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.