautiful man".
He smiled and let me on. And we left on time (according to his watch).
Managed to leave my phone in the car and didn't get a car park ticket either... Ooops.
Friday, 29 August 2008
Apparently he was unable to re-open the doors for the late running passenger because if he did, "the information would be recorded on the black box and I'd have to explain why I'd opened the doors and made the train late".
I didn't know that trains have black boxes as well. It seems that whatever they do, the train staff will be called to account.
Shame it's not really their fault but that of their management / Network Rail when things go wrong.
Small comfort for the lady left on the platform but I do understand poor Collyn's dilemma. Over the last year and a half, this train has taken longer and longer to reach destination.
Therefore any departure from the time timetable (aka List of Suggestions) is definitely going to bring all kinds of grief down on Collyn.
I imagine that FGW must have this list Gestapo like department who diligently download all the data from the trains and look for any problems and mistakes. This information must then be passed up the line to the enforcement staff who probably take Collyn aside at the next opportunity and beat him with sticks..
That's why he has a limp.
shirt, v-neck jumper and some brown boots.
Apparently Suzannah used to go out with Prince Andrew in her younger days and her family were (I quote RGJ here) "very disappointed that she didn't bag the catch".
All this is alleged and there is no proof for any of the above.
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I can now complain about something other than the trains though. I've had to find a new route to the station due to no less than 3 sets of roadworks along my route, all of which involve traffic lights etc.
Some might say I am change-adverse.
I think I may have wasted many hours just worrying about things that really I didn't need to. All made worse by feeling like I had sand clogging my head up and little streams of mucal matter emitting from my nose.
Sometimes lemsip isn't enough. And it's so difficult to get motivated again for the work year. I try to muster it up but really how excited can one get about then telling your clients that they can't have what they want for ages and that, no really we are a proper organisation with some integrity.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
But all the time, I've had this nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I have to go back to work at the end of the month.
And I'm scared of what I will find when I do get there. Some churning mess of confusion and blame no doubt.
And I will feel utterly powerless to sort it out.
But what I'm really ticked off about is that it just sits there in the back of my mind - never quite going away. HOW DARE IT.
It really ticks me off...
Friday, 15 August 2008
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Major Clanger noted in one of his recent responses on this 'ere blog that we all have choices - it is something given to us by God.
I often have a nagging doubt about this.. Am I really qualified to make the choices in my own life? I'm probably better qualified than most I suppose (definitely more qualified that the government who seem to thing they should have this right on your behalf)...
I am not sure if I've really made the right choices over the last 3 or 4 years. I love the outcomes... don't get me wrong - I live in an amazing place with a lovely wife and beautiful daughter...
I just wonder if I should have done something else.... Go to Africa to dig wells, become a policeman.... all sorts of different ideas.... None of them involving travelling across the country every day and dealing with stress...
So another choice presents itself... what do I do now?
Sunday, 10 August 2008
It is often said that there is no scientific proof of God. It is also true to say that there is no scientific way of prooving there is no God. (Interestingly, type into Google the Lennox, Dawkins debate - very interesting).
From my point of view, I see God the creator in all things around us. It is a marvellous thing to behold the beauty of my baby girl who was, without a doubt, "created". That she has come into being and is so perfect is, in the words of my good friend "Major Clanger", just a nonsense. There is no logic that is navigable by man that can persuade me otherwise.
On the other point raised - about Islam and Christianity - it is true to say that many people have been killed in the name of these religions. I would say that this is more due to man's choices about these religions.
Christianity is all about grace and peace. I cannot speak for Islam.
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
If Northern Rock had been properly regulated and the Chancellor of the day had made borrowing a bit more difficult, they might not be in the trouble they're in.
However, my main point is somewhat contradictory.
Labour cannot help but meddle in everything. They think it's their job. Bit of legislation here, bit there and before you know it, the free market is swaying and stumbling under so much regulation that it's impossible to call it a free market.
Northern Rock is an example of where they should probably have stayed out of it. House prices - another. Just let the system find an equilibrium and stop faffing about.
You see it comes down to one basic premise. Labour don't trust the general public to make their own decisions. We apparently all need to be looked after and saved from our inevitable mistakes because we are so stupid, we just can't do it on our own.
What a load of nonsense. Some of us are actually quite clever. (Maybe not me but people I know).
Monday, 28 July 2008
Everything seems more expensive, money doesn't seem to go as far. Petrol / diesel is a nightmare. Every little thing seems to take more commitment..
It's easy to look for people to blame - partly I blame myself for the stupid length of commute I do. Partly I blame the government....
But I guess the biggest problem we have at the moment if we ignore the financial mess we are in is the fact that the family and everything traditional we have benefited from in this country has been under attack by the liberal left.....
You know the stuff.....
1. Belief in God is an immature delusion.
2. Disciplining children is unfair on them and makes them sad.
3. Health and Safety is everything because we're all so afraid of getting hurt - so afraid that when the real thing happens, we're massively unprepared for it - I mean emotional as well as physical.
4. Hunting animals is bad.
5. The idea that all faiths are basically the same and they should all merge into one "conciousness".
I really really hate all that twaddle. I can't tell you how much I resent the liberal agenda for what it's done and continues to do to this country..
Liberalism stands for nothing.
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Truth is I've been disparaging enough about FGW. I've written about my fellow travellers... what else is there to say??
Well I think I'm going to focus on nice things from now on (unless I get really angry)..
Watch this space.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
1) Lots of people miss the train as they usually expect it to be late.
2) The FGW staff do a little may-pole style dance of celebration. Which then makes the train late.
Collyn the train manager was very keen to tell us that we'd have to wait at Oxford for a bit and that there was nothing wrong with the train or the track and that we were just early... How cynical does he think we are.....
Sunday, 22 June 2008
There are some things that lighten the load - generally the jolly good chaps one meets on the way to and from work.
Sadly in recent months our numbers have been depleted by people finding jobs closer to home - mainly to do with not wanting to get up so early in the morning for a train service that threatens to mess up your day, every day.
The list of fallen is as follows:
Mini-crasher (has accepted a new job)
Royal Green Jacket - considering something closer to home
I am sometimes lonely on the platform. And for someone with as much verbal diohhrea as me, this is difficult.
Thursday, 19 June 2008
But yesterday I had enough.
He said the following line about 700,000 times:
Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. We're on final approach to Reading now. If you are leaving us here, please ensure you have all of your personal possessions with you and retain your tickets for inspection at the barrier.
And don't forget your brollies. It is wet out there so please take your brollies with you. Once again, don't forget your brollies. Please check you haven't left your brolly behind.
I don't think he likes collecting up brollies at the end of the journey somehow.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
I always make a point of saying good morning/ evening or thankyou to these chaps because so many people pass by without so much as a smile.
I do this also because it makes me feel a bit special and better than everyone else...
Anyway, today on my way home, the chap at the gate was looking the other way. I said to him:
"Good evening chief".. he looked round in suprise, then recognition and said:
"Alright bruv?" and gave me an affectionate tap on my elbow.
I can honestly say this brought a smile to my face after a difficult day and put me in a good mood for the faultless journey home.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Thursday, 29 May 2008
He got off, failed to notice it was lashing down and then walked in to a really really deep puddle on the platform... which he failed to notice... for a few seconds at least so engrossed was he...
And then when he did lower himself to this mortal place, he tried to pretend nothing had happened.
But we all knew. All of Oxford knew.
TrainMan has been in touch (see previous posts). It seems his experience of commuting has been a joy! Git.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Life isn't really simple because sometimes one has to travel to where the work is in order to support family and so on. One therefore makes a decision as to which way to travel. I have chosen the train because, at the moment, it is slightly better than driving. I am actually reconsidering this decision so TrainFellow may become CarFellow...
Reference comments about "accepting public transport is unreliable". Sorry. Can't do that. I've been to France, Germany etc and their systems are a dream compared with our under-invested railway.
I don't blame the staff though... generally. Unless they do something really blameworthy. Like stop at the wrong station.
I do blame middle management though as this is, I'm sure, where most of the dodgy decisions are made.
Monday, 19 May 2008
Someone anonymous responded to me telling me to get a job somewhere else. Sadly the world is not as simple as this and, if given the opportunity I would work within 1/2 a mile of my house. Sadly this is not possible as my skill set is very specific.
So that's why Mr Anonymous.
Friday, 16 May 2008
Having examined the whole thing, it seems that the one and ONLY change is that my train is now 6 mins earlier with no change in time on arrival at Reading.
So what do I get for this 6 mins wasted in my life. A free croissant maybe? Pay for wasted time? No. Jack All. Nothing.
Per week I will lose 1/2 an hour of my life to this wretched company FGW. Over the course of a year (excluding delays, cancellations, pestilence, famine etc) I will lost something like 20 hours.
FOR NOTHING. No advantage. Not even at work earlier. WHAT ARE THESE IDIOTS DOING?????????
One expects that if your train time is changed you get one of the following:
1) Destination earlier
2) An extra stop
3) A extra service they can fit in somewhere due to the change
4) At least something of value to someone.
All I hope is that the children miss the train and get a later one and then I won't have to listen to their incessant showing off and so on. And I won't have to look at their shabby uniforms.
I saw an ex-Dean Close pupil on the train tonight who was very well behaved. What a refreshing change.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
I don't know about you but when I was at public school, we were expected to be neat, tidy and above all, to be "Ambassadors" for the school. This meant being well turned out and acting in a decorus manner.
(The irony of this is not lost on me - hurrah for the public schools who were not afraid to treat their puplis as free advertising and therefore contributed to the commercialisation of children...)
These children are a mess. Their uniforms are hardly consistent (therefore calling in to doubt whether they are actually uniforms) and often hanging off them in a most loutish manner.
Anyway, I just wish they'd keep it down a bit. I lost my way right in the middle of a quadratic equation and had to start all over again.
Or am I just being an old git.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Maybe it's because everyone needs to have the benefit of your conversation. Oh no. We don't.
This man angered me.. I honestly thought he was going to sit in the vestibule area and take his call but instead he walked up and down like a caged lion.
Have you noticed people doing this - I have seen a few - the ones who have a compulsive need to pace up and down when talking on the phone - I've also seen security guards doing it 'cos they think it makes them look important.
Stop it. Sit down. Shut up... or talk quietly. The technology in phones these days really is very good and it makes no difference if you shout or not.
Monday, 5 May 2008
So I was suprised to see an article in the Telegraph today on a similar subject:
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
So you can imagine my suprise when I was walking through the train the other day and I glanced unintentionally at this chap's screen and saw the imortal title:
Clearly this is not the sort of thing you want to advertise....
Unless you are trying to wind me up - which would be very funny if you are...
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Visaman - changed jobs for something closer to home - less money, more life.
Train-totty - changed jobs for something much much closer to home - less money more life.
There is a theme here.
I am now a lonely commuter.
Thursday, 17 April 2008
Also in close proximity is Platform 8 which has probably about 1/2 the number of trains to Paddington.
So when you are on a train coming in to platform 5, it is normal practice to put your hand out of the window to undo the door (waiting of course for the selective door system to be unlocked / fixed)...
But what happens at Reading is that the door gets opened for you by an angry marauding crowd of commuters who want to get to London. The door is wrenched out of your hand and you are left to topple out. Before the train has even come to a halt there is a mass of humanity around the door in scenes that are not dis-similar to a UN Food Distribution Point in a famine zone. Except these commuters are angrier and have more energy.
And when you get off, they look at you in an openly hostile manner as if to say:
"Get out of the way you low life who only works in Reading. I work in LONDON. I'm so much better than you... Out of the way please, LONDON commuter coming through".....
So we fight our way through and go and pick up one of those faux London papers like "Metro" or "London Lite" and do the Sudoku and wipe our bottoms on them because that's all their good for... Oh yes and for the LONDON commuter to show how important he is because he's been to LONDON...
Ok, I'm done here.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
However, I do write this item with a certain amount of trepidation.
I am writing to congratulate FGW and their staff on providing a largely faultless service over the last few weeks. I have been getting home in time to see Baby Trainfellow before she goes to bed and all because the trains have been on time.
Perhaps this is due to a serious shake up in the management echelons but I have to say to all those FGW staff who are suffering from low moral (not made any better by the Idiot Brown) a very big Thank You. It makes my commute a lot more worthwhile.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
But how cool does it look? I have really started to enjoy watching the odd program on it or looking at photos...
The best thing is that it's not a phone and therefore you won't get interrupted when at a crucial moment!!
So if you want to spend considerably less than £270 on an I-touch, get one of these from Curry's and you'll be quite happy.. Of course it's not as good as an I-touch but it was £70.
Run along now.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Sometimes it is a very loud conversation that forces you to turn up your MP3 / video Player (birthday present - very nice) and sometimes it's hilarious.
So here it is:
".... and I found out it was my neighbour I was kissing".
That's all I heard before my tea started to flow down my nose and out of my ears as I tried to stop laughing.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
They even hinted at sitting on my lap for the journey.... actually they didn't hint. They just asked.
I suggested that Mrs TF might not be so enamoured with the suggestion.. As they got off the train a few stops later, one of them tapped me on the shoulder and said "she's a very lucky girl"..
Of course she is..
So I am going to try and be nice... In the last 3 weeks, I have had only one problem with FGW - a cancelled train.. Other than that, the trains have been on time - even early on occasion. I have been genuinely impressed.
Well done all those people who have worked on the trains, platforms and signals for making the system work. Even with hurricanes, floods etc they've been fine.
In fact my only disappointment was with one of the travelling chefs (kebab van on a train basically.. and that's no bad thing...) refused to make me a bacon and egg baguette because it's not on the menu... even though if I ordered the full breakfast works (including sausage, egg, mushrooms, bacon etc) I would clearly be able to have egg....
The customer host apologised to me... the chef just "didn't want to do it".....
Friday, 14 March 2008
This story was interesting - going in a similar direction to that which I did when writing about the number of suicides on the line between Paddington and Reading.
There is one startling quotation one MP (I'm saddened to say it was a Tory). She said the disruption was "Too much misery for passengers".
I'm inclined to agree but, pray tell, how much misery is "too much"? Surely any misery is unacceptable. Apparantly in the eyes of MPs, no. Some misery must be acceptable.
That's probably what was in "Gordon Darling's" mind when he gave the budget speech........ Anyway, it doesn't affect MPs badly - poor little things.... only 10k to spend on a kitchen... poor lamb....
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
I think it's just good luck that I haven't had a ticket. I did feel very sorry for Train Totty (Visaman's idea, not mine) - she had been a bit blond and scatty and forgotten a lot and had 3 different fines to pay. Poor thing.
Part of me feels quite good that FGW have missed out on a few quid from me. Ha.
Yes, I am that petty.
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
- It makes the place look like a gypsy encampment
- The generator is noisy and ruins the peace and quiet of the station
- The flag is ridiculous
- The caravan should at least be made to blend in with the cotswold scene.
I could go on for ever but instead I have included a photo so that you may judge for yourselves.
She started talking about Prince Harry and the fact that (she says) he treats being in the army as an extention of public school. She said he was talking about what a good time he had and that he was no where near the action of war in Afganistan.
What nonsense and she clearly had no idea of what she was talking about.
1) If you are calling airstrikes (as Harry has been) you are right in the middle of the action scouting the targets for the planes. People tend to shoot at you when you do that.
2) People in front line military units tend to form quite close relationships with each other. This is because they literally have each other's lives in their hands... That's what Harry was referring to when he talked about having good mates around him.
This woman was clearly from the clueless, loony left who have no understanding of the real world but live in politically correct eutopia.
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
But today.. No. Not a hope.
I arrived at the station to be told by Tall Man (aka Duncan) that the 7.18 would not be stopping at Kingham this morning due to problems with the sodding Selective Door Opening.
I went on to the platform in the vain hope that it might stop. Leon even put his head out of his hiding place and told us it might stop.... just as the train tooted at us and accelerated through 100mph as it passed through the station. I had to wait an hour for the next train and ended up arriving at the office for about 10am.
Honestly, how does this sodding company think that this is an acceptable way to run a business? It's a good job my boss is reasonably understanding as he does the same commute (albeit earlier).
I am literally at my wits end with this lot.
The problem was that the selective door opening wouldn't work and all they could do was unlock all the doors.... Which takes us straight back to just before Christmas when they would stop and tell everyone not to get out of certain carriages or risk a fall to a messy and painful death.
My question is then, what has changed? I have an idea that it's those Health & Safety people poking their noses in and making a difficult job almost impossible.
To add insult to serious delay, I couldn't get a seat until I persuaded the Train Manager (Rog I think) that there were actually no seats and that I should be allowed into 1st class where I was set upon my revenue inspection staff (what a great title).
They had been briefed as to my plight - and it's a good thing to for I was armed with the Times newspaper...
I have added below a picture of someone's "hotpants" that somehow had made their way on to the track. The thing that scared me (and should serve as a lesson to anyone who reads this) that after the train had gone by, there was absolutely no sign of the clothing anywhere -
I can only assume the aforementioned hotpants had been minced up and deposited somewhere a couple of miles up the track. As for the girl who was missing her hotpants..... well the mind boggles.....
Monday, 25 February 2008
There seem to be a variety of causes - all of them equally tragic - mis-adventure, suicide - and today's version - possible murder.
The police had to shut the line for 5 and a half hours which had the effect of knackering all the services between London and anywhere else.
You can imagine my delight to see that the train I was due to catch (that I had run for) was cancelled and I had to wait until a lot later - Got home about 8.30ish. Not so bad all things considered.
What I don't understand is why people choose this bit of track - my contact at FGW (Matthew Golton, Special Projects Director) tells me that this piece of track has the highest suicide rate of anywhere on the railway network.
I'm guessing there must be 20 trains an hour out of Paddington - maybe more but let us stay with this assumption. Let us also say that each train can carry on average (gross miscalculation coming up), 500 passengers. The line was shut for 5.5 hours.
Therefore, as a minimum, 55,000 people are affected and that's just the ones wanting to leave Paddington.
Then there's those on the way in and all of the others at stations like Reading who are also affected. Making a wild guess - another 20,000 people in all.
I am making huge leaps and assumptions but let us further agree that we all earn the minimum wage of £5.52 an hour - ok, let's be sensible - we work in Reading and London mainly - more likely to average £22 an hour (£4o k salary - tell me if I'm wrong...) We've all been delayed for a minimum of 1 hour - some much more. Time to recap...
75,000 people in total affected
1 hour delay
£22 per hour
Cost = £1,650,000
That seems remarkably cheap to me. We haven't accounted for the cost of police time, damage etc etc. Let alone the fact that once again I haven't been able to see my baby girl in the evening as she is asleep.
I'd love to hear some official stats on this and see how far off I am..
Yes, I am a sicko but your mind wanders when you're stuck on a platform waiting.
Friday, 22 February 2008
Anyway, you can imagine my state of mind when I get on the train - all I want is quiet and a sip of tea whilst I either check my emails, do a Sudoku or I sleep.
On this particular morning, I noticed nothing different in carriage B apart from a slightly chatty group of people who I assumed would quieten down when more commuters got on, carrying with them their slient air and speach forbidding looks.
Only minutes later, I heard the sound of champagne corks being popped, glasses being filled and shouts of "Cheers". Clearly on a jolly for the day. They got louder and louder and the female laughing in particular was glass shattering.
It went on and on. The funny thing about British society in particular is that we are all afraid of a confrontation with someone who may turn out to be quite violent. This has been illustrated again and again when a reasonable member of society has either been stabbed and killed or prosecuted for standing up to yobos.
I did my bit and got off the train as soon as possible.
However, I did tell someone to turn down their Ipod on Tuesday because they were annoying everyone and I had a lot of encouraging looks from people along with nods of approval..
Friday, 15 February 2008
I realised this today because, as I was standing on platform 4 of Reading station, staring into space, my eyes came into focus on the track in front of me.
And what did I see? I beige / brown "jobbie". Just lying there on the track looking at me. I looked around and there was loo paper and other general nastiness. Surely a public health issue but I don't blame the platform staff for not doing anything about it. I mean, who wants to do that job, especially with an audience.
So, let this be a lesson to you. DO NOT FLUSH WHILST AT A STATION.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
You will have noticed the comments of yesterday and the woman discussing her problems loudly... Today another woman did the same thing whilst her 7 year old daugher listened in. Honestly it was excrutiating.
Some conversations must be had in private and definitely not in front of a daughter who will be deeply affected by it I'm sure. Mind you, sounds like the bloke involved needs to do a bit of growing up.
I mentioned this to the Royal Green Jacket. His suggestion was "sit down opposite her and take notes on the whole conversation, very obviously. When she leans over to say excuse me, this is a private conversation, simply respond: Yes, it is."
I love his style.
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
This lady shared at high volume the details of her recent break up with her ex-boyfriend who was "just being really petty". As a result of the break up she had moved out and is living with her mother somewhere in the Malverns (honestly this woman seemed like she hadn't been outside of London in years).
I can't remember all of the conversation but I know Jules and Visaman both were writing notes. I should point out that this conversation started at Charlbury and went on anabaited until Didcot when fortunately the silly moo had to buy a ticket from the distinguished Roy Harley (I really do like his style - recognisable and reassuring).
The moment her transaction was complete, she was back on the phone to the poor unfortunate at the other end and she just carried on - oblivious to the looks, shakes of heads and people actually changing seats to get away from her.
Visaman and Jules, your contributions please.
Monday, 11 February 2008
Journey home today:
1) The magical mixture of a child and a dog in my carriage. I really couldn't have chosen any better. The poor child (age circa 18months) was clearly tired and needed to sleep hence the semi-tantrum coming from it's general direction. The dog was frightened of the small child hence pitiful whining noises.
And I messed up the Sudoku.
2) The train that had left Reading more or less on time achieve the brillant feat of getting to Kingham 20 mins late. The usual excuses were offered along with the line about "any inconvenience" but actually this is no longer good enough (as if it ever was).
I have to run my life on quite a tight timetable in order to get to work on time, get home, run (those that know me personally will testify to my needing to do this), spend time with beautiful wife and daughter etc etc. I do not have a spare 20 mins in my day to just give away. I know this sounds pathetic and that perhaps I should work closer to home?? Oh, it's too complicated to go into here.
The point is that FGW are supposed to run a "World class train service". How can they even dream this when they describe a train that is 15 mins late as "On Time".
Utter nonsense. I feel another email to the CEO coming up.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
As you will probably know from the news, Rowan has been discussing how Sharia law could come to the UK - albeit only for Muslims who opt to live under it's rules.
My problems with this are:
1) He is Archbishop of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND, not of Islam. As much as it would be nice to see peace between Christianity and Islam, they are different and separate faiths and it is not for the leader of the Anglican church to be an apologist for Islam. I have a lot of questions about Rowan's outlook.
2) The Rule of Law. The UK and it's stability is built upon the Rule of Law (A.V. Dicey 16oo odd). Society is built upon the population being subject to the same laws and conventions with all being equal in the eyes of the law.
We cannot consider having different rules applicable to different people. As a Christian, I still consider myself subject to the laws of the nation I live in - even if I don't quite agree with all of them.
Quite what the AOC thinks he is doing by pusing an Islamic agenda I don't know. If as AOC he is leading Christians in their faith, what does he think he is doing??????????
Not a very eloquent or well thought out item but it does reflect my thoughts this evening. Normal service will be resumed soon.
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
He also raised a good amount of money for charity when he dyed his hair red. Apparantly his bosses at FGW were less amused. Major sense of humour failure.... Leon is a legend and how cool is it that he uses his job to raise money for charity. Outstanding.
I shall wait and see how he gets on with the treadmill....
Monday, 4 February 2008
As a little sort of reminder / welcome back from FGW I was treated to a late train - got "stuck" at Moreton in Marsh... What does this mean? It's not like it's having to make its way across a muddy field.....
Things got worse as the journey progressed. Apparently the automatic braking system was malfunctioning and the driver was trying to resolve it. I do have sympathy for the poor chap as it was chilly this morning. My feet still haven't warmed up from my 25 min wait on the platform (made more bearable by swapping anecdotes with Visaman and the Royal Green Jacket about rugby and how Wales isn't really a country so it doesn't matter that England gave away a few points on Saturday).
Anyway, I wonder if FGW could perhaps give a bit more thought to where the train breaks down as today we were stuck in a cutting with no views to take in. The British Railway network has some of the finest views available to it (and some of the worst - approach to Liverpool Street and approach to Manchester Piccadilly) and if we are going to be stuck, I'd at least like to have a nice view to take in.....
Sorry, I know I'm being unreasonable.
I knew it was going to be really bad when we started moving again and saw a car driving along a parallel piece of road and watching them over-take the train with some ease.
The "train manager" (TM) came on the tannoy and told us the train would "terminate" at Oxford due to an irreparable fault with the train. However, the level of excitement was raised further when the TM announced that they would "try and get the train as far as Didcot as we stand a better chance of getting a connection there". He then said (and I quote) "you never know, we might even make it as far as Paddington".
Part of me felt that this should be their new Corporate Brand Strapline:
FGW - you never know, we might make it to Paddington.
Eventually terminated at Didcot and had to get a connection.
A lovely welcome back.
Sunday, 3 February 2008
At church on Sunday, my good friend Keith was publishing the bans of marriage for a number of people. Among them were some other pals of mine, Brian and Anna.
So you can imagine my suprise when Keith accidentally published the bans of marriage between Brian and ALAN. You could almost see the ripple of anglican disapproval that went round the congregation.....
Poor old Keith.... He got it right the second time round although he did go on to refer to one of the other pastors as "hot".
Friday, 1 February 2008
I've provided some pics of the view from my balcony. Back on the trains next week to see if the newly penitent (that is humble) FGW can do any better.
I am excited to hear that they will be provided a stonking discount on season tickets... Hopefully I'll still be doing the commute to take advantage..
Those of you who know my (tongue in cheek) feelings about northerners will be amused to hear that the course tutor this week was a Dyslexic Geordie with Tourettes' syndrome... Brilliant.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
I understand that the train left bang on time much to the horror of some regulars who are used to the train being late.
I can easily imagine how this happens. Every minute in bed in the morning is precious so you are bound to try and eek out as much time between the sheets as possible. Also a dangerous game to play when you have the likes of FGW providing transport.
So sorry to hear of your troubles Charlbury folk.
Friday, 18 January 2008
Had to mention this chap - wasn't sure what he was wearing but I've never seen anything like it - managed to snap it while pretending to be on the phone.... I really am quite a spy...
This one is another red sock wearer on the train. I love this and it makes me want to wear my colourful socks more often.
This boot looked much redder in real life and it is related to a sock...
Thursday, 17 January 2008
I suppose what I found a little difficult is the lack of appreciation from these ladies that they were speaking at a volume known as LOUDER THAN HELL.
I nearly did what the Royal Greenjacket did one day when dealing with a chap who was stressing out and being difficult to be near.. .I quote:
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
things together. The initiated merely looked out of the window, saw the towering heights of didcot power station and went back to whatever it was we were doing:
Friday, 11 January 2008
Susie of Charlbury, my name is not Lee!
Thanks for the invite to the open meeting. I shall give this some serious thought - it has to be said, David Cameron should be good entertainment and I look forward to the time when he leads this country forward out of the Labour doldrums....... Ooops showing political bias....
Thursday, 10 January 2008
- the fact that the trains haven't been too bad - apart from being consistently late.
- a man with fantastic red socks - much like my own.
- a chap wearing a pin stripe suit and a checked shirt - apparantly this is a social faux pas - I did this once and was reprimanded. However, this chap was much worse. Every 2 mins or so, he snorted in the way of someone emptying their sinuses - really quite unpleasant.
But the thing that has prevented me from writing was a comment that was left on one of my previous posts by someone I can only assume is an FGW employee. In this post (which I have now deleted) I mentioned a number of FGW staff - one of whom was a "Train Manager" with an Australian accent.
Whoever this commenter was, he/she took great exception to my comments about this Train Manager even though I was only really commenting on my own intolerances, not on her.
This FGW person (commenting anonymously of course) described me really quite rudely and with no small amount of swearing. I probably should develop a thicker skin but I was genuinely disappointed by the fact that this person didn't even read the story properly but just unleashed his / her abuse anyway....
Such is the world in which we commute.... Such fun.
Saturday, 5 January 2008
I caught the 16.23 home last night. It was a bit late due some rolling stock failure - given that this sort of thing normally brings the entire network to a grinding halt, they hadn't done too badly - it was onlyu 9 mins late.
However, there was a platform alteration - we all traipsed off to platform 8 and waited patiently. The ticker signs on the platform then changed and told us that there would be a Bristol train in front of ours. No problem, these things happen.. As the "Bristol" train arrived, it suddenly became apparant to the more observant of us that this was indeed the Worcester train and we should get on it.
Unfortunately for FGW their tannoy system on platform 8 was not working properly and many people for Bristol had an unexpected journey north rather than west. Poor things...
If it had been me, I'd have been livid....
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
I can't guarantee it'll last long but we'll give it a go.
I return to my commute tomorrow morning. I am filled with a due sense of dread and misery about my journey. The weather forecast tells me snow is on the way - a great excuse for the train not making it up Norton Bank or whatever they call it.
I also have to leave slightly earlier tomorrow to ensure I have time to approach Leon (the ticket office chap) for a car parking ticket.
More will follow I am sure. In the mean time, safe travelling and may FGW not foul it up too much for you.