caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Blue Monday indeed.

Two sets of signal failures on the Northern Line this morning and one on the Victoria Line, as reported.

This evening - thank God I left work early for Games Night - there has been a signal failure on the Northern Line at Finchley Central. I was chucked off the train at Archway and had to get the bus home from there. Furtle was still at work and God only knows what time she'll get back sinxce it has settled down to a service suspension north of East Finchley. So, too few busses and the rush hour. Joy.

Games night is unsurprisingly cancelled because it's taken [livejournal.com profile] ruletwo an hour and a half to get as far as East Finchley, so he turned around and went home. I think I've managed to leave phone messages for [livejournal.com profile] thalinoviel and [livejournal.com profile] bytepilot; certainly the latter tried to leave me a message, but it seems the mobile phone network is acting the arse, too and he sounded like a consumptive dalek at the end of a tin can and string, so I barely got one word in ten.

Marvellous.

This is the superior service we get after ten years' consecutive above inflation annual price hikes.
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Blue Monday indeed.

Two sets of signal failures on the Northern Line this morning and one on the Victoria Line, as reported.

This evening - thank God I left work early for Games Night - there has been a signal failure on the Northern Line at Finchley Central. I was chucked off the train at Archway and had to get the bus home from there. Furtle was still at work and God only knows what time she'll get back sinxce it has settled down to a service suspension north of East Finchley. So, too few busses and the rush hour. Joy.

Games night is unsurprisingly cancelled because it's taken [livejournal.com profile] ruletwo an hour and a half to get as far as East Finchley, so he turned around and went home. I think I've managed to leave phone messages for [livejournal.com profile] thalinoviel and [livejournal.com profile] bytepilot; certainly the latter tried to leave me a message, but it seems the mobile phone network is acting the arse, too and he sounded like a consumptive dalek at the end of a tin can and string, so I barely got one word in ten.

Marvellous.

This is the superior service we get after ten years' consecutive above inflation annual price hikes.

Today

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 10:45 am
caddyman: (Torchwood)
My right knee is definitely giving me gyp. It’s not so bad when I get out of bed in a morning, but it doesn’t take much effort on my part for it to start getting achey, particularly if I am standing around rather than walking. Add to this the general creakiness I get from sitting in this excuse for a chair I have in the office and I am wondering whether I might not be better off using my kneecap as an ashtray and having my leg welded straight so I can stump around like a cross between Long John Silver and Frankenstein’s monster. Given that the kneecap feels loose, for want of a better word, perhaps First World War style puttees extended up and around the knee would help, but then that would start a strange transformation into Mummy movies.

Someone has been splicing time and space in North London again. You rarely see many operatives in the Totteridge & Whetsone area using nuclear accelerators to weld reality back in place1, so there tends to be more obvious outbreaks of oddness on the extended reaches of the tube network than there are in the centre. Or rather, they are less controlled. I guess it’s a Men in Black thing.

Anyway, there was a woman on the tube this morning who looked like she had been assembled from various elements of Eastenders, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Abba, circa 1976. Imagine a middle-aged elf wearing a silvery circlet on her forehead and trying to arrange something over a mobile phone in an Essex accent and you’ll get a portion of the picture.

She disappeared mysteriously at Camden Town, just where the reality operatives start congregating in earnest, so I feel my point is made.

Creepy Swedish Guy was on the train this morning, too. First time I’ve seen him for a while. He has new reading glasses that make him look like a goblin watch repair man.

1As a regular reader, you will recall that sometime back in the summer, it was suggested by some one in my comments section – I have it in mind that it was either [livejournal.com profile] jfs or [livejournal.com profile] littleonionz - that tourists with wheely cases are actually disguised space-time engineers who repair and maintain the fabric of reality in central London and other major cities, helping to combat alternate reality leaks that let through the occasional pieces of the past, mythology or other dimensions.

Today

Thursday, November 20th, 2008 10:45 am
caddyman: (Torchwood)
My right knee is definitely giving me gyp. It’s not so bad when I get out of bed in a morning, but it doesn’t take much effort on my part for it to start getting achey, particularly if I am standing around rather than walking. Add to this the general creakiness I get from sitting in this excuse for a chair I have in the office and I am wondering whether I might not be better off using my kneecap as an ashtray and having my leg welded straight so I can stump around like a cross between Long John Silver and Frankenstein’s monster. Given that the kneecap feels loose, for want of a better word, perhaps First World War style puttees extended up and around the knee would help, but then that would start a strange transformation into Mummy movies.

Someone has been splicing time and space in North London again. You rarely see many operatives in the Totteridge & Whetsone area using nuclear accelerators to weld reality back in place1, so there tends to be more obvious outbreaks of oddness on the extended reaches of the tube network than there are in the centre. Or rather, they are less controlled. I guess it’s a Men in Black thing.

Anyway, there was a woman on the tube this morning who looked like she had been assembled from various elements of Eastenders, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Abba, circa 1976. Imagine a middle-aged elf wearing a silvery circlet on her forehead and trying to arrange something over a mobile phone in an Essex accent and you’ll get a portion of the picture.

She disappeared mysteriously at Camden Town, just where the reality operatives start congregating in earnest, so I feel my point is made.

Creepy Swedish Guy was on the train this morning, too. First time I’ve seen him for a while. He has new reading glasses that make him look like a goblin watch repair man.

1As a regular reader, you will recall that sometime back in the summer, it was suggested by some one in my comments section – I have it in mind that it was either [livejournal.com profile] jfs or [livejournal.com profile] littleonionz - that tourists with wheely cases are actually disguised space-time engineers who repair and maintain the fabric of reality in central London and other major cities, helping to combat alternate reality leaks that let through the occasional pieces of the past, mythology or other dimensions.
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Today is broken. July 5th is officially a dud; if it had been a meal I should have sent it back to the chef with the suggestion that he give up and get a job road sweeping.

So far every decision I have taken has turned around and bitten me on the arse. I would go home and hide in bed for the rest of the day, but I’m not sure that would be any better and if something went wrong then, it would probably cost me money, too.

Getting to Euston this morning was fine, but once there we were informed that there were severe delays on the Victoria Line for whatever reason, so since the trains were packed I decided that it would be better to stay on the Northern Line and change at Bank. Well that idea was marvellous right up until the point that I had no further alternatives and then it went belly up. A train broke down, I don’t know, somewhere and we spent 20 minutes in the tunnel not moving whilst that train was shifted and the others in the queue before us we moved along. By the time we got to Bank, the people affected by the earlier derailment on the Central Line were beginning to percolate through, so I felt it best to stay on and change at London Bridge. I did so just in time to witness the Jubilee Line train pull out and have to wait ten minutes for the next. People out side of London do not generally understand why this is such a big deal, after all, ten minutes… All I can say is that ten minutes hanging around underground on a packed platform towards the end of the morning rush is rather different to waiting ten minutes in cool, but bright sunny weather on the branch line at Little-Pillock-on-the-Wold, thank you very much.

Anyway, I’m here now. Hot, bothered and narked and all I have to look forward to is proof reading THAT document.
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Today is broken. July 5th is officially a dud; if it had been a meal I should have sent it back to the chef with the suggestion that he give up and get a job road sweeping.

So far every decision I have taken has turned around and bitten me on the arse. I would go home and hide in bed for the rest of the day, but I’m not sure that would be any better and if something went wrong then, it would probably cost me money, too.

Getting to Euston this morning was fine, but once there we were informed that there were severe delays on the Victoria Line for whatever reason, so since the trains were packed I decided that it would be better to stay on the Northern Line and change at Bank. Well that idea was marvellous right up until the point that I had no further alternatives and then it went belly up. A train broke down, I don’t know, somewhere and we spent 20 minutes in the tunnel not moving whilst that train was shifted and the others in the queue before us we moved along. By the time we got to Bank, the people affected by the earlier derailment on the Central Line were beginning to percolate through, so I felt it best to stay on and change at London Bridge. I did so just in time to witness the Jubilee Line train pull out and have to wait ten minutes for the next. People out side of London do not generally understand why this is such a big deal, after all, ten minutes… All I can say is that ten minutes hanging around underground on a packed platform towards the end of the morning rush is rather different to waiting ten minutes in cool, but bright sunny weather on the branch line at Little-Pillock-on-the-Wold, thank you very much.

Anyway, I’m here now. Hot, bothered and narked and all I have to look forward to is proof reading THAT document.
caddyman: (Morning!)
Today's journey in to work was uneventful enough despite some slight delay on the Victoria Line which contrived to be quite full despite it being half term week. Yesterday's journey was far more interesting, but I didn't have time to write about it when I thought about it, and when I had the time I forgot.

[livejournal.com profile] ellefurtle came into town with me yesterday morning – at least until we separated at Camden Town so she could get on to the Charing Cross Branch as I headed on along the Bank Branch. A quick detour into the Virgin Megastore to return shoddy goods before briefly heading off home, see. Anyway, sitting opposite us on the tube down from Whetstone was a woman of indeterminate late middle age, or early elderly. Whatever her precise age, she had clearly left her face out in the rain a couple of times too many and then dried herself off with the miserable towel. She was reading a periodical of the size and shape of the Watchtower though it could have easily been something else, and she clearly did not approve of us. Every time I glanced up she was furtively studying us from behind her Watchtower-alike; the lines on her face becoming ever more deep-set and vertical (it really was a very humourless face). She managed to purse her lips into one of those expressions of "superior disapproval" that you get from the sort of people who are in no position to pass judgement but usually do anyway. I think she might have pursed further sections of her face, too, had her muscle control been up to it.

We retaliated by ignoring her and blatantly holding hands (a tactic that worked in a way not unlike the colour control on TV), then I moved my left hand just enough so that she couldn't quite see if I was wearing a wedding ring or not. That was fun. I have never seen someone try to crane their eyes before.

This all begs the question of whether, in the eyes of the mad old trout, Elle is my Moll or my Doxie. I think I prefer Moll; that has gangster connotations and I could see her with a Tommy gun in a violin case though I am less sure of the squeaky voice and chewing gum addiction.

Boop, boop-be-doop.
caddyman: (Morning!)
Today's journey in to work was uneventful enough despite some slight delay on the Victoria Line which contrived to be quite full despite it being half term week. Yesterday's journey was far more interesting, but I didn't have time to write about it when I thought about it, and when I had the time I forgot.

[livejournal.com profile] ellefurtle came into town with me yesterday morning – at least until we separated at Camden Town so she could get on to the Charing Cross Branch as I headed on along the Bank Branch. A quick detour into the Virgin Megastore to return shoddy goods before briefly heading off home, see. Anyway, sitting opposite us on the tube down from Whetstone was a woman of indeterminate late middle age, or early elderly. Whatever her precise age, she had clearly left her face out in the rain a couple of times too many and then dried herself off with the miserable towel. She was reading a periodical of the size and shape of the Watchtower though it could have easily been something else, and she clearly did not approve of us. Every time I glanced up she was furtively studying us from behind her Watchtower-alike; the lines on her face becoming ever more deep-set and vertical (it really was a very humourless face). She managed to purse her lips into one of those expressions of "superior disapproval" that you get from the sort of people who are in no position to pass judgement but usually do anyway. I think she might have pursed further sections of her face, too, had her muscle control been up to it.

We retaliated by ignoring her and blatantly holding hands (a tactic that worked in a way not unlike the colour control on TV), then I moved my left hand just enough so that she couldn't quite see if I was wearing a wedding ring or not. That was fun. I have never seen someone try to crane their eyes before.

This all begs the question of whether, in the eyes of the mad old trout, Elle is my Moll or my Doxie. I think I prefer Moll; that has gangster connotations and I could see her with a Tommy gun in a violin case though I am less sure of the squeaky voice and chewing gum addiction.

Boop, boop-be-doop.

Strange Brew

Friday, September 1st, 2006 10:40 am
caddyman: (Morning!)
I am worried. It is a worry verging upon hysteria, nay terror. Why, you ask?

Well…

I was late leaving the athenaeum club. I have been late doing so every morning this week; motivation has been on the lack. A couple of times the London Underground has compounded the delay, as you may have noticed from my occasional restrained comments on the matter.

Today? Today was different.

I left home pretty much exactly at 9am when I should already be on the train in. I wandered down to the tube station and a train was just pulling in – Bank Branch, excellent. I sat down had a quick flick through the Metro and then dozed off as per usual despite a couple of girls talking across me in foreign 1. I awoke at Euston on the dot and then wandered onto the Victoria Line and down to Victoria where I arrived just before 9.50. That means my journey took me around 40 minutes. It never takes 40 minutes at that time of day even when everything is working properly.

I fear that I have suffered an anti-X Files experience. Instead of the missing nine minutes, I have experienced a missing number of miles. I left home late and got in on time.

Stress-free; no hassles.

I need a lie down.



1Very foreign it was, too. I am guessing from their colouration etc that they might have been Hungarian, though maybe Finnish. Anyway, I couldn’t make out the language or recognise any words. I doubt either girl suffers from much phlegm, even when she has a cold, given the amount of words they mangled their tonsils to pronounce.

Strange Brew

Friday, September 1st, 2006 10:40 am
caddyman: (Morning!)
I am worried. It is a worry verging upon hysteria, nay terror. Why, you ask?

Well…

I was late leaving the athenaeum club. I have been late doing so every morning this week; motivation has been on the lack. A couple of times the London Underground has compounded the delay, as you may have noticed from my occasional restrained comments on the matter.

Today? Today was different.

I left home pretty much exactly at 9am when I should already be on the train in. I wandered down to the tube station and a train was just pulling in – Bank Branch, excellent. I sat down had a quick flick through the Metro and then dozed off as per usual despite a couple of girls talking across me in foreign 1. I awoke at Euston on the dot and then wandered onto the Victoria Line and down to Victoria where I arrived just before 9.50. That means my journey took me around 40 minutes. It never takes 40 minutes at that time of day even when everything is working properly.

I fear that I have suffered an anti-X Files experience. Instead of the missing nine minutes, I have experienced a missing number of miles. I left home late and got in on time.

Stress-free; no hassles.

I need a lie down.



1Very foreign it was, too. I am guessing from their colouration etc that they might have been Hungarian, though maybe Finnish. Anyway, I couldn’t make out the language or recognise any words. I doubt either girl suffers from much phlegm, even when she has a cold, given the amount of words they mangled their tonsils to pronounce.

Transport jollies

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 10:59 am
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Well I started out a few minutes late this morning and ran into the hell that is London Underground again.

The Victoria Line was suspended at just about the time I needed it, so I was forced to detour down to Embankment and pick up the (delayed) District Line. Embankment is one of the few central London stations not completely underground, so I had enough signal on my mobile to receive a text message from my boss informing me that he was on a train outside Victoria Station, unable to get in because there was no room on the platform. The passengers were getting tetchy, I understand.

I only mention this latest tale of travel woe because the Metro, the free morning paper strewn around the various stations and read by most people during their commute carried a story indicating that London has the best (though most expensive) transport system in the world.

If that is true, then I pity the rest of you.

Transport jollies

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006 10:59 am
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Well I started out a few minutes late this morning and ran into the hell that is London Underground again.

The Victoria Line was suspended at just about the time I needed it, so I was forced to detour down to Embankment and pick up the (delayed) District Line. Embankment is one of the few central London stations not completely underground, so I had enough signal on my mobile to receive a text message from my boss informing me that he was on a train outside Victoria Station, unable to get in because there was no room on the platform. The passengers were getting tetchy, I understand.

I only mention this latest tale of travel woe because the Metro, the free morning paper strewn around the various stations and read by most people during their commute carried a story indicating that London has the best (though most expensive) transport system in the world.

If that is true, then I pity the rest of you.

Poot

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 10:32 am
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Do you know, I can't be bothered to rant about it.

I am merely going to use the key words: Northern, Victoria, line and point you at the icon.

That is all.

Poot

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006 10:32 am
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Do you know, I can't be bothered to rant about it.

I am merely going to use the key words: Northern, Victoria, line and point you at the icon.

That is all.

Tubey goodness

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006 10:26 am
caddyman: (Stan)
I thought that I’d had a decent night’s sleep when I woke up, but now I’m not so sure.

I rarely drag myself out of my pit with a spring in my step and I am almost never bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the first hour or so, even on the best days. For all that it felt as though I’d slept well, though I am vaguely conscious of waking up briefly around dawn. It was the journey in that made me think otherwise.

As is my custom, I dozed on the Northern Line (This is usually a defence mechanism against rampant overcrowding, but this time of year with holidays and all, it’s just habit) between Totteridge & Whetstone and Camden Town. The next thing I knew I was waking again and the train was pulling into another station.

So I piled off in a panic.

Mornington Crescent. Bugger.

I’d forgotten I was on the Charing Cross branch and had assumed I was at Euston. Happily the next train was only a minute behind, but even so…

Coffee; it’s the only answer.

In other news, Sainsbury’s hole in the wall wouldn’t give me any cash, so I am going to have to find a Barclays at lunchtime. Drat. How did we cope before cash machines?

Tubey goodness

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006 10:26 am
caddyman: (Stan)
I thought that I’d had a decent night’s sleep when I woke up, but now I’m not so sure.

I rarely drag myself out of my pit with a spring in my step and I am almost never bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the first hour or so, even on the best days. For all that it felt as though I’d slept well, though I am vaguely conscious of waking up briefly around dawn. It was the journey in that made me think otherwise.

As is my custom, I dozed on the Northern Line (This is usually a defence mechanism against rampant overcrowding, but this time of year with holidays and all, it’s just habit) between Totteridge & Whetstone and Camden Town. The next thing I knew I was waking again and the train was pulling into another station.

So I piled off in a panic.

Mornington Crescent. Bugger.

I’d forgotten I was on the Charing Cross branch and had assumed I was at Euston. Happily the next train was only a minute behind, but even so…

Coffee; it’s the only answer.

In other news, Sainsbury’s hole in the wall wouldn’t give me any cash, so I am going to have to find a Barclays at lunchtime. Drat. How did we cope before cash machines?
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Let's see, time to go home, but by which of the myriad choices tonight?

The Victoria Line? No, that's suspended.
The Northern Line? No, severe delays.
Piccadilly Line? Hmm... severe delays.
Bakerloo Line, then? Ah. Severe delays.
Shall I try a dog's leg confection on the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City, Central, East London, Jubilee or Metropolitan Lines?

Oh. Severe delays. That's the ENTIRE network then. All of it.

At least the Docklands Light Railway is still working. Not that it's any use to me.

That'll be two hours on the number 82 bus, then, will it?

How lucky I am to live in a city with such a splendid and up-to-date integrated transit system.
caddyman: (Severe Delays)
Let's see, time to go home, but by which of the myriad choices tonight?

The Victoria Line? No, that's suspended.
The Northern Line? No, severe delays.
Piccadilly Line? Hmm... severe delays.
Bakerloo Line, then? Ah. Severe delays.
Shall I try a dog's leg confection on the Circle, District, Hammersmith and City, Central, East London, Jubilee or Metropolitan Lines?

Oh. Severe delays. That's the ENTIRE network then. All of it.

At least the Docklands Light Railway is still working. Not that it's any use to me.

That'll be two hours on the number 82 bus, then, will it?

How lucky I am to live in a city with such a splendid and up-to-date integrated transit system.
caddyman: (I've had enough of this!)
Although I am not a parent myself, being the uncle of three and Godfather to two, I feel that I take a sufficient amount of interest in the upbringing and handling of the little brutes to be able to offer advice on children to those who have them.

Specifically, I would suggest to any young mother who feels that it is essential to take her little 12-18 month old girl on a tube journey toward the end of the morning rush hour, there are a few ground rules that should be borne in mind.

Rule the first: Assuming that the timing of the journey is unavoidable (because if you waited just a half hour, you would find the trains almost empty), try not to place your precious little bundle in the child-care equivalent of a Humvee. Commuters, already packed in beyond endurance will not thank you for breaking their lower legs and forcing them to stand at gravity-defying angles for upwards of half an hour. The staff and crew of London Underground are quite adept at the latter without your help and they are professionals. Remember: "smaller is better"

Rule the second: When your precious little darling gets restless, it is quite acceptable to pick the child up and calm it. It is rather less acceptable to allow the little bastard darling to squirm through the forest of legs of already pissed off and cramped commuters who can barely stand because you ignored rule the first.

Rule the third: There will inevitably come a time when little sweetiekins is bored, tired, hot and distressed from taking her little promenade through the carriage. She will probably feel somewhat aggrieved at the numerous accidental standings-on she will have received, too. You will understandably wish to calm and entertain baby snookums. May I suggest that whilst picking her up is a good idea, distracting her by bringing to her attention the (undeniably) entertaining, very red and accessible passenger alarm switch is likely to be unwise. Children are, by nature an inquisitive species.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that baby Chlamydia -or whatever interesting name you Islington prats give children these days- will wish to investigate more closely.

And pull the lever.

I hope you enjoyed the ten minute standstill in a hot, crowded and stationary train several hundred feet below ground. I did; I was sitting down and dozing. The conversation around me was entertaining, too.
caddyman: (I've had enough of this!)
Although I am not a parent myself, being the uncle of three and Godfather to two, I feel that I take a sufficient amount of interest in the upbringing and handling of the little brutes to be able to offer advice on children to those who have them.

Specifically, I would suggest to any young mother who feels that it is essential to take her little 12-18 month old girl on a tube journey toward the end of the morning rush hour, there are a few ground rules that should be borne in mind.

Rule the first: Assuming that the timing of the journey is unavoidable (because if you waited just a half hour, you would find the trains almost empty), try not to place your precious little bundle in the child-care equivalent of a Humvee. Commuters, already packed in beyond endurance will not thank you for breaking their lower legs and forcing them to stand at gravity-defying angles for upwards of half an hour. The staff and crew of London Underground are quite adept at the latter without your help and they are professionals. Remember: "smaller is better"

Rule the second: When your precious little darling gets restless, it is quite acceptable to pick the child up and calm it. It is rather less acceptable to allow the little bastard darling to squirm through the forest of legs of already pissed off and cramped commuters who can barely stand because you ignored rule the first.

Rule the third: There will inevitably come a time when little sweetiekins is bored, tired, hot and distressed from taking her little promenade through the carriage. She will probably feel somewhat aggrieved at the numerous accidental standings-on she will have received, too. You will understandably wish to calm and entertain baby snookums. May I suggest that whilst picking her up is a good idea, distracting her by bringing to her attention the (undeniably) entertaining, very red and accessible passenger alarm switch is likely to be unwise. Children are, by nature an inquisitive species.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that baby Chlamydia -or whatever interesting name you Islington prats give children these days- will wish to investigate more closely.

And pull the lever.

I hope you enjoyed the ten minute standstill in a hot, crowded and stationary train several hundred feet below ground. I did; I was sitting down and dozing. The conversation around me was entertaining, too.

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