Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Success Story

For reasons I won't bore you with, I left our offices in Canary Wharf at 21.00 this evening.

I was in High Wycombe before 22.00 and in my front door at 22.18. Now that is a good result.

It was achieved by way of:
  • The Jubilee Line running really well,
  • A brisk walk from Baker Street to Marylebone,
  • Chiltern Railways offering their usual on-time service (NEVER expect their trains to run late!) and
  • My car not breaking down (it doesn't*).
You'll gather from these timings that it has been a little difficult finding the time to blog over the last few days.

* Yet (touch wood)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


There I was at lunch time today at Waterloo. I had just got off the Northern Line and was turning the corner to go onto the travelator in the direction of the Jubilee Line.

I don't know whether it was a he or a she. You can't always tell by appearances. Anyhow our paths crossed right on the corner. We made eye contact.

It was certainly a surprise. I jumped and I think they did too. Neither of us said anything - I carried on my way while my friend did too, carefully trying to keep out of the limelight.

The problem is, I can't remember my friend's name. It might have been Mickey or possibly Minnie. I'm really not sure.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Yippee - No mobile phones in tunnels for now

Although I can't find an official press release, it appears that a lack of appetite by service providers means that we won't be hearing mobile phones in tunnels on the London Underground, at least anytime soon.

This article gives some of the reasons. The words of a journalist that refers in March 2009 to the London terrorist attacks of 'A couple of years ago', do though need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Personally I am pleased because (i) it reduces the likelihood of the person next to me bellowing into their mobile telephone and (ii) I can't get it out of my head that allowing mobile telephone signals in tunnels would give terrorists the technical ability to do things that they cannot do at present.

Anyhow, no testing on the Waterloo & City Line and and continued peace and quiet for the rest of us. Yeah right!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crikey - What made me do that?

For some unknown reason, I made a totally irrational impulse purchase this afternoon.

A boxed set of DVDs of every episode of The West Wing ever made.

That's about 100 hours of my life gone up in smoke. Poof. Just like that.

I've watched the first two episodes this evening. I'd better ration myself to one or two a week.

My excuse? A bargain, reduced from £200 to £50.

Oh, and the driver of my Chiltern Railways train back from Aylesbury nearly missed it. Well he would have, if he had been a passenger and not the driver. He looked a bit sheepish - we left 5 minutes late.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The last week

This time last week (Sunday), I had safely returned from Gatwick airport, unpacked, put the washing machine on and was about to go grocery shopping. Unfortunately I fell asleep for hours in the afternoon which wasn't in the Master Plan.

On Monday, despite still being officially on holiday, I started to plough through 17 days of work emails. I also edited down my holiday pictures and uploaded them for printing.

On Tuesday I went to work and stayed happy and smiley all day.

On Wednesday I had an early meeting at Canary Wharf so had to catch a stupid o'clock train to get there on time. My single meeting then turned into several so I only just made my 3 o'clock meeting back in the West End on-time . Stayed happy and smiley all day. Ordered new broadband package.

On Thursday I really didn't want to get up. I did. Slightly less happy and smiley today but still good. People seemed to have realised that my endless weeks away from the office (4 1/2 weeks out of 6) are over and have started to form queues at my desk. Leave early, to work from home for a specific purpose. Get home to find that my broadband order has been cancelled and then spend most of afternoon doing the BT shuffle. Pick up holiday snaps, go shopping, spend a mini-fortune on new home-office chair.

On Friday got to office early. Received text message from BT confirming that my re-order of broadband from yesterday had not been cancelled. Act as query resolution point for most of the day, leave on time, out for curry with friends, home late.

On Saturday woke up at 0935 with sun streaming in through gap in curtains. Go to post office, do shopping, plant two clumps of nerines (very long story), attack buddleia, take ex-buddlea to tip, go to see Gran Torino the latest (and possibly last) Clint Eastwood Film. Good day.

And so the cycle continues...

Public transport: Chiltern Railways, Bakerloo Line, Jubilee Line, Docklands Light Railway, Central Line, Hammersmith and City Line and Metropolitan Line.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Welcome back Bill

I've just noticed that Bill Stickers is back, as Uncle Bill's Canadian blog.

Blogroll duly updated, especially as he is now firmly settled in beautiful British Columbia.

An erudite and most eclectic blogger.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Some kind of vermin

I got back this morning from a two week skiing holiday in British Columbia, Western Canada. A good time was had by all.

Last week was spent in Fernie, where there has been lashings of snow since we arrived. The following is a quote from the resort's daily Snow Report:
Stand by for open/closed status of White Pass chair.
Re: Unfortunately, a squirrel shorted our electrical system and the White Pass lift will not be operating today. Our team is working hard to restore service as quickly as possible. However, White Pass itself is open for hiking/skinning.

Last Monday evening we heard weasels, someone else told us rats, now they are saying a squirrel. Unless they found an ex- animal, I guess they have either measured the teeth marks, got trackers in, or are themselves guessing.

I think 'Family of Weasels' is best.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Best excuse ever for delays?

"A family of weasels chewed through the power cable."

Delay: 35 Minutes

Compensation: Yes

More to follow......

No prizes I am afraid, but see how close you can get to What, Where, When, How etc.

It happened to me this week. Not sure though that I trust the excuse.

Back soon.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mr Slow

Piccadilly Circus, Bakerloo Line to street.

Ordinary looking commuter, wearing suit, carrying briefcase.
  • Walks up left hand side of escalator and then stops 10 steps before the top. Grrr.
  • Stands at ticket barrier and waits until preceding passenger has gone through and gate has fully closed before slapping card heavily onto Oyster card reader. Grrr.
  • Meanders crazily across station concourse causing at least half a dozen other people to take evasive action. Grrr.
Note to self: Get out of bed on the other side.