Trains agains

Friday, February 15th, 2008 10:55 am
caddyman: (commute)
Tedious beyond belief. Severe delays going home last night, severe delays coming in to work this morning. Signal failures at Highgate and then at East Finchley. This is the service I pat over £1,300 a year to use.

To add insult to injury, the announcer at Totteridge and Whetstone had an accent: “Ladies and Geddlemen. There are sibber dillies on the Northern Line due to earlier siggal failure at East Fwishley.” It would have been amusing had it not virtually been on loop. As it was, your mild mannered correspondent simply wished to wrench the tannoy off the post and shove it down someone’s throat.

It was clear that whoever recorded the message wasn’t paying any attention to what he was reading, either. After waiting ten minutes (and still no train, crowded or otherwise), the message changed to announce “minor delays” but with the added cryptic remark at the end “…but this is irrelevant for this station closure”.

I woke up all perky and rested. Now I just want to doze off again.

Trains agains

Friday, February 15th, 2008 10:55 am
caddyman: (commute)
Tedious beyond belief. Severe delays going home last night, severe delays coming in to work this morning. Signal failures at Highgate and then at East Finchley. This is the service I pat over £1,300 a year to use.

To add insult to injury, the announcer at Totteridge and Whetstone had an accent: “Ladies and Geddlemen. There are sibber dillies on the Northern Line due to earlier siggal failure at East Fwishley.” It would have been amusing had it not virtually been on loop. As it was, your mild mannered correspondent simply wished to wrench the tannoy off the post and shove it down someone’s throat.

It was clear that whoever recorded the message wasn’t paying any attention to what he was reading, either. After waiting ten minutes (and still no train, crowded or otherwise), the message changed to announce “minor delays” but with the added cryptic remark at the end “…but this is irrelevant for this station closure”.

I woke up all perky and rested. Now I just want to doze off again.

How rude

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 10:29 am
caddyman: (Morning!)
An unexpectedly trouble free journey into the office this morning and had I not stopped at Victoria station to take part in a London Transport customer satisfaction survey I should have been on time. They caught me on a good day. That is to say the Tube had behaved itself and I wasn’t upset by anything it had done, so I was quite lenient with all my scores except for the cost. When the system works properly, it is marvellous, but it goes wrong far too often and far too badly for anyone to be happy with paying the highest transit rates in the world.

There was no question in the survey that dealt with annoying old ladies who give you the evil eye for no apparent reason for an extended portion of the journey. When I got on the train at Totteridge and Whetstone a rheumy eyed Old Trout sat opposite me and eyed me suspiciously. When Furtle phoned me and we had a brief conversation between Finchley Central and East Finchley (the last two stations before the line goes underground), the suspicious look switched to downright malice. Presumably she is not one with the march of technology.

When I changed trains at Euston, I surreptitiously checked my shirt buttons and fly just to ensure that I hadn’t been giving her an unwonted view of anything, but all was in order.

It was.

I expect she had overindulged on the devilled kidneys for breakfast.

How rude

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 10:29 am
caddyman: (Morning!)
An unexpectedly trouble free journey into the office this morning and had I not stopped at Victoria station to take part in a London Transport customer satisfaction survey I should have been on time. They caught me on a good day. That is to say the Tube had behaved itself and I wasn’t upset by anything it had done, so I was quite lenient with all my scores except for the cost. When the system works properly, it is marvellous, but it goes wrong far too often and far too badly for anyone to be happy with paying the highest transit rates in the world.

There was no question in the survey that dealt with annoying old ladies who give you the evil eye for no apparent reason for an extended portion of the journey. When I got on the train at Totteridge and Whetstone a rheumy eyed Old Trout sat opposite me and eyed me suspiciously. When Furtle phoned me and we had a brief conversation between Finchley Central and East Finchley (the last two stations before the line goes underground), the suspicious look switched to downright malice. Presumably she is not one with the march of technology.

When I changed trains at Euston, I surreptitiously checked my shirt buttons and fly just to ensure that I hadn’t been giving her an unwonted view of anything, but all was in order.

It was.

I expect she had overindulged on the devilled kidneys for breakfast.

Commutage

Thursday, December 20th, 2007 10:44 am
caddyman: (commute)
It would be going too far to suggest that today’s journey in was a nightmare, but it certainly had elements of a cheese dream about it. Certainly the section between Euston and Victoria.

As we get closer to Christmas it seems that every primary school in north London has organised class trips to some event or spectacle in the centre. This means tube carriages crammed with squealing and over-excited school children during rush hour. Add to this the people who are already on holiday and taking the opportunity to transport as much luggage as possible at the busiest times…

Well.

For ten minutes too, we were held on the platform at Warren Street for reasons that were explained by the driver, but which were unintelligible on account of the public address system rendering everything as a facsimile of reverse Urdu piped through custard. I still don’t know why we were held there, much less why the doors remained closed for eight of those ten minutes despite people wanting to get on or off the train.

Mass transit by Dali.

Commutage

Thursday, December 20th, 2007 10:44 am
caddyman: (commute)
It would be going too far to suggest that today’s journey in was a nightmare, but it certainly had elements of a cheese dream about it. Certainly the section between Euston and Victoria.

As we get closer to Christmas it seems that every primary school in north London has organised class trips to some event or spectacle in the centre. This means tube carriages crammed with squealing and over-excited school children during rush hour. Add to this the people who are already on holiday and taking the opportunity to transport as much luggage as possible at the busiest times…

Well.

For ten minutes too, we were held on the platform at Warren Street for reasons that were explained by the driver, but which were unintelligible on account of the public address system rendering everything as a facsimile of reverse Urdu piped through custard. I still don’t know why we were held there, much less why the doors remained closed for eight of those ten minutes despite people wanting to get on or off the train.

Mass transit by Dali.

Inspector Sands

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007 10:15 am
caddyman: (Default)
I must remember to check what, if anything is happening at Victoria Underground Station this morning. I didn’t encounter any delays and the place seemed to be operating normally, but as I was walking along the platform to the escalators the announcement for “Inspector Sands” to go to the control room came over the tannoy. It is a sort of open secret that “Inspector Sands” is the code at UK stations (and maybe airports) for “trouble”.

Whatever it was, I suspect that the fact that it is all running normally indicates a false alarm.

Inspector Sands

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007 10:15 am
caddyman: (Default)
I must remember to check what, if anything is happening at Victoria Underground Station this morning. I didn’t encounter any delays and the place seemed to be operating normally, but as I was walking along the platform to the escalators the announcement for “Inspector Sands” to go to the control room came over the tannoy. It is a sort of open secret that “Inspector Sands” is the code at UK stations (and maybe airports) for “trouble”.

Whatever it was, I suspect that the fact that it is all running normally indicates a false alarm.
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.
caddyman: (Sid James)
A good weekend spoilt by the journey home. A motto I feel, for the twenty-first century.

Friday saw your correspondent go to Marlow direct from the office for a games weekend with friends. One of the other chaps in attendance is a rather odd cove, but he managed to be merely annoying and not intolerable for once. And since he brought the games and stood us all a Chinee on Saturday night, I was inclined to forgive his annoying eccentricities.

No, the bulk of the weekend was good and I enjoyed the games, the company and the leeching off someone’s wireless link.

The fun came grinding to a halt on Sunday evening. I use the phrase ‘grinding to a halt’ advisedly, for there is no more descriptive way of relating the journey home.

I left Marlow (cadging a lift from mine host) at 7.30 with a view to catching the 8.00 train from High Wycombe. A half hour allocation for a 7 mile journey should be more than enough even for the over-populated South East of England.

Or so you’d think.

Anyway, I was less than pleased to arrive at High Wycombe station at 8.50 having spent much of the intervening hour and twenty minutes sitting in a traffic jam on the lead up to Junction 4 of the M4. Expect Delays the sign said. It wasn’t joking. The entire junction was re-routed, coned off, part dug up and generally in a mess. I saw one man toying with a pick axe and as we went around the roundabout, another couple of blokes wandering around like a detachment from rent-a-mob, scratching their bums and trying to make it look as though there were, in fact, more than three people there and that work was being done.

My misery at this point had been compounded by the fact that in an attempt to keep his six year old daughter quiet (she had come along for the twenty minute return trip –Ha!) Martin was playing a chart compilation CD she likes1.

The 9.00 train was mercifully on time, but back in London the Underground was having its usual weekend spasms, so it was on to the rail replacement service at Camden Town as far as East Finchley. To be fair, once I found the (unmarked) bus stop it was operating from, it wasn’t much slower than the tube would have been. But exiting Camden Town station and finding the stop is an exercise in existential Hell all of its own. At that time of night on a Sunday, the place is crowded with revellers aged between 16 and 35, I would guess; most of them drunk and all of them in high spirits and largely oblivious of anyone not indulging in their own brand of hedonism. It is a poor place to be if you are sober, hot, tired, weighed down with bags and just want to find an unidentified bus stop and go home.

Eventually I got to East Finchley, more worn out than ever. From there, I decided I couldn’t be bothered to go on to the station and pick up the tube again. That would have involved lugging stuff up the hill at Whetstone and I really, really, couldn’t be arsed, so I decided that the 263 bus was a better choice. Except that after a lengthy wait, the 234 presented itself as a better option. Poor choices all round. The 234 buggers off through a panoramic (?) and lengthy itinerary around Muswell Hill before getting on with the real business of heading out to Barnet.

11.30 is not a good time to get home after a journey covering at most 60 miles and taking four hours.

I didn’t sleep too well either, though I managed to conjure up an intriguing dream in which [livejournal.com profile] romney had decided to install a very expensive and Heath Robinson fire prevention devise in his flat as a viable alternative to tidying up. The irony was, of course, that he had to move all of the offending detritus to make room for the workmen to install the thing. Still, it was a work of beauty and he demonstrated how the tough plastic shutters effectively trapped flames against the glass in the windows where they slowly went out through lack of material to burn. The flat, denuded of all other content had assumed the proportions of a warehouse and as we were pondering this we were called to church by another mutual friend who had unaccountably become a vicar. That’s when I woke up at 5 am desperate for a pee.

Normally it is Elle who has and remembers the odd dreams. I must be channelling. Either way I am very tired today and like to call off the evening’s game session; we are short of a [livejournal.com profile] ruletwo anyway, as he has been off defeating the enemies of Parliament.

1A comparatively elderly CD too, judging by the content. I was not particularly wound up by Britney Spears or even, surprisingly, the Cheeky Girls. I sat through four consecutive replays of an unidentified Latin-stylee dance number and that didn’t wind me up either. Then came a song about McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. I traded a sixty second limit on listening to that for a re-set of the CD to track one. It’s stuff like that that make you realise precisely what a mistress of her art is Britney. God help us.
caddyman: (Sid James)
A good weekend spoilt by the journey home. A motto I feel, for the twenty-first century.

Friday saw your correspondent go to Marlow direct from the office for a games weekend with friends. One of the other chaps in attendance is a rather odd cove, but he managed to be merely annoying and not intolerable for once. And since he brought the games and stood us all a Chinee on Saturday night, I was inclined to forgive his annoying eccentricities.

No, the bulk of the weekend was good and I enjoyed the games, the company and the leeching off someone’s wireless link.

The fun came grinding to a halt on Sunday evening. I use the phrase ‘grinding to a halt’ advisedly, for there is no more descriptive way of relating the journey home.

I left Marlow (cadging a lift from mine host) at 7.30 with a view to catching the 8.00 train from High Wycombe. A half hour allocation for a 7 mile journey should be more than enough even for the over-populated South East of England.

Or so you’d think.

Anyway, I was less than pleased to arrive at High Wycombe station at 8.50 having spent much of the intervening hour and twenty minutes sitting in a traffic jam on the lead up to Junction 4 of the M4. Expect Delays the sign said. It wasn’t joking. The entire junction was re-routed, coned off, part dug up and generally in a mess. I saw one man toying with a pick axe and as we went around the roundabout, another couple of blokes wandering around like a detachment from rent-a-mob, scratching their bums and trying to make it look as though there were, in fact, more than three people there and that work was being done.

My misery at this point had been compounded by the fact that in an attempt to keep his six year old daughter quiet (she had come along for the twenty minute return trip –Ha!) Martin was playing a chart compilation CD she likes1.

The 9.00 train was mercifully on time, but back in London the Underground was having its usual weekend spasms, so it was on to the rail replacement service at Camden Town as far as East Finchley. To be fair, once I found the (unmarked) bus stop it was operating from, it wasn’t much slower than the tube would have been. But exiting Camden Town station and finding the stop is an exercise in existential Hell all of its own. At that time of night on a Sunday, the place is crowded with revellers aged between 16 and 35, I would guess; most of them drunk and all of them in high spirits and largely oblivious of anyone not indulging in their own brand of hedonism. It is a poor place to be if you are sober, hot, tired, weighed down with bags and just want to find an unidentified bus stop and go home.

Eventually I got to East Finchley, more worn out than ever. From there, I decided I couldn’t be bothered to go on to the station and pick up the tube again. That would have involved lugging stuff up the hill at Whetstone and I really, really, couldn’t be arsed, so I decided that the 263 bus was a better choice. Except that after a lengthy wait, the 234 presented itself as a better option. Poor choices all round. The 234 buggers off through a panoramic (?) and lengthy itinerary around Muswell Hill before getting on with the real business of heading out to Barnet.

11.30 is not a good time to get home after a journey covering at most 60 miles and taking four hours.

I didn’t sleep too well either, though I managed to conjure up an intriguing dream in which [livejournal.com profile] romney had decided to install a very expensive and Heath Robinson fire prevention devise in his flat as a viable alternative to tidying up. The irony was, of course, that he had to move all of the offending detritus to make room for the workmen to install the thing. Still, it was a work of beauty and he demonstrated how the tough plastic shutters effectively trapped flames against the glass in the windows where they slowly went out through lack of material to burn. The flat, denuded of all other content had assumed the proportions of a warehouse and as we were pondering this we were called to church by another mutual friend who had unaccountably become a vicar. That’s when I woke up at 5 am desperate for a pee.

Normally it is Elle who has and remembers the odd dreams. I must be channelling. Either way I am very tired today and like to call off the evening’s game session; we are short of a [livejournal.com profile] ruletwo anyway, as he has been off defeating the enemies of Parliament.

1A comparatively elderly CD too, judging by the content. I was not particularly wound up by Britney Spears or even, surprisingly, the Cheeky Girls. I sat through four consecutive replays of an unidentified Latin-stylee dance number and that didn’t wind me up either. Then came a song about McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. I traded a sixty second limit on listening to that for a re-set of the CD to track one. It’s stuff like that that make you realise precisely what a mistress of her art is Britney. God help us.

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