Political upheavals in the Middle East, turning very nasty in Libya, and a devastating earthquake in New Zealand are the events dominating the news, although I was taken with the story that the Prime Minister’s new cat might belong to someone else, making him potentially a receiver of stolen goods. [stick with the main topic, why don’t you: Ed]. It all makes the stresses of the normal journey into work rather trivial, but never mind. Buoyed by an email confirming that the only people I know in New Zealand live a long way from the earthquake zone, I was unfazed to see one of the S stock new trains sitting for a long while at my home station Ruislip Manor whilst I made my way toward the London-bound platform. Yesterday one of them was just ahead of the train that I was on, and our driver made an interesting reference as we were waiting at Rayners Lane to “delays caused by that new train”. Today, as I gained the platform, the new train had left and my usual, soon-to-be-scrapped A stock train arrived, and once more we followed the future a little more slowly than our usual speed. The combination of the train ahead and it being half-term for most of the schools in the area made for a pleasantly half-empty carriage, spoilt only by the aroma of wet clothes and the odd choice of ringtones that some of my fellow passengers had installed on their mobile phones.
The grey and damp weather make for a strange view from my Waterloo office building. The Shard now dominates the eastern skyline, towering many floors over Guy’s Hospital. But the top ten floors of the central column are shrouded in mist and quite invisible so that the Shard seems to be poking its head up into a different world. Here’s a clumsy camera phone picture so you can see what I’m on about.