As my morning Met train approached Harrow-on-the-Hill this morning, my fellow passengers and I were greeted with a positive deluge of helpful information from the driver. He told us where our train was going (a slow train to Baker Street, and this is germane to the issue), advised us which platforms to take if we wished to go to Amersham and even where to go to catch a Chiltern Line to Aylesbury Parkway. The idea that anyone might be going to Aylesbury seemed pretty outlandish - the idea that they might not know how to do it and were relying on the driver to explain it was, quite frankly, bordering on the grotesque. But never mind that, he then told us that due to a speed restriction we would make a slow approach into the platform and apologised for the inconvenience.
What a courteous man. And as we crawled at walking speed into Harrow there was a nice fast train to Aldgate waiting at the adjacent platform. I, and most of my companions readied ourselves to debark and catch it. Now I am sure that regular readers can fill in the next line but for the benefit of newcomers to these parts, just as we were ready to open our doors the other train closed its, and off they went. Bingo, my journey time lengthened and an uncomfortably full Circle Line to take at Baker Street in place of a comfortable seat on a through train.
You see, that's the thing about travelling on the tube. Plenty of genuinely useful words but when it comes to practical co-ordination of train journeys, well, the lights are on but not only is there nobody home, they've gone away for a long holiday, cancelled the milk and given the au pair the rest of the summer off.