Friday, 19 December 2008

Cold comfort

The new timetable is working well then.... 1st day and my train was cancelled. More embarassing was the fact that I had my most reverend and excellent friend Hitch (see blog) with me. I was hoping to introduce him to the high speed life I live when commuting.

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 can't be bothered

I confess that, in recent weeks I have not been bothered to write on this here blog.

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.

Grumpy TTF.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Worrying sights

Sometimes on the train one is given a special treat when the train stops somewhere that it has never stopped before - this time it was just outside Goring - very lovely. The hills were very pretty in the Autumn sunshine and the colours of the trees were breath-taking.

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

PC or not PC

I heard a wonderful sounding programme advert on Radio 4 today..

"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


Sometimes it's lonely being a commuter. So you can imagine my joy when Visaman (ex Kingham commuter) got in touch. He has a boring drive to Swindon every day. And he's home by 6pm...

That's part time really.

Git. I'm jealous.


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.

2. Ipod

3. Phone

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


One of the things I have been doing over recent months is running. This is an attempt to stave off the lardy appearance and actually be slightly fit.

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.



So, on the train outside Oxford I was waiting in the queue of people to get off the train and the woman in front of me had one of those wheelie trolley overnight bag things.

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

When we caught up with time

I was slighted vexed to note this morning that my train was to be 16 mins late. I checked this before I even left the house. This was due to an "unstable track bed due to flooding in South Wales."

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 humiliated myself properly this morning.

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

The Black Box

The train was about to leave this morning and I heard the doors lock. This was followed by some pleading sounds and the stern response of Collyn the train manager.

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.

A Right Royal Green Dressing Down

Arrived at station this morning to be greeted by the Royal Green Jacket.

Today is Friday so I am wearing my "dress down" clothes - funky jeans, Gap
shirt, v-neck jumper and some brown boots.

In my humble opinion, flirting with cool but not too much.. RGJ said to me "Is this what it's come to? Dress down Friday."

I know he was baiting me so we went on and had a conversation about the disastrous Trinny and Suzannah.
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".
How does he know these things...

All this is alleged and there is no proof for any of the above.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Back to work with a cold

After 3 weeks off, I steeled myself and went back to work today. It wasn't as bad as I feared although the commute was still punctuated with the usual banal annoucements.

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

Trying to relax

I've had a couple of weeks off work - it's been fun and I've managed to get some decorating done and go away on holiday as well.

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

I warned you about the Buddleia

This incredible plant is able to grow in the most unlikely of places.

As much as I love to hate the monster that is taking over my garden (I cut it back from the washing line today), I do have a sneeking admiration.

Today I found a single Buddleia plant growing out of a crevice on a brick.
No idea how it got there and it's not there any more but here's a pic to show what I mean.


Thursday, 14 August 2008


One of the things I have noticed after many many hours on trains is the frequency and size of Buddleia that grow near railways. They rampage if left unchecked and can be one of 2 things:

1. Beautiful - they have a very pretty purple flower - wow I'm such a girl.

2. Unsightly and weed like. This is often the state I see them in.
Well, in my garden I have one of these bushy plants and it's grown about 75 ft in the last few days. I commented to Mrs TF that we really do need to cut it back as it was approaching the washing line.
And then it rained.
So now it's beyond the washing line and making a concerted effort to get to the other side of the garden, into the neighbour's garden and then on to conquer the world...

I wonder if it's playing a game of Risk with some other Buddleia somewhere..


Tuesday, 12 August 2008


We all have choices to make throughtout our lives - at least from when our parents allow us to make these choices - the age can vary depending on the style of parenting that was adopted for you.

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

Liberals again

I had a welcome comment the other day from someone who feels it is right to argue that God is a delusion of the human mind. This is very much a Richard Dawkins thing I suspect.

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

Northern Flop

It's impressive really. Only a Labour government could get itself in to so much trouble - all of it's own making..

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

I think it's time for a change

I guess we're all finding it a bit of a challenge at the moment.

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

It's been a bit quiet

It's been a number of weeks since I last wrote - that's 'cos I'm boring and have very little to say. I've been trying to think of a new angle to my commute..

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


As I have commented before, when a train is early or on time, this results in 2 things happening:

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

Random meetings

Thankfully one escapes from work at weekends and does one's best to forget the misery, drudgery and pain that goes with the working week.

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.

Poor me.


Thursday, 19 June 2008

Annoying announcements and excitable train managers

So there's this chap that some times runs the 7.12am train. He's ok - very contientious and so on. He has quite interesting eyebrows and a very genuine way about him when he's doing the ticket rounds.

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

The man at the gate

Those of us that frequent Reading station will be familiar with the 3 or 4 different faces we see at the ticket barriers every day. This is especially true for me as I can't be bothered to get my season ticket out of my wallet so I walk up to the gate and just flash my ticket at him without actually getting it out.

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.

Aaaahhhh. Lovely


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Conversations you overhear on the train

Another classic from yesterday from a well spoken man speaking very loudly on his mobile...

"Tell John I hope his rear end isn't too sore after last night"....


Thursday, 29 May 2008

Rain at Oxford

As we all know, the weather has been somewhat unpredicatable over the last week or so. This was exemplified by one commuter getting off the train at Oxford today with ear glued to mobile phone and mind / brain clearly in another far more important realm...

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

To Mr Anonymous, again

See previous post for Mr Anonymous' previous comment.

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

To the anonymous responder

I like it when people respond to this blog. It pleases me - even when people have a little go at me.

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

The dreaded "New Timetable Season"

Tall man greeted me this morning (looking tall and very cool in his new pin-stripe, honestly he's such a loser... ) to tell me that there is a new timetable wef. Monday.

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

The noisy children

I was doing some work this morning on my way to work (taking special care not to be over-looked) and, as we pulled in to Charlbury, the annoying whiney children announced their presence with their inarticulate posturing and general rowdiness.

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

When trains get lost

I imagine that after a while, one station looks like another to your average train driver. Same features -platform, ticket office (most of the time) etc. etc.
But when you get the feeling that neither the driver or the "train manager" (by the way, which one is the other's boss?) has any idea where they are..
Today the manager announced we were approaching Kingham and that if we wanted to get off, we should be in certain coaches... well actually he said "we are approaching Kinfhsdjkfnsjc bnzx cnzbj scszjnpkzx c" because the tannoy is so knackered or the bloke doesn't know how to use it.
The more experienced of us looked around at the surroundings and decided we had at least another 5 mins until Kingham. Indeed we were right as the train had stopped at a station it has never been to before. You actually need special glasses to be able to see it.. or a Turbo train.
The train moved off 3 mins later in an embarrassed shuffle (can you imagine it... I can).
Finally arrived 10 mins late.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

If you do that again, I'll.....

Why oh why would you sit on the train and then, when your mobile rings, get up from your seat and walk up and down the carriage talking to your colleague "Martyn" about goodness knows what...

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

Train Deaths

Some of you will recall my ridiculous post about the cost of a suicide on the line out of Paddington which excluded the loss of the person who died.

So I was suprised to see an article in the Telegraph today on a similar subject:


Sunday, 27 April 2008

Something bad is happening to me

I went to Devon for a few days to enjoy the delights of the English Riviera. Let us be clear, Torbay is not at all reminiscent of St Tropez. I've been there. It's awful and I do actually prefer Torbay with it's slightly down at heel feel to it.

While we were pottering around the South Hams (south Devon for the uninitiated), I came across the stations I hear announced at Reading - such romantic places as Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbott etc.

Mrs TF took a photo of a train - see below:

And as we made our way back up the M5 where the road runs parallel with the railway I tried to see if it was single or double track (sad) and then and train went past and I commented:
"I've probably been on that train".
And I went on to describe the relative merits and pitfalls of an HST (re-conditioned) vs an Adelante and a Turbo.
What have I become? I might have to start calling myself JT or Luke....

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Things you see on other people's laptops

I am reasonably careful to make sure my screen is not overlooked when I am working on the train. This is because I work for a paranoid organisation that would rather nail my privates to the outside of our building than let any information out in to the public domain....

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

The community shrinks

I am saddened to report that over the last couple of weeks my little gang that used to gather together for general support and comiseration has dwindled.

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

I'm SOoooo London

Beware all those who alight at Reading station on platform 5. This is the platform with the highest frequency of trains for London Paddington.

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

I'm almost scared

I am not a believer in the "the law of sod" or fate etc.

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

Not just trains that break down

I've noticed recently that there have been a lot of problems with the now infamous "Selective Door Opening System".

After a few teething troubles, the train staff have sussed everything out and provide useful announcements for the uninitiated and I have turned up my multi-media player because frankly I could make the announcements myself....
Anyway, I have heard the reason given a number of times that the selective door opening failure is behind some cancellations. This has affected me once or twice...

I wonder if the system needs a bit of work to ensure it is a bit more robust.. But that's not what I wanted to go on about..
MY CAR....

New prop shaft required, blah blah blah (ok it's an environmentally friendly 4x4) Rough cost £1000 including VAT and labour.

The intervention of the divine being has meant that the mechanics have looked a bit closer at the problem and found that the bit they need to replace is actually a bit smaller than they thought - Final cost including parts, labour, VAT, Gordon Brown slush fund etc.... £220.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Gadget news

I mentioned in my previous post about my new gadget - my portable video player. It seems to get a bit sniffy about playing certain formats sometimes but it was cheap....
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

Snippets of conversation

One of the best and worst things about commuting is the bits of conversation you over hear.

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

Chatted up on the train

I was on a very full train the other day and a couple of older ladies started having a chat with me.

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..


Give them a chance

A very recent commenter on this blog has suggested that I "give the new chap at the top" a chance before I lay into FGW anymore.

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

£1bn lost on train 800,000 delays

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

Getting away with it

I have been very pleased to get away without paying for my parking for a couple of days. It's not intentional. I just have forgotten - I haven't renewed my monthly ticket.

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

Last week

A note of commendation for our friends at FGW.

I caught the train 10 times last week and it was on time, every time. Speachless.

Well done.

Hope the forecast storm doesn't foul it all up for us on Monday....


Tuesday, 4 March 2008

New Coffee Shop

This week a new coffee shop has materialised at Kingham. It is a small caravan with the most enourmouse flag over it.
One of my fellow passengers commented that he'd rather give this chap his money than FGW. I thought about this for a while and realised that the sharks at FGW are probably charging this guy rent for parking his van there - so it's a lose lose situation.
I think it's a great idea to provide facilties for people - I actually take a flask of tea from home so it doesn't affect me. Nor do they sell the Telegraph or FT.
I therefore feel free to have a list of objections which are entirely unreasonable and selfish:
  • 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.


Stupid woman

Was forced to listen to some stupid, politically correct, "right on" up her own backside woman on the train the other day.

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

When a train is late

Firstly, found a nice little story about FGW on someone else's blog. Read it here:

I've had an idea about the 7.18 from Kingham. Now bear with me on this - it's quite selfish of me but I think it could benefit a great number of people.
What about making the train 15 mins earlier? This wouldn't really change the time I have to get out of bed at. It would theoretically mean that I could be in my office in Reading by 8.30 every day. It would also give the Paddington people a chance of getting to work at a decent hour....

But here's the thing... The train is meant to get us to Reading for 8.20-somthing.. But it NEVER EVER does. I'm lucky if I get in for 8.40.

I approached a travelling chef the other day - he was clean, well presented and actually seemed to have an interest in cooking - although he had no sausages available for the "Breakfast Baguette" - In my opinion, this leaves out a very important part of breakfast. Sausages are a must.

Here's a picture of what he produced-it was very nice.


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Selective Door Opening - an Almighty Cock up - Health and Safety Paranoia

It is difficult to put words down to express how angry I am with FGW. Yesterday we have a successful day of virually on time trains - I got to work at the proper time, I got home at a decent hour.

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


I was standing in a generic retail outlet on Saturday while shopping with Mrs Trainfellow and Baby Trainfellow.

The chap came up to me and said "excuse me, my girlfriend thinks you're Dom Joly. Are you?"

Well.... I don't like to disappoint.


Person hit by a train

Most of us that use the Great Western Railway will be familiar with the level of havoc caused when there is a fatality on the line - generally in the Southall area.

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

Drinking on the Train

On Monday of this week I had the usual pleasure of rousing myself and getting on the 7.18am train. To do this I have to get up at 6am. (Already I can see what a nonsense my life is... Honestly).

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

Please do not flush the toilet whilst the train is at a station

There is a good reason why this request is made of us commuters. It's because sometimes the water and associated waste efluent comes out of the train.

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

Carriage B - the home of relationship breakups on the phone

We all know how painful it is when a relationship breaks down - and I'm sure it's sooo much worse when it's a "significant other" type thing.

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

Very loud woman in carriage B on 7.18

Visaman and a number of others including myself and the amusing "Jules" were treated to one end of what should have been a private phone conversation.

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

Selective Door Opening

You will probably know of the problems FGW have with short platforms and unlocking the doors.

Well as I was waiting to get off the train the other day I was given unfettered access to the panel on the train that is to blame. Pic below.


Not an auspicious start

I was wondering on my way to work this morning if I had lost my passion for commenting about FGW or my fellow commuters. You will be pleased to hear (?) I have not lost it after all.

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

Rowan Williams needs to resign.

I know this is a departure from my normal rantings about FGW but I feel today that I need to comment on something else - the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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


I saw Leon the station manager at Kingham actually on the train this afternoon. He told me he'd had a little outing (using his free train miles) to buy a treadmill for running on. His intention is to put it behind the desk at the station and get some exercise while serving the commuters with their daily diet of Travelcards and returns for Oxford. I wish him well.

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....


FGW - we might even make it to Paddington

A very clever friend of mine has taken the time out to create a new FGW poster taking in the line from my previous post. I hope you like it as much as I did.

Monday, 4 February 2008

First day back

First day back..

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.
Such fun.


Sunday, 3 February 2008

It's not all about commuting

I felt I had to share this story.

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

A week of no commuting

For the benefit of Train Man and others, I feel I should update you on why I have been silent in a week when I would have had soooo much ammunition to fire at FGW / LWW etc etc. But I've been on a course in a hotel on a beach with a very fine restaurant! Lovely.

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

Kirsty Allsop

Those of us addicted to "house - type programmes" will be familiar with Kirsty and Phil. I am a big fan of them both - they have a no nonsense approach and are not too politically correct. Lovely.
You can imagine my excitement therefore when I heard a voice on the train the other morning that sounded unmistakably like our Kirsty. Except this one was called Geoff. I know this because she was talking, very nicely, into her "brand new, teething troubles" blackberry (you know my thoughts on those).

She had a charm and style in her conversation that I wished for and a grace that would carry through almost any situation. I had mentally assigned the jolly face of Kirsty G to this lady.

So understand my shock when I stood up at my station, glanced over at this lady to discover much more masculine vision that I had expected.

That'll teach me to make assumptions. How shallow I am.


Tuesday, 22 January 2008


So I was working from home today but I have heard that the train was on time today.... This presented on or 2 issues to the passengers at Charlbury who have been lulled into a false sense of security by the persistent lateness of the train.

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

Things I have seen....

I will be commenting on the lamentable service I endured this morning (trainman, do not come back to this line, it will anger you towards an early grave).

But today I want to share with you some of the delightful footwear /clothing I have seen people wearing in recent days:

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

So there were these women on the train today when i got on - they clearly had been out together for the day in London and had decided to "kick back" on the train with bottle of sparking white and some fruit. Very nice idea if it's you that's doing it.

However, I would like you to imagine 4 middle aged ladies who have all had a few glasses of bubbly and are now conversing excitedly about "some chap they fancy" or "the fellow that my friend was going out with... he was really fit." Happy for these ladies to have the conversation but honestly.... the volume was so much I couldn't hear the announcements - not that I care I suppose.

There was a chap sitting behind me trying to talk to his office - very quietly and then, as the volume rose from the witches of eastwick, he in turn had to get louder. Not relaxing.
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:

"Excuse me, sorry to bother you. I just wanted to check, are you going to be like this for the entire journey? If so, can you tell me now so that one of us can move - I don't mind who it is but I just need to know now".

Pure brilliance - polite, courteous, even eloquent.

I wish I was more like him.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The overly keen customer host....

On the train home tonight and the train slowed down for Didcot (where it doesn't stop much to our relief) and a very excited "customer host" came on the tannoy to announce we were arriving at Oxford.

A number of panicked looks flashed around the train as the uninitated began to hastily get their
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:

e.g. reading,
voodoo doll of FGW staff or employer,
typing on laptop,
watching film on iphone,
staring into space with a sense of dread about the rest of the journey,
checking their reflection in the tinted windows...
the list goes on.

Anyway, back to the story. The Train Manager then came on the tannoy to announce to all and sundry (let us say 8 carriages at roughly 70 people per carriage - so 560 people) that "my customer host got it wrong and assumed that, as we were slowing down, this must be Oxford". Nothing like being dressed down in front of an audience eh...

Must have been the Customer Host's first day as anyone else would know very well that it doesn't need a station for the train to slow down.. Any excuse will do - a bend in the track, bright sunlight, dark night etc. He'll learn. Oh yes, he will learn.
He went on to make an announcement about there being a "Happy Hour" at the buffet and was offering free drinks with all food that has to be sold at 1/2 price as the train is on it's last run of the day. Forgive my cycnicism but I struggle to find anything happy about the food in the buffet (unless there is a travelling chef on board).

As an aside, I had a very nice chat with a 1st class customer host this morning about various things - he recognised the Soul Survivor lanyard that I hang my security pass on. Nice wee chat and very nice fellow.

You see. I can be nice.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Strike again FGW

You can imagine my excitement when I heard this week that our dear friends at FGW are going to have a lovely cuddly little strike on 20th and 21st January.

I am planning my work for the affected weekday. I think I shall be working from home (Train man, this is my solution...)

I am somewhat intruiged that the RMT and their members are getting so cross about managers doing some operational work. Surely it makes sense for managers to have an idea of what their staff are doing (along the lines of back to the floor).

What a nonsense it is and doesn't really move towards a world class train service... I do want to be sympathetic but if I tried striking from my job I'd not have a job to go back to.

On another note, here is a picture of some wonderful socks a chap was wearing the other day - fantastic:

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

General comments

There have been a number of things I've wanted to comment on in recent days:

- 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

FGW strike again

In the last 2 days of commuting I have noticed numerous things that require comment from me. However, the most important one is this:

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

New Year's Resolution

I'm going to try and be nice about people a bit more this year rather than the ranting incoherent git that I have become in recent months.

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.

Good luck.