Nearly two weeks since my last missive. The weather has turned colder and the leaves are falling, many of them into my pond. No reports of trains unexpectedly delayed by leaves on the line but there’s plenty of time. The Piccadilly has been reasonable and I’ve only submitted one Customer Charter claim, more through exasperation than because of a serious delay. They announced that a good service was operating and simultaneously turned an Uxbridge train round at Acton Town without apology or explanation. This used to happen more often than it does now but it still grates, because they normally do it when there are already gaps in the service and therefore they create an even longer gap for those of us travelling out of London and going beyond Rayners Lane.
Anyway the latest scare is bird flu. Nice piece in the Guardian pointing out that “experts” always predict millions of deaths from any new disease and it rarely turns out that way. This however does not make me feel better when sitting next to someone who is sneezing. In a crowded tube carriage you cannot choose your neighbours and you must, perforce, inhale the air expelled those around you.
And now the big pre-Christmas question. Should I finally invest in an mp3 player to help while away the dull hours pacing up and down cold and deserted platforms (some exaggeration here: Ed) No, Ed, it certainly feels like hours, it’s alright for you nit-picking my finely chiselled prose from your warm office. But we digress. I’ve got loads of radio recordings, so much more soothing and rewarding for listening in a confined space than music. It’s the headphones that put me off. I’ve tried a radio (yes I know the reception on trains is appalling) and the little ear buds kept falling out. More research is needed. But I fancy a Creative Zen 20gb micro – capable of holding all my radio stuff plus music CDs and best of all it’s not an ipod. I shall go have a good look at Ebay and report back when there are developments.