Sunday, April 10, 2011

A spot of spring

Spring-like, nay, summer-like, weather in London all week. The temperature up to 20c. The air warm, full of the freshness of the spring and the evocative scent of newly-cut grass and blossom. Oh, and barbecues. And it is only the second week in April. Amazing. The warm, long-sleeved shirts are back in the wardrobe and the T-shirts are being unearthed from the depths of the chest-of-drawers. But I can't find my straw hat and I need that for doing a spot of gardening under the blazing sun.

And the Tube has been pretty good lately too. Morning trains have been arriving on time. Clearly the teething troubles of the "S" stock trains are being surmounted. My regular journey on the Met has been pretty well untroubled and, especially when boarding an empty train starting from Baker Street rather than the sardine cans coming up from the City, fairly pleasant.

I have been adding some games to my brand new smartphone. I do this with a sort of professional interest, you understand. For a number of years I made my living in the computer games business. The little screen on the phone is reminiscent of the standard C64/Spectrum displays, and the games are in many ways based on those we used to publish for the 8-bit computers of the day. The touch screen makes the key difference - nothing from those days could be directly ported to a phone because they all relied on joystick or keyboard input. Although text-only adventures might work well. But would today's kids, texting obsessively, have the patience to play them?

I still love the London Tube app, showing the arrival boards from the TFL website. I had to collect Mrs. Commuter late at night yesterday and was able to track her progress from East Acton to Ruislip Gardens (yes, the Central line because once again the Met was closed for maintenance) and just as I arrived at the Gardens and my phone told me her train was at the platform, there she was! [Exclamation marks should be used only when necessary: Ed] Well, you might not be impressed, Ed, you cynical old sod, but I was.

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