Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Lightning

The English summer has arrived with a heatwave, the traditional English batting collapses in Test Matches and a furious thunderstorm that woke up Mrs. Commuter and myself at 2:00 am. Although a centimetre of rain fell (lit by intense electrical discharges that made our darkened bedroom resemble a photographer's studio) today has been hotter still and will probably be the warmest of the year. Once upon a time it would have been my melancholy lot to spend all day in a hot airless office, at the end of the day to trudge up the baking canyons of the London office blocks to a station and wonder if my stifling and sweaty train would arrive on schedule and, when it finally did arrive, whether it would make it all the way or be diverted (due to an "incident" twenty miles away).  But not any more. Today your correspondent was sprawled out at home watching the Tour de France (and reading e-books during the interminable ad breaks). So I am unable to report what it was like at the front line of commuting today. I could easily invent a few lurid details, I suppose, but you only have to browse through some of the back issues of this column and you could do just as well by yourselves.

Written a little later from the above, at 18:30.
You really couldn't make it up.  Here is the TFL service status for right now.
Yup.  On the very route on which I used to travel each day (until that great day in 2006 when my office moved to Waterloo) there is currently no service. Just think, I would have left my office say at 18:10, reached Barons Court and found a seat, with luck, on an Rayners Lane bound service at, say, 18:25 and just after we pulled out of Hammersmith (last chance to switch to another line) our train would have been diverted to Northfields. And there I would be, sweltering and abandoned at Acton and not knowing whether to go back into Central London or hang around on the platform. Happy days, what?

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