Friday, November 30, 2007

So where did November go?

So, here we are one month on from the clocks going back, and it's just as dark again at silly o'clock in the morning. It is tipping it down with rain and there is bad weather due for tomorrow. Yum yum.

Actually, I've been feeling a bit guilty of late. What blogging there has been has been mostly off topic, and there has been a definite rationing of mentions of the Central Line.

Today was a bit strange in London- there just didn't seem to be many people about. Our office had less than 1/3 of the usual bums on seats and this seemed to be reflective of how busy it was on the streets and underground.

I caught a Metropolitan Line train from Baker Street towards Aldgate at about eight o'clock this morning. There was hardly anyone on the platform and the train was half full (or half empty).

This evening the Central Line platform at Tottenham Court Road had only a smattering of the usual gormless tourists people in the way and my big Chiltern Line train home had plenty of seats.

I can't fathom it out- where is everyone?

The Bakerloo Line was suspended a few minutes ago between Elephant & Castle and Queens Park. However I was long gone and it seems to have sorted itself out now.

Apart from the aforementioned lines I have, this week, been on the Docklands Light Railway, The Jubilee Line and The Northern Line. All without problem or hassle. Just how it should be.

While I remember, I did have a bit of a 'mare on the DLR last Thursday (22 Nov) when it took half an hour in the evening from Bank to Westferry. Never mind, I was on the way to the pub, hence why I had almost forgotten.

That's me caught up for now- hopefully (?), December will be a bit more interesting.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I always thought I was in the wrong job...

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with
You scored as Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones is an archaeologist/adventurer with an unquenchable love for danger and excitement. He travels the globe in search of historical relics. He loves travel, excitement, and a good archaeological discovery. He hates Nazis and snakes, perhaps to the same degree. He always brings along his trusty whip and fedora. He's tough, cool, and dedicated. He relies on both brains and brawn to get him out of trouble and into it.

Indiana Jones


The Amazing Spider-Man


James Bond, Agent 007


Lara Croft


Neo, the "One"


The Terminator


Captain Jack Sparrow


Batman, the Dark Knight


William Wallace




El Zorro


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Apathy is not good - Wear your poppy with pride

Today is Remembrance Sunday, when the nation commemorates the sacrifices made by Britain's war dead.

Over the last few days I have carried out a very simple straw poll of people's attitude towards Remembrance Sunday and also towards The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal:
  • Number of people I have spoken to who watched Panorama last Monday- a topical programme about what our troops are currently doing in Afghanistan: None
  • Number of my work colleagues observed to have been wearing a poppy last week: Less than one in seven
  • Number of people that I know personally (outside of my family), who have today participated in any formal act of remembrance: Three
One observation I have would be that the likelihood of participation in any act of remembrance appears, among the general population, to increase with the distance you live from a major city centre.

Remembrance Sunday is not about glorifying war. It is about commemorating those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our country. You may not agree with war, you may not agree with some of the things our armed services are currently being asked to do, but please do remember all of those who have not come back and who may yet not come back.

Many of those who do come back have (and will) bear terrible scars. Some of those scars are all too obvious to see, while many are not.

All of these people and their families need active support to help them through their difficulties.

Please wear your poppy with pride and do as much as you can to support those who suffer in the name of your country.


I was pleased to see a one minute silence at Vicarage Road (Saracens -v- Glasgow Warriors). You could have heard a pin drop as the seven thousand strong crowd stood and paid their respects.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A bit over the top

Chiltern Railways appear to have installed a new automated announcement system at Beaconsfield.


"I am sorry to announce that the 18:41 train to London Marylebone is running approximately one minute late. I am sorry for the delay to your journey. Please listen for further announcements."

This was about 90 seconds before the train appeared.

A similar announcement then came on the opposite platform for a different train, with the delay being three minutes, rapidly increased to four minutes then reduced to one minute.

It might be a new toy, but passengers will rapidly get frustrated by announcements that are too frequent. Chiltern usually operate like clockwork, but are they being a bit OTT?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

An interesting couple of days for Chiltern Railways

Last night, just after 18:30, there was a fatality in the Wembley Stadium area.

This brought total chaos to all Chiltern Railways' trains out of Marylebone and many people in Buckinghamshire were hours late in getting home.

This morning's train into London had an air of people just getting on with their commute. Not a bunch of happy campers.

Tonight saw a signal failure in the Neasden area- a few cancellations, delays and no doubt quite a few people again late.

To top that, I have just got off a train, where the driver appears to be trying to do a Lewis Hamilton. If you don't believe me, look at this screen grab from the online train tracker....

I hope no-one missed their train.