Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sodding trains 

This morning there was a large chemical fire in Deptford. That's somewhere in southeast London between Hither Green and London Bridge. I haven't seen any reports of deaths or injuries and I hope there won't be any.

I have seen plenty of reports of journey and travel disruption. Unfortunately, I have only seen these after I arrived at work 40 minute late.

All trains to London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and Charing Cross were cancelled and there were extra trains laid on to Victoria and Blackfriars.

Ironically, I was in time to catch my normal train which had been diverted to Blackfriars but the notice boards were too full of messages about the other stations being closed that I couldn't tell where it was until it was leaving.

I boarded a train to Victoria but as I was waiting for it to leave I remembered that the Victoria service called absolutely everywhere and the announcements for the Blackfriars service containing the words "fast from Lewisham" proved too inviting. So I left that train and boarded the next Balckfriars service.

It was a warm train. For non-Brits reading this, UK trains often have the heating turned on in warm weather. There is no reason. It is a law of nature. The best place to escape it is to sit as far away from the heaters as possible, i.e. on the end of a block of three seats furthest from the window.

I was joined by a very large round woman. But, as she sat at the other end of the seat, leaving a gap between her and me, I was OK. Later, however, when the train had filled up someone had to sit in the gap and so I spent a significant portion of the journey sitting at an odd angle with my ear in someone's bag.

With the much larger volume of trains heading for Blackfriars, "fast" was optimistic. "Standing still" was a better description but eventually we got there.

As we were getting off, I was unintentionally rude. While I was waiting for the mass of people to filter out the doors, my laptop bag became caught up the bag belonging to the woman who sat between me and the large lady. I pulled it away and lost my balance. This made me involuntarily jump ahead of the woman who should have been next, making her say something sarcastic and totally justified.

I could have explained but it would have sounded stupid so, instead, I let myself look like a complete arse.

I love commuting.

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