It is two months since I last rambled on a bit and you may be wondering where I have been.
Voice off: Where have you been?
Well, I’m glad you asked me that. Sadly two deaths in the family have blighted the summer and made these little musings on transport, life and everything feeling a little otiose, not to say supernumerary. But there comes a point when you have to get back to normal
Voice off: whatever that is
And, if my interruptor would kindly belt up for a minute, I will attempt so to do. Though apart from some extreme silliness on the Met a couple of nights ago, when some problem at Farringdon forced them to halt all trains both north and south out of Baker Street, whilst not actually telling their own drivers, or the relief drivers at Wembley Park what was going on, there is not too much to rant about at the moment. The summer (yeah okay, the grey bit between spring and autumn) holidays are behind us but the tube remains curiously quiet at least part of the time. Yesterday there was the luxury of a southbound Bakerloo arriving almost empty at Baker Street at 9:10 am. And equally my homeward bound Uxbridge train was also satisfyingly under-peopled (though as it closely followed another, maybe everyone was crammed into that one).
Lately I have abandoned reading (mainly due to all my books being in storage whilst the house is being redecorated) and have taken up doing codewords. These are crossword like puzzles with no clues – each square has a number and all squares with the same number are for the same letter so you deduce what the words must be using a bit of logic, intuition and recognition of standard English word structure. These can quite addictive and absorbing – a few days ago I was so engrossed I went past my home station and had to take a train back from the next one, Ruislip – this brought back not particularly happy memories of the year in which the rebuilding of Ruislip Manor forced me to use Ruislip instead. And the blackberry bushes that provided a rich crop at exactly this time of the year were no more – hacked down by some unfeeling bureaucrat probably on spurious health and safety grounds.
Voice off: Don’t mock, suppose a child with a serious blackberry allergy got pushed into the bushes, swelled up, bounced off the platform and onto the track. You’d be the first to moan about the extensive delays and cancellations.
And you know, she’s right. I would.