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).