Friday, June 26, 2009

So farewell then the spear-carrier of pop

On my way to the station this morning I passed two schoolgirls in animated conversation. One said to the other "My mum told me Michael Jackson was dead. I was, like, Mum, I didn't even know he was still alive"

The first 6 minutes of the BBC Radio 4 news at 8:00 was devoted to this story. Apparently he was known as the "King" of pop. Well, I never voted for him.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guessing Game

Here's a nice puzzle from the kind folks at London Underground. Where do you think the trains are going? You will search in vain for SBP and QUP on the tube map.
SBP is Stonebridge Park and QUP is Queens Park and some idiot has configured the indicators to show the internal LU station codes instead of their proper names. I wonder how many baffled tourists were hanging about on the Bakerloo platform tonight.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Beating the strike

The RMT union began a 48 hour strike on Tuesday evening, cleverly coinciding with the England vs Andorra game at Wembley the following night.

scene: RMT HQ, a month ago. Bob Crow takes a phone call.
Crow "Yeah"
Caller "Boss, there's a big match coming up. Lots of the lads want to watch it. They don't want to be driving trains when they could be in the pub watching Rooney falling over"
Crow "I think we could swing a day"
Caller "Even better if we can have the next morning off, there'll be a few thick heads..."
Crow "Leave it to me. Time we had a few days off anyway."  (Thinks) "Now what stupid pretext can we use to manufacture a dispute this time..."

Well, sod them. I managed to get to an important meeting in central London by driving to a nearby station and catching a Chiltern Railways train to Marylebone. Oh, and a 40 minute walk as the buses were jammed, taxis all taken and the roads at a standstill.

I must say that the train was very comfortable (very full in the morning, naturally but I came home early and had a seat), is smooth and fast and even offers a toilet. And the journey was even faster than scheduled coming home because the public-spirited railway decided not to stop at Wembley Stadium, thus removing the last easy way for people to get there. But it is not a practical way to make my regular journey to Waterloo so let us hope that the tube dispute is settled soon.