Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear oh dear, there's a snowflake on the track

The snow returned overnight. We woke to find a thin but steady downfall, an inch or so having newly fallen on top of the remains of the ice from last week, and a dense, dispiritingly grey cloud cover. The roads in beautiful Ruislip were ungritted and skid marks on the road (I live at the bottom of a little hill and on a junction much loved by traffic-light avoiders) showed that someone had been careless. The roads in Ruislip Manor were gridlocked around the traffic lights, caused by a tailback to Ruislip - presumably an accident at the lights there. And the Met, pretty reliable last week, let us all down with a long, unexplained delay and grossly overcrowded trains. My train arrived after a chilly ten minutes on the platform and was full by Eastcote, the next stop. Not a word from the station announcer at any time about the service, but sadly we have come to expect this basic level of contempt.

At Wembley Park we came in, as usual, on the slow track. One or two fast trains had come down from Harrow and another came in alongside us. The station announcer asked, over the loudspeaker, for our driver to hold the train because the passeng... customers (yes friends he actually used the dreaded P word but managed to choke it off before breaching the Tube's rigid rule that they never ever admit to actually being responsible for moving people) were crossing over from the, presumably now terminated, fast train (they had to use a bridge over the tracks) (these sentences are too long - Ed) Our driver retorted, over the train's PA system, that he wasn't waiting around for anyone. The station announcer came back with a message that there was room in the rear carriages. Our driver said that he didn't think so but if the customers were willing to try, he would graciously wait another few seconds for them to scramble up the snowy platform and have a look. Quite soon after this we left - I don't know if any hapless passengers were left angrily shaking their fists on the platform as the doors closed in their faces but I like to think so because it would nicely complete the scene.

Oh, and the Piccadilly was closed between Rayners Lane and Acton Town [start sarcastic voice] Oh my, what a shock, how unexpected [end sarcasm]

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