Saturday, November 28, 2009

Words that cannot be said...

Just got back from Worcester having seen Saracens winning Premiership streak come to end, with a 9-9 draw.

Is it just me, or do Saracens seem to play worse rugby when Borthwick is captain?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Addition to Blogroll

Sorry, but I really have had to add "The Diary of a Geek in Oxfordshire" to my blogroll.

I find the writing hilarious - it's like getting an updated Private Eye delivered to my in-box every day!


BTW - There are currently Severe Delays on the Central Line (07.55 am Thursday 26th November 2009). No updates will follow but see live update.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why next to me?

The winner of the 2009 Miss Piggy look-a-like competition has just sat next to me on the train.

She obviously lives somewhere with no flat surfaces, as the table has been brought into use as a make-up counter.

Sorry luv. It's not going to work.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Today has been one of those days...

Got up at stupid o'clock (5.10am )to head off for a meeting first thing at Canary Wharf.

Delays on the Jubilee Line en-route, due to a passenger being taken ill.

Meeting cancelled, but organiser forgot to tell me.

Next meeting at 11.00am moved back to 2.00pm.

At 1.00pm I received a call to say that I should not attend the afternoon meeting.

Bottom line, I didn't need to get up at stupid o'clock and had no reason to go to London today.


Back to normal

After a mega weekend of engineering works, all appear to be back to normal on the London Underground this morning.

Better than that - as of this moment in time (7.11am), the tfl live information is showing that there are no delays at all this morning. Amazing!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The National Rail Live Arrival/ Departure boards at Marylebone state that there are currently no Jubilee or Metropolitan Line services operating from the station, due to engineering week.

I have already mentioned that there is indeed much engineering work going on this weekend on the London Underground. This significantly affects most of North West London.

However, for the avoidance of doubt, the fact that the Jubilee and Metropolitan Lines are not stopping at Marylebone is not because of engineering work. Neither of those two lines ever stop at or go through Marylebone. However they do both normally serve nearby Baker Street.

Call me a pedant if you wish!

The Bakerloo Line is working normally, just be careful where you want to go.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More on Valour

My woefully inadequate pictures of the engine 'Valour' at Marylebone Station, prompted the PR department at Chiltern Railways to send me some photographs of the ceremonies that took place.

Ever mindful of the purpose of a PR Department, and the concept of viral marketing, I am more than happy to share the pictures with you here. Thank you kind lady at Chiltern Railways - I had almost forgotten that you like to keep an eye on me.

We must never forget the sacrifices made for us by the many.

Eeeek - and there is more!

There are loads of other engineering works going on this weekend (21 and 22 November 2009) on the London Underground (in addition to the partial closure of the Central Line closure that I mentioned last night).

Do please check all your options carefully, else you may get caught out when traveling around London this weekend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

West End of Central Line to Close for Weekend of 21 & 22 November 2009

This weekend (21 November 2009 & 22 November 2009) there is no Central Line at all west of Marble Arch. That is a huge chunk of the Central Line that will not be working due to engineering work.

If you are traveling out from Central London heading to the West Ruislip branch this weekend, the advice is to travel to Willesden Junction on the Bakerloo Line. You will then be able to pick up one of a couple of rail replacement bus services.

If you are heading for Ealing Broadway, there is a replacement bus that starts at Sheperds Bush Market (Hammersmith & City Line), which also picks up at North Acton (where the West Ruislip branch buses will be able to drop you off to change buses). I think I'd rather travel out on the District Line or catch a First Great Western train from Paddington to Ealing Broadway.

Chiltern Railways also offer a regular but infrequent service to West Ruislip and South Ruslip from London Marylebone. There is also a half hourly service for most of Saturday from Paddington to Greenford. Do check National Rail times before you travel on a big train.

There are loads of alternative train, tube and bus routes - I can't possibly summarise them all, but it could be a good opportunity to check the accuracy of the tfl Journey Planner. I've just run a sample journey through it (work to where I used to live, on Saturday, and it was spot on for that sample).

I am glad that I chose to go to the Westfield Shopping Centre last Sunday and not this coming weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Well, tonight was a good evening. Saracens beat the South African Rugby Union touring side by 24 - 23. A crowd of 46,281 rugby supporters watched what turned out to be a most enjoyable match at Wembley Stadium.

At half time, the 'home' side were trailing by 18 points to 6. Saracens came back after the break with a new lease of life to achieve what had seemed like a highly improbable result.

Since the start of the season, Saracens have lost just two matches and are still unbeaten in the Guinness Premiership. Hopefully this run will continue when they play Wasps in a local derby at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Despite a thrilling game of rugby, what has caught most of the headlines today is the good luck / skill of spectator Stuart Tinner.

Spectators were encouraged to enter a text competition to be one of three people to have the chance to kick a ball during half-time, to hit the horizontal cross bar. Stuart kicked the ball, with no shoes on and hit the cross bar. He won £250,000.

I was sat looking directly down the line of the posts. I saw the ball arching through the air and thought "crikey, he's going to do it!". You should have heard the roar from the crowd.

All in all an excellent evening. Made all the better by the fact that there were no queues at all to get onto the Chiltern Railways platforms at Wembley Stadium afterwards, meaning that we were home back in rural Buckinghamshire only an hour and ten minutes after the match finished.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It was a bit better this evening

This morning's Bakerloo Line suspension was always going to have an adverse impact on the Jubilee Line.

Unfortunately, at roughly the time of this morning's post, a Jubilee Line train broke down at London Bridge.

The impact was horrendous.

There were queues at Baker Street to get onto the platforms and seven Southbound Jubilee Line trains went through before I could get on one.

My journey this morning from rural Buckinghamshire to South East London was somewhat wearisome.

The good news is, it has all been like clockwork this evening.

It is however raining. Oh and my glass is half empty.

Bakerloo goes phut. Again.

At present (just before 8.00am on Thursday 12 November 2009), the Bakerloo Line is totally suspended South of Queens Park. Oops. So far, that's two mornings this week that there have been no underground trains from Marylebone.

Apparently, the problem today is a signal failure at Baker Street.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


On Sunday (Remembrance Day) and today(Armistice Day), Chiltern Railways made a special effort to mark the valour of the many people who have served this country in times of war.

They had arranged for the special train 'Valour' to be the centre of various ceremonies held on Platform 3 at London Marylebone on both days.

I was unable to be at either of the services, but was pleased to see that the locomotive was already in position before 9 am this morning.

As in many work places across the UK, we held two minutes of silence at 11 am. This has been a particularly bad year for our armed forces. The deaths are appalling, but the huge numbers of soldiers maimed and mutilated are often overlooked.

Today ought not to be a day for politics, whatever our own personal views of the rights and wrongs of current conflicts (and the way they are resourced). I find it hugely encouraging that the majority of people regard those who serve our country with such bravery with the utmost goodwill and respect.

I hope that the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal and charities such as Help for Heroes receive full support for the fantastic work that they do.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

If you missed it, you've missed it.

For the last month there has been a rather unusual art installation on display in the Kingsway Tram Tunnel in the heart of London.

Conrad Shawcross has constructed two very large and complicated machines, consisting of hundreds of bobbins of coloured cord have been slowly rotating and, while moving apart, making a 100m long multicoloured rope, or "Chord".

The exhibition finished today. Thanks to Diamond Geezer bringing it to my attention, I was able to book a slot and visited the site late on Friday afternoon. It was a most unusual piece of art in an as unusual location.

Apparently the Chord is to be sold off in collectors pieces - I don't think I'll bother, but there will certainly be pictures to follow of the Tunnel itself. Part of London's heritage put to a different sort of use.

Silence ....

Please support the work of the Royal British Legion.

Thank you.