Quite like old times on the Met today. I had to travel from beautiful Ruislip to Finchley Road, pursuing certain thespian-related activities which do not need to concern us right now. The eastbound train failed to stop at Harrow-on-the-Hill. We were told this was due to a body on the track and that there was no service from the Watford branch between Northwood and Northwick Park. Quite why that was the case, I could not establish. I would have thought that if my train could run normally, other than moving straight through at Harrow, so could the Watford branch trains.
Oddly for such an incident there were people on the platforms as well as LU staff, but no sign of anything untoward, so presumably it had happened, and been cleared up, some time ago.
On the return journey, which started with a fast Amersham, things became much worse. After some unexplained slowness around Neasden we arrrived at Harrow and I crossed to await an Uxbridge. It pulled in, loads of passengers got aboard, glad to be out of the heat on what was one of the warmest days this year, and we sat there. And waited. Eventually we were told that the power was off and nobody knew when it would come back on, and this related to a trespasser on the track in the Wembley area. Great. Hundreds of us left the station in search of an alternative. In my case I joined an eager throng in the bus garage trying to board a 114. The driver seemed keen that nobody should board. He shepherded a few who had made it to the top deck out of his vehicle and then did mysterious things with the control panel.
After a few minutes another 114 pulled in and we filled it to capacity. Thanks are due to that driver who did not object to people sitting on the stairs. Then we tried to pull away from the garage but could not because buses trying to pull into it from the main road were blocking us in. Our driver tooted his horn a few times (and what an effete sound they make) and somewhat grudgingly, as it seemed, the offenders moved out of our way and we proceeded, the long way round, to South Harrow where the Piccadilly came to the rescue for those of us travelling further west.
I haven't had to take the bus, nor indeed to grace the portals of South Harrow station, for a long time. There was a time...but you don't want to hear my reminiscences [Spot on. Ed:]. You can trawl through the posts from 2004-6 if this turns you on. I'm going to get a suitably cold beverage, fill up the peanut bowl and settle down for tonight's Apprentice.