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Annie Mole's, webmaster of Going Underground, daily web log (blog).
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on the London Underground.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Poker faced

Would you want to sit opposite me?

Yesterday morning, I was sitting opposite another person in front of one of those
pointy ads for Pacific Poker and I wasn't following the ad and contemplating how greedy the person opposite me was. More of my thoughts were focussed on how much of a spy I would make, or whether I had a poker face.

Look at this person closely, do they think greed is good? says the strapline


You need a poker face for taking secretive pictures, particularly when the people are sitting opposite you. I'm currently reading Paul Auster's "The Music of Chance" which is about poker players and gamblers (well it is so far - please don't let me know how it ends if you've already read it - or watched the film). I love Paul Auster, he writes in such an effortless conversational way ("I've figured these mugs out, I'm so on top of it I can tell what cards they're holding just by looking at their eyes") and yet there's substance and form and thought to it.

Tobacco was a useful prop, and it helped to prevent his opponents from watching him too closely, as if he could literally hide his thoughts behind a cloud of smoke. The important thing is to remain inscrutable, to build a wall around yourself and not let anyone in.

Sound advice for me as a "commuting spy" (although not with all the no smoking signs around) but surely building a wall around one's self is what most people do on the tube, so no wonder I can spy fairly easily. Perhaps I should take up poker too.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 31, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2004/03/poker-faced.html

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Photo shopping

The security ad mentioned earlier has had some top
photo shopping and I love the way that London Transport have been having a photoshopping frenzy with the ad below for the London Marathon



If you are running the marathon and have the actual leaflet for this you can almost see the joins. Good luck to anyone taking part in the marathon in a couple of weeks and maybe do some practice by seeing if you can outrun some tubes. Should be pretty easy on some lines.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 30, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Very "Eats, shoots and leaves"

Yep, even the Economist have picked up on various commas being in wrong place on the tube security poster

But aren't we supposed to call the police?


"Posters plastered over the London Underground after the Madrid bombings seemed oddly keen to encourage natural British reticence rather than vigilance. They may, of course, have been planted by punctuation zealots to illustrate to the grammatically lazy the importance of using commas and semi-colons correctly."

I can just see the author of
Eats, Shoots and Leaves either getting out her valium or calling her agent for another book deal.

Nice to know that Quin in the comments here spotted the same a few days ago.

Thanks for your email, Mike, showing that it's made it to the Economist too.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 30, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Monday, March 29, 2004

Here's comes the summer

Top quote from Cynthia Payne

Just in case you're not into famous prostitutes (who isn't these days),
Cynthia Payne was a well known high class escort girl and madam and via Gert's Mad Musings of Me, I found out that she doesn't think that the latest famous prostitute (Belle de Jour) rings true.

Payne's argument in The Guardian is quite interesting, but I went "eewww" on reading this about one of her clients:

"I once had one who asked for a girl who hadn't washed under her armpits for a month. He said that's what turned him on - he used to travel on the tube on particularly hot days and get up close to sweaty women for the thrill."


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 29, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2004/03/heres-comes-summer.html

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Have you seen this jumper?

Underground clothing

Hoorah, I am now one proud owner of the London Underground sweater below, complete with its name tag for me to write my name on and reinforced elbow pads and two little holes at nipple height.

London Underground jumper


I cannot possibly say how I came across this jumper, but nothing illegal was involved and as much as I may have wanted to knock the hat off LU station assistants sometimes, I've never wanted to rip their jumpers off.

I haven't quite worked out what to do with the jumper yet although I was given several suggestions by the person who gave it to me - fashion it into a vodoo dummy or make into a punch bag, or turn it into a cushion for a
subway tush, or - heavens forbid - try to pose as a member of tube staff with it. Ah decisions, decisions.


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, March 27, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, March 26, 2004

Happy days are here again

Front page of The Standard

Also at the platform kiosk at the brighter than bright, whiter than white newly painted Glamoursmith (the brightness was almost hurting my eyes).



According to The Standard we're in for entire shut down of certain lines including the District and the Circle line for major repair works. In a great toss up, we either have the lines shut down for four days at a time over a few weeks or, shut down for a whole week, in the hope that the work will be finished at once.

"At present contractors are attempting to carry out running repairs during the normal night closure and at weekends but this is causing problems as the work overruns cause chaos in the morning rush hour. " said The Standard.

In a rare moment of insight, the chief exec of one of the firms responsible for the work said this was like "decorating your house by putting up wallpaper one strip at a time." Read the rest and weep.

But as Bradley has eagle eyes and belongs to some transport forum if you look at The Tube's website, it appears that entire District line isn't going to be closed down, just the vast majority of it:

"There will be no Circle line service and no service on the District line from Whitechapel to Earl's Court on Saturday, Sunday and Monday 1-3 May. Saturday and Sunday 8 & 9 and 22 & 23 May, 5 & 6 June, 10 & 11 July, 14 & 15 August, 4 & 5 and 11 & 12 September, 23 & 24 and 30 & 31 October, 20 & 21 November and 4 & 5 December."

There you go, you have been warned.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 26, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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More Metro Momentos

The Knowledge

There's a little "off the wall" quiz in today's Metro with a "how well do you know London"
Diamond Geezer stylie. Obviously, they had to throw in some questions on the tube and if you'd been studying the 50 fascinating facts about the London Underground from my main site, you'd know the answers to the following questions:

1. Which real life Tube station is a model for the fictional Walford East in EastEnders? (OK, so it's not on my fascinating facts page but it's on Hywel Williams site, referenced from my tube celebs page)

2. As they (sic) appear on the Tube map, only one Underground station has none of the letters of the word 'mackerel' in it. Which one?

3. Only two Tube stations have all vowels in them. Which two?

4. Where in 1924 was Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor the first person born?

Well er, durr. Except she wasn't actually called Thelma Ursula Beatrice Eleanor it was simply an over excited newspaper, and the urban legend stuck. She's actually called Marie Cordery or Eleanor Ashfield depending on which other publication you believe.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 26, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Today's morbid Metro Momento

Friday Fun?

The letters page of Metro had a cracking letter about someone's worry if a tube train were bombed and how half the carriage would get out if the driver what at the bombed end (cheerful lot aren't we?)

"......why has no one told us what we should do in an emergency if we find ourselves stuck on a train at the un-bombed out end of the train? Presumably, the only member of staff available to direct us would be the driver. But what happens if they are positioned in the bombed-out end of the train? Should we sit tight and wait to be rescued - and risk choking on fumes or beign crushed in a tunnel collapse? Or should we get the hell out and take our chances on the live rails? And if so, how does one get out of a train that's wedged in a tunnel.

Given that the emergency services have said that rescuing live survivors from this sort of disaster would be almost impossible, it seems pretty poor that there's no information available on board the trains to help us make life-or-death decisions at that 'invevitable' moment
"

Well I think Rebecca from SE23 has a point. Will we see emergency "airline style" plastic cards with drawings of people legging it from crashed tube trains? Will there be posters? I know the tube do regular emergency evacuation "rehearsals", (in fact Dave from funkypancake saw some
fireman's practice thing going on at the disused Alwych Tube station a few days ago) but I'm not sure what the result of them is. Perhaps someone in the know can let us know.

Co-incendentally Rob from The Big Smoker sent me the link to a poster of the "Who Owns this Bag?" campaign that follows the more common attitude that people have with seeing unattended bags or potential bomb carriers

Who Owns This Bag - an alternative poster


From mantlepies.com via b3ta.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 26, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Pregnant Pause

Giving up seats

Piccadilly Line shit this morning, so had to get the District Line most of the way in and was reminded of just how hideous it is, with its constant stops between stops. Central Line was also screwed (I left half an hour earlier to prepare for a meeting - got in two minutes before I normally do, fortunately-ish, the person I was meeting was forty minutes late due to the above problems)

But on the District Line I was throwing on some make-up and still managed to see a pregnant woman get on. Now, she wasn't really heavily pregnant and was wearing a thick jacket and a big jumper and for a moment I had that "Is she pregnant or is she just fat?" dilemma. I offered her my seat and fortunately she was pregnant and took the seat - or perhaps she was just fat and thought she might as well take advantage of my offer. (For more
seat etiquette)

Doing this always reminds me of the hideous story one of my old bosses told me. A guy was being interviewed by her for a job and it was all going well, until at some deranged point, he said casually "So when are you leaving then?". Old boss looked puzzled. "Er, well you'll be off work soon, won't you?" "Not as far as I know" said old boss. Now at this point the guy should have laid down his shovel and stepped away from the massive hole he was digging. "Well you must be on maternity leave soon". "Er, no". Surprisingly, he never got the job.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 24, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Date for your Diary

Who will win the London Transport Awards?

A friend last night asked me if I had been invited to the prestigious first ever
London Transport awards taking place tomorrow night (25th March). I hadn't and was hugely affronted. Well I wasn't, as I'd never heard of them. But what a star studded event it promises to be, Sheriff Ken is going to be the after dinner speaker, the fabulous Jon Snow is going to present the awards (I so loved hearing him swear in the Channel 4 ads) and wait for it, Professor David Begg (course you know who he is) is also a co-host. Fantastic.

According to a press release: "The awards recognise and reward excellence in London�s transport sector and like their national counterpart, they focus on progress in the transport arena and reward real improvements to local transport." The awards ceremony starts at 21.45 and finishes at 21.50.

Check out the shortlist - it rox.

I'm so sorry that I missed the chance to vote for my favourite station. It would be a toss up between Kew Gardens (had wonderful plastic flowers for its entire life) because it's the only tube station that more or less has a pub on the platform and Gunnersbury (where I spotted Matthew Stars in Their Eyes Kelly), because out of towners think it's near Arsenal (the Gunners) and it's the station most likely to be confused with a car park.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 24, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Monday, March 22, 2004

'Yoga' comes to the tube

Apparently we have been warned

Monday's Metro momento is usually barking mad and today was no exception as an ex-Estate agent is trying to get us all.....well if you look at the picture below what are we all encouraged to do? Tube pop idol? Hairbrush singing? Sucking our thumbs?

So this is what estate agents get up to


No it's laughter. Well laughter yoga to be exact. "with the threat of terrorism hanging over our journeys, we need an injection of silliness to combat the climate of fear and anxiety". So we all pretend to laugh and it's infectious. Laughter therapy. Not that sort of nervous laughter that sometimes happens. You know the laughter when you've been stuck a bit too long in a tunnel and people think, what fun? This is hysterical. Ha, ha, ha. Anyone who starts laughing in those situations is likely to be carted off in a strait jacket.

But our laughter therapist, Ms Whitehead, continues with her Martin Luther King style wish:

"My dream is that for one day a week, the last carriage of every train becomes a place where you can look people in the eye and get together for a laugh. Perhaps London Underground would be up for it?"

Are you 'aving a laugh mate?


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 22, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Saturday, March 20, 2004

Top Tube Ad

Invisible Wall

Yesterday, I saw the ad that
Jag had mentioned about try to get people to pass down the carriage. It's brill, as this is a particular bugbear of mine, although the mime artists from a distance reminded me of a carriage full of Ronald McDonalds - which would be another nightmare.

A carriage full of mime artists - London Underground Poster


The ad tells people that there isn't an invisible barrier stopping them from moving down the carriage and that it's difficult for others to get on if you do this.

Very similar to the 1944 "Please pass down the platform" ad by Fougasse

Ad from Underground Art by Oliver Green


Love the no nonsense yet slightly philosophical strap line with this forties ad, "The more we are together, the more uncomfortable we'll be".

For more comparisons between 2004 and 1944 check out my post from the 16th March.


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, March 20, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2004/03/top-tube-ad.html

Friday, March 19, 2004

Have you heard this busker?

Desparately seeking soothing

As my blog gets loads more returning visitors then my main site, I thought it might be more fruitful to post the following request from my
guestbook here. It's a bit of a long shot but you never know.

"I was wondering if anyone can help me. Many years ago (1997-1999), I used to travel to South Kensington station a lot. I remember a woman busker who played a guitar and and really haunting music that echoed all the way down the tunnel. Does anyone know her name?

I did approach her once and wrote her name down, but I've lost the piece of paper a while back now. She told me I could get her music on CD, and now I'm quite desperate to find out what her name is so I can begin to look for it!

Please get in touch with me at sml32@cam.ac.uk if you know who I am talking about! Cheers, Sai
"

The South Ken tube interchange used to be one of the most popular spots for buskers as the acoustics is incredible (I think it's even featured in Babara Vine's crime tube novel - King Solomon's Carpet), plus you get loads of people visiting London's major museums on the Cromwell Road there.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 19, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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How 3 minutes becomes 35 minutes on the Tube

Fooking broken down trains on the Dilly Line

I left my flat 3 minutes later than normal this morning and with a hideous saga of missing connections by minutes and a broken train, I ended up being 35 minutes late.

I'm not going into the full boring step by step acccount of my journey, but remember getting to Richmond where I face my usual Libran dilemma every morning. Tube all the way in? Or British Snail to Waterloo, then Bakerloo line to Piccadilly Circus? I ran down the stairs and got through the barrier to see the slow British Snail train just leaving - thought 'shit I have 10 seconds to catch a District Line' which was just about to go, according to the platform indicator display and typically I just missed that too.

Me and another woman had exactly the same thoughts and swore at the same time, except with our age differences I said "Fuck", she said "Poo" and we both rolled our eyes, knowing, we had a six or seven minute wait for the next District Line. The fuck and poo thing really reminded me of that thing going round the net right now -
the Channel 4 ad with celebrities saying their favourite swear words - The Tube should do one, they must hear a huge amount of expletives every day.

When I got to Earl's Court on the Piccadilly Line, I realised that more swearing was on the way. We were all sitting in the carriage and nothing happened and I had the massive feeling of deja vu. Except there was a rather worrying alarm bell going on outside for a minute, then switching off, then switching on again. A few more antsy people than me looked out of the still open doors. After five minutes of this, even I was beginning to get antsy. Advanced mumbling over the tannoy by the driver was no help. By his third announcement, he decided to take the cotton wool out of his mouth and leave his Marlon Brando impressions to Alastair McGowan, and we learnt the train wasn't going anywhere due to something at somewhere else.

On the platform a clearer person had been employed to say that there was a defective train at South Ken and the Piccadilly Line was fooked between Kings Cross and Arnos Grove, so for the second day in a row, it was everybody out.

Fuck and poo again.


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 19, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ideas for Tube Fancy Dress Party

Themed London Underground Bash

My friend who sits next to me at work has been invited to a party where you have to dress up as a tube station. This doesn't mean that he would have to wear chicken wire and gaffer tape, or have a load of discarded Metro's sewed onto him, or even cover himself with soot and have the odd mouse popping out of the bottom of his trousers. It's where you dress influenced by the name of a tube station. So with over 260 to choose from you're spoilt for choice.

Two of his friends, so far are going as Ken and Barbie - Barbie-ken (can you see what it is yet?) Barbican. Any more suggestions will be gratefully received.

Update - someone came from Google to this blog after typing in "London Underground fancy dress party", so some people going to the party are obviously doing their homework - check out loads of
piccies from a party who had the same theme - a couple of vicars with green wigs and some angels, but everyone else looked remarkably normal - must have been very cryptic with their dress.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, March 18, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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My first security alert since Madrid

Charing Cross Station was closed earlier

Nothing dramatic and everyone treated it like a normal closure. Meant I got on a Bakerloo train at Waterloo, we hung around on the train for a few minutes, then heard that Charing Cross was closed and the Bakerloo Line had been suspended. Hardened commuters and me leapt off the train and went to the Northern Line with not even a second thought and then I got off at Leicester Square (whose roof at escalator level seems to be held together by a load of chicken wire and gaffer tape).


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, March 18, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2004/03/my-first-security-alert-since-madrid.html

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Spaced Out

Ever Felt Like You Were Surrounded by Zombies?

I had to do a double take and actually walk back on myself when leaving Piccadilly Circus today as I thought I saw a poster of a person in a tube carriage surrounded by the undead and extras from Michael Jackson's Thriller video.

I was pleased to not be hallucinating. It was a great London Underground poster for a new "Rom Zom" (romantic zombie - where have you been?) film called
Shaun of The Dead. It stars Simon Pegg from the top TV "Sur Com" (surreal comedy) series Spaced and is based on an idea that they introduced in the series - fighting zombies and the living dead in the streets of London.

London Underground poster for Shaun of The Dead


Not sure how much the Tube will feature in the film itself (if at all) but top poster all the same - and top web address www.romzom.com.

Update

Freaky, freaky, freaky - only two days prior to this fellow blogger funkypancake did a Simon Pegg celeb spot and asked for his piccy which he kindly agreed to.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 17, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

In which I remember years ending in four

2004, 1954, 1944

In honour of the boys playing at Twickenham this weekend (they can't do as badly as they did against
the Irish), it was quite fitting that I saw a new poster at Glamoursmith about letting people off the train first tonight.

It does seem almost like a rugby tackle getting out of the tube in the rush hour and you feel as though you've left something of yourself behind dragging yourself out.

At Hammersmith Station


"Do you think you actually know when your ribs crack?" one of the characters in the short story Confidence Trick written in 1954 said "but on a philosophical note of fair comment rather than complaint".

But as a 21st centry century take the poster's not bad but doesn't convey the sheer shock of seeing how packed a tube can be:

Please pass down the car by Fougasse - From Underground Art by Oliver Green


Top poster by Fougasse from 1944.

But, forties, fifties, noughties tube scrummage is still the same.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 16, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Bloggies

Thanks to everyone who voted

I didn't win, which is quite frankly no surprise. But I did want to say a big thanks to everyone who did vote for me and I was well pleased to get into the finals for two categories anyway. Amazing, that the voters found books to be sexier than sex, as I was actually pretty staggered that
Belle De Jour didn't win the best topical category we were both finalists for. Och well better luck next year and commisserations to The Big Smoker, The Guardian's Blog, Green Fairy and Little Red Boat who were the only blogs in the finals that I read regularly.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 16, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Monday, March 15, 2004

Police patrol London Underground

Extra security on the tube

Following the
terrorist attack on the trains in Madrid, I've just heard on the radio that the London Underground has rightly responded with an extra show of police (including plain clothes cops) patrolling the tubes and a new poster campaign asking us all to be extra vigilant and on the look out for unattended packages.

The Tube's �100,000 poster campaign launched today


For more on this anti terror campaign check out ITN's news page - plus the ever useful Google News.

Update - Excellent response to the "Who Owns this bag" campaign - from what we've come to expect from the brill Diamond Geezer.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 15, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Yes I've done this

Avoiding people you know when commuting

Came across the following through
Croila

"There you are, waiting at a suburban station, waiting for a train back into town. You've got, most probably, a ten minute wait for the train and then a ten minute journey into Edinburgh Waverley. It's not really a massive length of time. But that's YOUR time! You're hovering around the platform anxiously, keeping a constant watch all the other bodies that are streaming towards it, straining to pick out the one dangerous one in the madding crowds.

"Then you see him. Ex-Colleague, aka Bore of Death. Striding purposely down the steps. Your eyes flash all round the platform to see if there are any hugely fat people you can hide behind - has he seen you yet? Then with dawning horror you realise you're screwed - eye contact is made and you're doomed to desultory, banal small talk the whole way until you get into Waverley. Your hands get sweaty, your heart starts thumping, and you desperately search for an escape route."

She then continues with a bloody excellent escape route which is to pretend that your mobile phone is ringing and then to get into an animated conversation with your pretend friend. All the times I used to avoid ex-colleagues or more often than not boring "neighbours" at Kew Gardens (not my old next door neighbours, as they were cool but "neighbours" whose names you don't even know, but they happen to share the same postcode as you), I used the "head in book" escape route or the "I've suddenly forgotten how to get home/get to work and I must study the tube map as though I've never seen it before in my life" route.

Cheers Croila for reminding me of this and of the fact that, like you, I then feel like "the world's most rotten, misanthropic bitch the whole way home".


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 15, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Saturday, March 13, 2004

You can leave your hat on

Or take it off if it's 77 degrees

Cool - Or rather hot, just finished watching the last episode of
The Tube TV series which is being repeated on Reality TV. It rocked.

This week, we met the fabulous ex-bookie, Darren Smith, whose previous occupation obviously makes him a perfect candidate for his current role as a ticket inspector. This episode was filmed in the height of summer and Darren was none too happy about wearing his full uniform:

"My kids are going to be in a paddling pool. I'm going to be sweating me balls off in Hyde Park Corner. With a hat on!"

Although, apparently when the temperature reaches 77 degrees, LU staff are allowed to take their hats off. We saw Darren in action judging whether the fare evaders were lying or not. One guy was definitely telling "a pack of lies", whereas with another guy, Darren pronounced:

"Unless he's up for a series of Academy awards, he looked genuine to me".

The guy in the white shirt is not up for an Oscar


He then stood on the side, arms folded and assessed the guilt of a man with one of his colleagues. "Now this one's body language is all wrong. Look at him he's all defensive, suggesting he's guilty". Whereas, all Darren was guilty of, was murdering a song later on, as obviously not too camera shy, he treated us to his vocal talents.

Later on, we met another vocalist, persistent busker "Bob Marley" - this was in the days before busking got official. The station manager, who had to chase him off the premises, claimed he was nothing like his nickname:

"He's just a scruffy individual who can't sing or play his guitar. He should be taken away and shot in my opinion".

Clearly taking I shot the Sheriff far too seriously


Jeesus, I'd love to see how he handled fare evaders.

Then we had a classic "chase" through the underground of the station manager speedily walking up and down escalators, as Bob Marley moved from platform to platform in a game of cat and mouse.

"I'm gonna make them work for their money today", 'Bob' said to the camera, clearly enjoying the chase.

Tonight Matthew I'm gonna be Bob Marley


Top series, shame it's come to an end, check out Ms Sadgrove watching the SPAD tube saftey video on last week's episode.


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, March 13, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Laptops

A computer for your lap

I think it's only when you travel on trains and planes that you really see lap tops living up to their names. On Friday night going home the woman clearly heading towards Heathrow on the Piccadilly Line reminded me of one of the very few times I used a computer on my lap at Edinburgh airport.



She looked much more used to it than I was and although I felt very cosmopolitan and well travelled at the time, I was having no end of problems using the stupid little sensor instead of a mouse. I'm quite old skool and at meetings I alway plug a real mouse into my lap top.

Normally the only computers I've managed to snap on the tube are ever so slightly larger and less portable than neat lap tops - regular readers might remember the picture of the
young lovers clutching their PC and the computer which may have possibly been travelling by itself.


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, March 13, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, March 12, 2004

Madrid Bomb Attacks

Terrorist attacks on trains

Firstly, my deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the hundreds of people who died in this attack and also to the thousands of other people injured and traumatised by this.

Travelling in today and reading Metro and staring at the front page of every body else's paper it was like that horrible car crash mentality we have of not being able to take our eyes away from something so hideous. Seeing the pictures in Metro today and even when I first heard about the crash in the small hours of Thursday morning actually, I had that internal debate whether to blog it or not. (similar internal debate on
The Transport Blog) I then thought - crikey only Wednesday itself I mentioned the lack of bins on the tube as the Tube's "fight" against terrorism.

Today, I find I can't stop myself but am only reporting on how this effects me and thoughts on my journey. I'm not political enough to have major thoughts, that I want to share, about who was behind this. I just know that the attack was wrong - and that's about as political as I'm going to get.

Parts of Metro really brought home the human element and the effects on commuters, and it was all horribly similar to reports of the biggest rail disaster we had in the UK since I started goingunderground.net - the Paddington Rail Crash, which I did report on, and I'm going to end this posts with some of those.

Obviously Metro couldn't be Metro without a piece saying that "Transport in London 'is safe'", and rightly talks about our fears of similar attacks taking place in London. In fact we're just about to have a "water cooler" discussion about it at work. Commuting will go on regardless - it has to.



Anyway, no more navel gazing, I'm sure there's going to be more than enough of that in loads of other blog posts about this attack. Back to those eye witness accounts:

"There were people all over the ground like in a disaster movie. Others were crushed against the walls. After a second explosion people dropped everything, bags and shoes and ran, many trampling on others. People didn't know which way to go. Some even went into the train tunnels without thinking other trains would be coming".

And from a doctor and this is what I remember most about Paddington - "On many bodies we could hear the person's mobile phones ringing as we carted them away."


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 12, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2004/03/madrid-bomb-attacks.html

'Snow fun in March

Not quite as adverse as it could have been

This unseasonably cold weather and, I think, even the snow was forecast for the latter part of this week. And as Bradley
mentioned, we had a bit of snow last night, which so far hasn't led to much more than a Piccadilly Line train getting stuck at Sudbury Hill. So not much in the way of the "adverse weather conditions" being the phrase of today on the "London Underground Delays" (sorry) Real Time Travel News webpage. The Metropolitan Line seems the only one really effected by snow.

I bet Bob Crow and the boys are muttering in slight frustration about suspending the strike planned for today. A Tube strike coupled with snow would have been great for their cause.

There's nothing like seeing queues and queues of fed up Londoners rubbing their hands together and huddled up at bus-stops, to make the papers report of "Travel Chaos with Tube Strike" or "Cold Commuters Cause a Commotion in Cockfosters" or if you're reading The Daily Mail - "Asylum Seekers Wreck London's Orderly Queues" and "Farringdon's Five Defraud the Memory of Diana".


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 12, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Just call me Mystic Meg

Tube Strike Called off

Yes as I predicted in the small hours of this morning the Underground industrial action planned for tomorrow has been called off.

And now from
The Evening Standard, I finally know why the men were called the Farringdon Five:

"RMT leader Bob Crow said the strike had been "suspended" to allow the men to take their cases to employment tribunals where they will claim unfair dismissal.

The men - seven in total, although the strike ballot was based on the first five to be dismissed - were fired by employers Metronet, which is responsible for maintenance of more than two-thirds of the network. ........

Mr Crow said the decision to suspend the strike had been taken after Metronet promised that it would abide by the outcome of the employment tribunal.
"

And as expected there's a bit of Cavalry Ken backlash too: "there was anger among some union members at the Mayor's lastminute intervention.

One accused him of a "cheap publicity shot" by his involvement.

One member said: "He has not got involved at all with this and just wants to get in on the act for publicity purposes to make it look as though he has helped resolve it.

"It is the union's decision what to do in this dispute and not his
."

Check out The Evening Standard for more info.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, March 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Tube Strike Latest

Farringdon Five (seven) and 12th March London Underground Strike

There, that should satisfy anyone coming to this site from Google and looking for the latest on the impending London Underground industrial action. I've got a sneaking suspicion it will be called off - but don't quote me on that. At the moment it's still on and we'll only know hours before whether or not it will go ahead.

But the squash sickie strike action was suspended. Another one was also called off that was due for the day when we'd all be watching Jonny and the boys coming marching home (marching is another term for swanning through central London in an open top double decker bus to hordes of people - me included).

I can't even remember the last strike we had in actuality (there was one early last year, I think, about safety and that was the only one that seemed to have an ounce of public sympathy behind it), we just seem to get a constant threat of them - then Ken has a chat with Bob Crow and the lads and promises them something and they suspend it until further notice, then The Standard will publish something that discredits the union or what the strike was about in the first place, then it all rears its head again and then on and on and on.

Maybe it's just me, but I now get pretty disinterested and I don't think many daily tube commuters really let it effect their life. Until first thing in the morning of the day of the strike you remember there's sposed to be a strike and turn on the radio to find out whether it's on or not and make alternative arrangements.

Anyway, the best way to learn the latest is Google news which is a feed from hundreds of papers and other news sources and usually has the most up to date info.

If it happens it will start at 6am on Friday 12th March, will affect five lines - the Circle, District, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and East London and will last for 24 hours.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, March 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Now the bins don't work

Get thee to a charidee shop, young lady

At lunch time today, I was coming back from a meeting and I saw a woman trying to shove a pair of boots into a sealed up bin at Embankment station, much to the stifled laughter of the bloke sitting next to her.

In an out of town Northern accent she screamed to her female companion a few yards down "The bin doesn't work".

She'd obviously not been down south for some time. Bins have been sealed on the tube for years and years and years now as they made good hiding places for bombs. And that's also why you might see some of those
clear plastic bag bins around - mainly on "overground" underground platforms. Although it's hardly likely that someone's going to put a bomb in one of those bags, without putting it in another container first.

Image from Jag's Route 79 Bus Journal


But I digress, what Ms Wasteful, was doing trying to throw a perfectly good looking pair of beige suede boots away in the middle of the afternoon, God only knows, the concept of "charity shops" had clearly passed her by.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 10, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Animals on the Underground Worldwide

Speaking of
T-Shirts

Blimey O'Reilley - those pesky Animals on the Underground get everywhere. It looks like they might be branching out into Seoul in Korea and they also had a nice write up on a Danish newspaper, plus loads of references in blogdex, Bogdex, Popdex, Technorati and any other website popularity site going - good luck to em - bastards

From Animals on the Underground's Newsletter


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 10, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Booze, Bloggers and Blogging

My night out with The Big Smokers

Last night went out for a drink with fellow London Bloggers, and
fellow Bloggie Awards finalists (they're up against me for Best UK British & Irish Blog) and fellow Guardian Award Winners (OK - they won their category - I was only Highly Commended), Rob and Euan from The Big Smoker. Fortunately they assured me that they didn't look like their pictures on their blog, which was a massive relief as I was more than a bit worried about walking into a bar and finding two guys with no faces. (check out their about section)

It's quite funny meeting people in real life that you only originally know virtually, but luckily it turned out to be good fun and as well as talking about blogging for a bit, you end up talking about most stuff Londoners do. As usual everyone has their fair share of stories of uppity tube staff "this bloke muttered that I needed more than a bit of help when I asked him to explain his cryptic tube delays sign" (Euan), - weird coincidences "saw someone reading a book on the tube by the woman that teaches me at college, so I snorted a bit, like you do" (Rob) and other tube tales.

So it still suprises me that there aren't more blogs around about tube commuting or even sites like goingunderground. Jag's bus blog is about the nearest around to mine and other tube ones I've seen tend to fall by the wayside after a while.

As I went home I walked anti clockwise round Piccadilly Circus's station instead of clockwise to get a bag of crisps and ended up walking past the Aladdin's cave chock a block full of London tourist tat.



It may have been the effects of a few bevvies with The Smokers but I'm sure the amount of bric a brac in there defies the laws of physics - a museum's worth of stuff stuffed into the space of kiosk. I can also see why it's empty most of the time, as I imagine they can hardly fit anyone else but a bored shop assistant inside. But - any tourists reading this - it's one of the best places to score tube clothing - and I don't mean the nice tube blue hats and jumpers and checked shirts and trousers that the staff wear.

And no, Ian, as far as I can see, they didn't have the boxer shorts with Arsenal on the back and Shepherd's Bush on the front. Although if anywhere's likely to have them they would.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 10, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Monday, March 08, 2004

More tube telly

Fast Show, probably more like The Go Slow Show

Speaking of tube telly, I've just heard about the following from a researcher on The Discovery Channel who signed my
guestbook

"I've been a regular commuter on the tube for six years and much of what appears here rings true. I work for the Discovery Channel who have a new series called Mark Williams on the Rails. It's presented by Mark Williams, from the Fast Show. One of the episodes looks at the history of the tube network...

Episode 9, Sunday 11th April at 1.00pm
Going Underground � Mark gets to grips with the oldest underground train network in the world � London�s Underground. The hazardous building project was an instant success. Mark jumps into the cab of a train to journey through one of the first tunnels built under the Thames.
"

Not sure what the "hazardous building project was", but the rest of it sounds fun. I can see Williams now "This week I have been mostly wearing a blue London Underground uniform."


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 08, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Today's Metro Momento

Monday Morning Cheerfulness

It's almost a case of tell us something we don't know when you see the screaming front page headline "
Meltdown" and a picture of a tube that looks like it's melting.

Slow news day in London - tube is crap, shock horror


Yet another report about overcrowding on the tube. Bullet point tube logo roundels to emphasise the points:

Logo

Within ten years Tube will carry 19 extra people in every rush hour carriage

Logo

One third of network will be crowded at peak

Logo

Safety fears will force more stations to close

Yada, yada, yada. Anyone who commutes every day knows this. "Overcrowding on the Underground will be 'unimaginable' and it would 'be difficult to describe how unpleasant' travelling in the capital will be", said Metro quoting from a report compiled for Transport for London which was published "yesterday" (How many reports get published on Sunday? I'm sure Metro are just trying to add to the gloom of a Monday morning.)

Basically London's predicted to have a surge in population by 800,000 by 2016 which means that up 620 million quid more investment in London's transport is needed a year to cope with the extra bodies. So the report is to persuade ministers to invest more cash, although "The Department of Transport said it had already increased Tube funding significantly".

Just to let you know the Tube's definition of "crowded" is "when there are more people standing than sitting". Nice to know that crowded is a word they understand, even though overcrowded still doesn't seem to exist in the Railway dictionary.

Anyone who wants to read the full Metro article can do so, and as The Big Smoker said - Is there ever a report on London transport which isn't damning?


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 08, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Saturday, March 06, 2004

SPAD Alert

Where Miranda Learned the Meaning of SPAD

Completely by accident I caught the penultimate episode of
The Tube TV series which is currently being repeated on Reality TV. ("Delays, cancellations, overcrowding, unbearable temperatures, offensive body odour, aggressive commuters...If you travel via London Underground, then you are bound to have some experience of the above. .......We witness the complexities of running an over-stretched, under-funded and creaking network, and the efforts of staff to make it run smoothly."

It was quite weird as I'd just finished watching the hysterically un PC film version of TV "comedy" On The Buses, where Stan, Jack and the boys were trying to get rid of the new women drivers by putting spiders in their cabs and laxatives in their tea. And in one of those moments of perfect synchronicity the episode of The Tube was about two women drivers. Most of it was about trainee woman tube driver Jo and her test.

Jo passed and fortunately on passing didn't seem to face blokes like Stan and Jack. She only had the ever so slightly patronising comment of her boss "What I'm going to have to do now is sort you out a train", said with the same tone as sorting out someone a nice scarf to go with their new dress.

The best and bravest part of this was that we learnt about SPAD's or Signal Passed at Danger. This is basically the tube driver's equivalent of going through a red light. When this happens, you'll be pleased to know that the automatic brakes will go on, and this will inevitably lead to delays or a sharp stop and possible injury, depending on how far the tube got before the brakes kicked in.

Miranda Sadgrove, (top name), did a SPAD and like all the drivers that do one had to watch the SPAD safety video, with lots of scary sci fi sounding music and many nasty images of people being thrown around tube carriages.

SPAD

Sadgrove rightly looked a bit ... well, er, sad, when watching the video, but afterwards philosophically mused "Everyone makes mistakes. I'm not a robot. If I caused a delay so what. It's better than killing people". Yep, you're right there Miranda it certainly is.

I'm not a robot


I so hope I get to go on this (a second series is currently being filmed, and there's a slim chance I may be on TV - the producers regularly read this blog). I will try for a comment like "Yeah, well, my blog, a lot people read it, occasionally, the odd image gets broken. The speed of download, can be a bit slow. So what. I'm not a robot. At least the bandwidth is maintained and people can surf unharmed and virus free". It'll make cracking TV.


; Posted by Annie Mole Saturday, March 06, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Friday, March 05, 2004

b3ta go tube mad

B3ta Tube Totty T Shirt pulls the birds

Just to explain to people who've been living on another planet,
b3ta is one of THE most popular email newsletters around. It's mainly a collection of funny animations, photo shop spoof things and all sorts of very clever fun stuff - once you hit b3ta, you have arrived on the net and people originally being touted on here have gone on to be commissioned to make TV commercials (Anchor butter and Switch/Maestro are the lastest big brands to spot the talent there) Needless to say b3ta have ignored my blog and website for years, but it was fun to see this story hitting its headlines today:

"I was sat on the tube today proudly sporting my new b3ta threads and a girl opposite me started mouthing 'woo' and then 'yay' to me. It took me ages to work out what she was saying and I felt really self-conscious. When I realised, she got off the tube.

"She looked a bit like a Britney. So, yeah, she was hot. It only lasted for two stops on the Central Line but I'd love for her to get in touch."


Reminds me of the "Did she just shake her tic tacs at me" TV ad shot in a tube carriage, and incidentally I know the guy who sits next to the speaking actor. See how I mix with the famous.

Escalator sliding captured on film

Then there's a brilliant film of people sliding down escalators on the tube

"Recently me and my mates attended a posh dinner thing at the Tower of London," writes Elliott Ingram, "It ended early so we were up for a bit of pissing around on the Tube. I filmed it all on my phone." Wow. These guys slide down the central bit of a really long escalator. Er... and then they fall off. Woo.

Escalator sliding at Leicester Square - screen grab from The Cartoonist


It's a very long download (even on broadband), because such is the popularity of the newsletter, and the idea of seeing the above, there's shedloads of people trying to look at it now and the site may take ages to load. Keep trying, I've just seen it and it's VERY, VERY funny and you do find yourself saying "ouch" in sympathy when he falls off.

The idea is brill and it's probably something we've all thought about doing, although my colleague has just said he'd be worried about his bollox getting hit on the little "stand on the right" triangular signs. Probably more a case of permanently changing which side you "dress on".


; Posted by Annie Mole Friday, March 05, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Thursday, March 04, 2004

The next Ringo

Tube tub thumping

I would have loved to see this busker get on the tube. It's the first time I have ever seen somebody busk with a drum kit.

He was trying to do lots of clever juggling with his sticks which he almost carried off although I managed to catch him ....well not catching.

Tube tub thumping busker at Piccadilly Circus


Still good luck to him though, he had a little collection of CD's which he was selling at seven quid a pop.

About the only interesting tube thing in yesterday's
The Londoner (with the exception of what might had led to the derailment in Camden - "The Camden Town derailment was the result of a very rare combination of factors, including a design weakness in the set of points at which it happened, according to a London Underground report.") was a feature on our new licensed buskers. The impression the article gives is that the licensed buskers are probably all on nice little earners and doing lots of weddings and family functions:

"Angelina Kalahari is one of more than 400 licensed buskers. Classically trained, she sings arias and classical songs three times a week in two-hour slots.
'I started busking as soon as it became legal, and this is how I make my living, ' she says. 'People are always taking my business cards because I also do parties, weddings and corporate functions.' "

Well, maybe the opera singing ones are, but I don't think tub thumping matey boy this evening will be doing too many weddings.


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, March 04, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Another subway map doing the rounds

Sort of Medium

Thanks to both Chris from
www.qwghlm.co.uk and Tom from www.freeatlast.co.uk who both sent me the current subway map thing that's going round

13 world subways by scale


"It's a neat little page comparing different tube networks from around the world in terms of size - we're sort-of medium, but dwarfed by Moscow and New York..." say Chris from www.qwghlm.co.uk

Come on now, can someone meet the challenge of the guy who created the maps (it's obviously a guy) who says "What, there are more than thirteen subways in the world? By all means, send me a city map that covers the full extent of the subway. Mardid (sic) is in the works. "

Off the top of my head he's missing Toronto and Lisbon already. And all of the other world subway maps are here.

Enjoy


; Posted by Annie Mole Thursday, March 04, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Brightened my day

Annie the Size???

Regular readers will remember me going through a spate of showing uber complementary or just weird descriptions of my blog and site, mainly as a result of almost winning a
Guardian Blog Award

Today, I came across the following from an Italian blog, which Google ably translates as:

"Going Underground' s Blog" is weblog of Annie the Size, the diamond editor of Going Underground's Net, extraordinary situated on the metropolitan of London. Difficult to describe of what draft, it must be annoying to you, following the map articulated in a labyrinth of "lines" intersecting themselves continuously just like that one of The Tube. Maps, books, ghosts, food, news, attitudes and unexpected norms of behavior, encounter, strange places, losing to us in a travel for and equipped picked, amazing London of fantastic observation spirit and sense of humour."

If you want to read the Italian and check out an excellent London Underground photo, check out RadioAndorra's entry for the 3rd March.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 03, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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I'll have a B please Bob

Bryson and Brick Lane

Last autumn it felt like most people I saw on the tube were reading
Middlesex. This year or even at Xmas I haven't noticed a trend at all, but the two readers below caught my eye this evening.

Firstly, the woman below pulled a book out of her rucksack with a really nicely designed spine. Then I noticed the exotic looking cover with its gorgeous shades of reds and orange, and thought "Crikey I wonder what that is?" and it turned out to be the paperback version of Brick Lane. The first time I had seen the paperback and for the first time I actually felt like reading it. (Strangest reader review in amazon - "One dimensional characters; boring story; but very readable")

Composition in Red with Brick Lane by Monica Ali


Then the guy opposite me pulled out Bill Bryson's Down Under. I've never felt compelled to read much Bryson, although I spose Notes from a Small Island might be interesting particularly in light of the "tube map confusing tourists" story he tells (along the lines of it's faster to walk to certain stations than slavishly follow the tube map and travel five or six stops taking twenty minutes or so to emerge a few hundred yards down the road from where you started)

Butterfly Book, Bill Bryson's Down Under


I actually had a very sharp picture of Down Under, but quite liked the accidental butterfly effect of shot.


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 03, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Apathy or Unpopular

Only 89 people vote for strike action

I know us Brits can be apathetic when it comes to voting - wet election days lead to lower turn outs - but only 89 people voted in favour of the next Friday's walk out on some tube lines, and that was enough to be the majority of those who voted.

Only around a quarter of tube workers voted in the first place - 121 out of 441 - so what happened with the 320 people who didn't even vote? Could they not be bothered, or weren't they behind the Farringdon Five (or seven according to the Standard)?

In the
Evening Standard, Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT said: "There has been a ballot and everybody had an opportunity to vote. In the RMT members abide by the democratic outcome of the ballot."

I'm so not behind The Standard putting the picture of one of the sacked tube workers on their front page with the ridiculous headline "Blame This Man" for the strike. It looks as though the Standard spoke to an un-named "friend" of said man, to get most of the quotes for "his" front page story. Well with friends like his, who needs enemies?


; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, March 03, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Spooky, spooky, spooky

In which I remember I like short stories

Last night I finally got round to reading tube journey from hell story - Confidence Trick by John Wyndham and spookily enough
Nick Cooper - who let me know about the story in the first place - has just made a comment about my Sherlock Holmes post.

Confidence Trick is a brill short story by the guy who wrote Day of The Triffids and tons of other English sci fi. Confidence Trick works as a bit of history on commuting (it was written in 1954 when you could still smoke on the tube - nightmare in itself), also great feeling of the ordinary commute:

" 'Never again', Henry Baider said to himself, once he had been condensed enough for the doors to close, 'never again will I allow myself to be caught up in this'."

Great opening line which will have most commuters nodding in sympathy. Lots more on the feelings of claustrophobia and getting stuck in tunnels between stops, that we still experience now fifty years later.

Confidence Trick in Jizzle by John Wyndham


It's surprising there aren't more horror or sci fi stories about the tube as it's perfect fodder for hysteria, suspicion, claustrophobia, paranoia, frustration, panic, the discomfort of strangers and loss of control that sci fi dreams of.

Check out Confidence Trick if you can - I got my "out of print copy" of Jizzle (the collection it is part of) for 75p plus a couple of quid postage and the other stories might be worth a shot too.

If you like Confidence Trick you might want a shot of Ken Follett's A Midnight Train to Nowhere about a woman falls asleep on the tube, misses her stop (sounds familar) and ends up......well, that would be telling. Part of the brilliant Murder on the Railways collection (edited by Peter Haining) with six underground short stories and many other overground ones.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Mobiles going underground

Good move

This morning was a morning when I could have really done with mobiles working on the tube, as I was frantically trying to find out whether our office had been closed because of last night's murder (see below) and I had to make lots of calls to mobiles and have those familiar yet annoying half conversations with people as they were saying "just going into a tunnel" or rather "jst, g-ing ooh ell".

It appears that we might have mobile phones working underground by the end of the year. "
BBC London has learned that London Underground (LU) has been in negotiation with the four main mobile phone companies."

Expect to see many more of these signs


In a magnanimous comment the tube's Richard Squire said: "So many people have got mobile phones, we feel from a customer services point of view we're going to have to do this." Nice of them to be so thoughtful particularly if there's a nice little earner in it for them too. "The system could also make money for LU because Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone would have to rent the space the equipment occupies."


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Working at home

Scary stuff

A woman was
stabbed and killed in the street where I work last night. I managed to hear about this on the news before leaving this morning so I heard that our street and surrounding streets had been closed off.

This is on the day when the police announce that there will be more police on the streets in London than ever before. Certainly didn't help that poor girl.


; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, March 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Monday, March 01, 2004

Winding my way down to Baker Street

Trust London's most famous detective to be a druggie

Had to travel up to north London today, and as it was lunchtime and for once I was running early, I took a couple of snaps at Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes. Anyone going through Baker Street tube at the Bakerloo and Jubilee line platform level, knows that there are tons of murals featuring
Sherlock the Smackhead. So it was quite sweet to see a nodding reference to his substance abuse with a little drawing of a marijuana leaf coming out of his pipe (wrong drug, right sentiment)

Sherlock Holmes on drugs at Baker Street - bizarre storyline in the Red Headed League


Someone will correct me but I'm pretty sure that none of the murals feature Holmes' only case on the London Underground - The Bruce Partington Plans (loads of e-books of the whole short story, or watch the DVD). As Holmes only lived a stone's throw away from the tube, I'm surprised the london underground didn't feature more heavily in his stories.

Holmes was clearly suffering the after effects of some coke when he made the following comment:

"This is really very singular. According to my experience, it is not possible to reach the platform of a metropolitan train without exhibiting one's ticket. Presumably, then, the young man had one. Was it taken from him in order to conceal the station from which he came, or did he drop it in the carriage?"

However this was before the days of the Oystercard and jumping the barriers so perhaps we can't blame him for his naivety.

I'm sure he'd be freaked out to see the tile mosaics of his profile, made up of hundreds of tiny images of his silhouette. I think that would put me onto coke pretty damn quick.

Sherlock Holmes mosaics at Baker Street Station designed by Michael Douglas - no not that one


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 01, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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Happy Mondays

Strike for sacked tube workers & Alfie Moon for Mayor

Well, there will be a strike currently planned for
March 12th, for the tube workers known as the Farringdon Five who were "unfairly dismissed" after over 100 beer cans were found in their messy mess room.

According to The Scotsman (the only place where I can find the story on the net at the moment): "Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union employed by Metronet have backed a campaign of industrial action by five to one, raising the prospect of the biggest walkout on the Tube for more than 18 months."

Good-oh, now if Alfie Moon from EastEnders were mayor he'd be"aving nun of this". (Moon is apparently Londoners' third choice for mayor after Richard Branson, then Ken Livingstone - goodness knows which Londoners were asked this question) It would be a case of a clip round the ear and being told to get upstairs and stop being such an idiot. Or he'd have a little lock in with Bob Crow, leader of the RMT and drunkenly agree to call the whole thing off over a game of poker.

For more on the strike including times and lines that may be effected, check out The Evening Standard.


; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, March 01, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon
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