London Underground has not distinguished itself this week. Every day there has been some disruption to my normally uneventful journey from beautiful Ruislip to London's glittering South Bank. Faulty trains at Amersham, signal failures at Ruislip, Finchley Road, Neasden, fire alerts at Lambeth and Baker Street - it's been a long and dismal litany. Earlier in the week I had to take the Piccadilly (adding 15 minutes to the journey) because the Met was suspended south of Wembley Park. Yesterday morning they tried to stop people going down the stairs from the Met platforms at Baker Street because of overcrowding caused by delays on the Jubilee. Last night our northbound Bakerloo stopped at Piccadilly Circus because of a "situation" at Paddington. I have no idea what the train driver meant by this. Then just before we left Oxford Street we were told that Baker Street was closed and I had to scramble to get out of a crowded train before the doors closed, because getting out at Regents Park, or being taken on to Marylebone would leave me stranded in no-mans-land. I chose to avoid Baker Street altogether and came home via the Central Line, a fall back that works but adds at least 20 minutes to the journey time.
All this, a dusting of snow on Tuesday morning and the leaves have yet to drop.
Meanwhile in other news the massive redevelopment of the White City site, building works that seem to have been going on for decades, is complete and London has another huge shopping mall. Oh bliss. I read that 80% of the shops there are fashion outlets. Oh double bliss. Still if it keeps the young people off the streets. I suppose it fulfils some sort of purpose. But what awesome timing, as consumer spending falls for the first time in many years.