Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A cold snap in November

In recent years it has been mild, if not warm, at this time of year. Not in 2010. We have had several freezing days in the sunny south and much of the country is blanketed in deep snow and reporting record low temperatures. In the past I have written of how unseasonable it has often seemed. This year there is no doubt that winter is on us, and the sharp contrast with autumn has been unusually distinct. Despite that there are still leaves clinging to the oak and horse-chestnut trees that are of a feature of Ruislip - maybe they are frozen in place.

There was another tube strike yesterday and once more I used up part of what remains of my annual leave in staying home. This morning the trains were crawling at less than walking speed over the bridge into Ruislip Manor station and the inevitable delays were attributed to signal failure here, my home station. They were working on the tracks at this spot over the weekend so one wonders if they put everything back correctly. Then we had further delays waiting at Wembley Park for fast trains to go on by. Oh well, at least I had the bonus of an almost empty Bakerloo waiting for me at Baker Street.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winter approaches

Not a particularly fast journey into work today (but better than yesterday). At Harrow, instead of pulling alongside a fast train on platform 6, we encountered one of the new "S" stock trains instead. It was not in service so all the people who might otherwise have taken it crowded on to the slow train that I was on and we stayed crowded to Baker Street.

I don't mind them testing the new trains, of course, but why, oh why, must they take out much needed services at peak hours in order to do this?

In other news the first cold snap of the year is with us. The heating is on so high in my office that it feels like summer. The tube is warm enough. I dress up with a thick jacket, hat and scarf in order to brave the elements for just a few minutes to the station. [Not much of a point here, I feel: Ed] Yeah, well, you're not the one who takes the gamble, every time there is a risk of snow, that the trains will simply cease to run and one will be stranded in central London miles from home [No, lucky for me, eh?: Ed]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Season of Splutter

There was plenty of noise in my London-bound Metropolitan train this morning. Coughs, sneezes and one young man with a persistent sniff that suggested a fondness for certain nasally-ingested substances. Or maybe it was just a sniff. Either way I was glad to be sitting on the other side of the carriage.

In other news, the BBC website is carrying a story headlined "William 'happy' to be engaged". This refers to the forthcoming nuptials of a royal sprog and his bird. I spent some time wondering what would happen if he were not to be too chuffed about it. I mean, he has just got engaged, you expect him to be pleased. Similar stories that the BBC could carry include "Pope - moderately glad to be Catholic", "Berlusconi says he quite likes women" and "Henman: I wouldn't have minded winning Wimbledon (or anything else really)".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Boris bike headache

My office overlooks the approach to Waterloo station and for the past couple of weeks they have been digging up the pavement to put down stands for the Barclays Bicycle scheme. Good news for commuters perhaps. Bad for us whose heads are ringing after hours of drilling. Why do compressed air devices have to be so bloody noisy?