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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
If you like this you'll LURVE One Stop Short of Barking, the fun and informative book about travelling
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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Morning after the night before - UK Bloggers Christmas Party

I'm sure I will update this later today, but just wanted to say what a great time I had at the party last night. My head is sore and I so TOTALLY blame this on
Rich Wild who organised the whole bash and had the ridiculous idea of bringing out champagne at the end of the evening. I was doing quite nicely on my half a dozen beers and it's amazing how three small glasses of champagne have so much alcohol content in them.

I arrived with my friend Agent Moon as I was too cowardly to come by myself, although I shouldn't have worried, everyone was really friendly and chatty.

So I met the following bloggers (probably more to be added later, when my hangover clears and I find out your names - sorry :-( )

James from oddblogbgod who actually works for the London Underground, so needless to say we had the longest talk.

Tim from kalyr.com who regularly reads this blog.

Darren from timemachinego (another of my regulars) who apparently was having a bit of a crisis about his blog. My friend Agent Moon was trying to discourage this in her usual animated & enthusiastic fashion.

Stuart from hydragenic, was chatting with Agent Moon and Darren, and I had a very, very brief chat with him as he left.

Rich and Taz from funjunkie, plus a really nice guy with curly hair a la Alan Davies whose name I didn't catch (if someone can fill in the gaps for me). Had a really top conversation with these guys about blogging in general, whether it was commercial or becoming more commercial, Alicia Keys' blog which is apparently mad, the Guardian Awards (D'OH we weren't supposed to be talking about them), the Guardian's report of the party, funjunkie's "purpose", the "purpose" of blogging in general, progressive rock, meeting bloggers in the flesh and acting as though you knew them (which you do in a very, very weird way) and tons of other great stuff.

Some of the bloggers also partying, who I read regularly but I didn't get to speak to (which I'm really sorry about) were Gert, Greenfairy, Meg and Dave from acerbia and Pix from pixeldiva.

Rich you just must organise something like this again, so I can get to speak to everyone.

It was bizarrely one of those parties where you have never met the people but you get there and you just have loads and loads to talk about. So very pleased I went and now back to nursing my hangover.

Oh, here comes the tube bit. Left the party at some time way, way after midnight, so got the very last tube into King's Cross last night. Had to get a fecking night bus home (night buses are crap although cheap). After waiting half an hour for the thing to arrive, a bloke had an epileptic fit on the bus, so we were all turfed out for another half an hour. The bus took the longest possible route from King's Cross to Richmond, going through Putney of all places, probably took in Birmingham too, but I was asleep throughout most of the journey. Managed to get a cab at Richmond, then got home at 3am, so am definitely going back to bed now.


Some photos here - plus the promise of a lot more photos here at boredshitless - ah ha a full gallery of 100 odd pix at boredshitless now.

The first of the funjunkie crew's pictures. More pictures from funjunkie's Taz.

List of some of the bloggers from the night

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, November 30, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE
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London News Review Party - whatever happened to it?????

Speaking of fantastic parties that happened, does anyone know what happened as to what was going to be billed as a fantastic party that never happened? The London News Review promised a party to its founding subscribers in October and unless I missed the emails completely it seems to have been totally forgotten about.

I think this is a bit of a bummer actually as they promised all sorts of things with that magazine and nothing - a party, a goody bag at said party, a half decent magazine - I actually think it sucks, has a very dull design and was very disappointed with it.

I did email the
editors to say what's going on and they said they would reply to all emails on the back of the founding issue questionnairre, and to date, absoloutely nothing. If anyone went to the party and had a fantastic time, I'll obviously take these comments back, but until then I think "founding subscribers" got a poor deal and I'm personally very embarrassed about this as I recommended subscribing to a lot of my friends, and posted on this blog too.

Anyway, if you want an alternative magazine for London, I'd go for the quirky, eccentric and delightful Smoke magazine instead.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, November 30, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, November 28, 2003

How I may be feeling on Monday

Well it's a bit extreme, as whatever hangover I have on Sunday morning following any excessive alcohol on Saturday night - (going to the
UK Bloggers Xmas Party), hopefully I won't be like the ad spotted on the way in this morning.

Excellent Pro Plus London Underground advertisement

I do like these Pro Plus ads though, there is one of a woman asleep and drooling in some way too, so I'll try to spot it on my travels.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, November 28, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Evening Standard's Weekly "Protest" Page

And another page of complaints, (although one solitary person praising buses and no, it wasn't
Jag), my favourite from this week is:

"While on the DLR it came to a sudden halt for five minutes. the conductor looked perplexed, then picked up the speaker phone, apologised for the delay and said it was due to signal failure. I asked how he knew the stoppage was due to those old enemies of the train timetable. He said: "I don't know why we stopped, but if in doubt, we are told to blame a delay on a signal failure".

So now you know why there are so many "signal failures".

See the links to the right on Protest to let them have your own stories about commuting in London.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, November 28, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Kids on the tube

Nightmare - I went off to a meeting after lunch today and was going to South Kensington on the Piccadilly Line. At Green Park, the train seemed to be hanging around for a bit longer than normal and I could hear a sort of high pitched murmuring which got louder and louder until it became about five million school children and they were all heading for my carriage.

Five million is obviously an exaggeration but there were about thirty or forty of them. They hung around outside for a bit until their teachers decided to herd them onto the tube.

"Try to hold onto something", one of the teachers shouted.

"If you can't find anything, hold onto someone else"

As I was standing, I hoped to God she didn't mean me.

When I got to South Ken, I thought, here we go as they're obviously all going to some educational trip at one of the museums. But no, they all stood there like pint sized rucksacks getting in the way of people like me trying to get off. I've never been so relieved to get off a carriage, as unlike the spooky looking Midwitch Cuckoo syle children below, they were not quiet throughout their underground journey.

Too quiet and spooky to be normal

To their credit they were actually very well behaved, but thirty well behaved but excited chattering kids in a small space is not designed to calm you down before a meeting.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, November 27, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

London Underground staff set dates of next industrial action

Well, they're obivously not going to make any friends with the half of the country obsessed with rugby at the moment. The first of the go slows which were announced today is on the 8th of December, the date when the victorious England Rugby Team will be having a celebration parade through London.

I suppose if half of London's streets are going to closed down while the procession is on, perhaps Central London travel will be a bit of a mare in any case on that day.

The next in the 9th December. The
industrial action where staff voted with a 55% majority to take place is over concerns over safety on the system following two derailments in October.

For the latest on all of this, check out Google News .

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, November 27, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Would you trust your computer on the London Underground?

I certainly wouldn't, but coming home after a few drinks tonight I sat opposite a lovely young couple clutching each other and a monitor and hard drive.

Aah, how touching!

However, thinking about it, I do carry my laptop on the tube to and from meetings. But it's in a nice padded case, which I think a tad more secure that sitting on the tube with a computer on your lap. But then again it was out of rush hour and it wasn't on the District Line so we weren't subject to the sudden stop, starts and lurches on that pleasant line.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 26, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Feedster's Feed of the Day

To be perfectly honest I'm not too sure what all this RSS and XML and Feed stuff is, so "imagine my surprise" to learn that my blog is today's
Feedster's Feed of the Day.

I have to thank devco.net for forcing me to add the RSS stuff to my site and we had a few technical hitches but thanks to his help it now all seems to work swimmingly.

I was feed of the day for 26th November!

So welcome to anyone coming to this blog from Feedster.com.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 26, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

UK Webloggers Xmas Party

I think I've just decided I'm going to
this - it might be weird meeting some people in the flesh that you've only met before in cyberspace, but WTF, it's booze, it's dancing, it's almost Xmas.

So if any regulars to this blog have the slightest interest in knowing what I'm like in the flesh....... Saturday 29th November - Downstairs at The Well in London EC1 is the place to be.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 26, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE
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Boots Xmas Shopping - Get those 2004 Jamie Oliver Calendars now

Just heard from the Square Canary travel alert that Boots are having special
10% discount shopping evenings around the country. Kewell, 10% how generous!

I am going to put in an order for the special Jamie Oliver calendar that Boots cropped on their site pretty sharpish when they realised it made him look like more of a knob than he already is. Thanks to Mecca's rather caustic Jamie Oliver article and the ever wonderful zbornak for originally bringing this to my attention.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 26, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tabloid broadsheets - top for the tube

Just before I left for work I heard some radio ads for the new The Times which is going
tabloid size today (like The Independent), it was quite a good ad as it hooked you in by saying, something like:

"In the future, everyone will get a seat on public transport, the seats will be bigger, there will be more room to stretch out, but until that happens, make your commute a bit easier with the new commuter sized Times. The new compact Times. Born to Commute".

Then when I was on the tube today I did see a hell of a lot of people with the new Times and it is going to be loads better sitting next to people who are not going to knock you out when they turn the pages of their paper.

Tube advertisement for the new compact Times - Born to Commute

Apparently sales of The Indie rose by 40,000 a day when they added the tabloid alternative and it does make you wonder whether the others will go the same way, at least in London.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 26, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, November 24, 2003

Monday's Metro moment

I moaned a few weeks ago about Metro losing the plot on their Monday section for commuters, but they have redeemed themselves today as there's a good section on "travelling afflictions" caused by a daily commute on the tube. Most of these afflictions can be found in my tube rules page, and are caused by following or disobeying
unofficial London Underground Etiquette.

Rucksack Bruising - " 'Rucksacks' could be substituted with "umbrella", "elbow" or "small wheelie thing that's just about the right height to cause shin agony". Metro say protective padding is an option of "an arsenal of hidden weapons" about your person (Christ knows how that got past associated Newspapers editors. Check out my earlier entry in my blog in June for my thoughts on rucksacks and the associated tube rule.

Commuter Neck - "A common complaint caused by repeated craning of head so as to avoid any eye contact with fellow passengers" Reading Metro is supposed to be the solution to this. More on avoiding eye contact with my unofficial tube rule.

Economy Posture Syndrome - "This affliction affects those trying to avoid knee contact with people sitting directly opposite. Crossed legs within tighter and tighter around each other cutting off circulation." Metro's solution - take an aspirin before travelling and make sure you stretch your legs by taking walks down the carriage. Blimey guys in the rush hours it's a struggle getting on the carriage, let alone taking walks up and down it. Are they suggesting you might get deep vein thrombosis from trying to avoid touching the knees of the person opposite? And what about those bastards who sit with their legs wide apart - rule and a July entry in my blog?

I love the Japanese

Finally - Escalator Hamstring - "Borne of commuters over enthusiastically running up steps, fooled into thinking it's not exercise because the steps are moving" Metro's solution - some warm up exercises "especially if you have to avoid obstructions such as stray tourists in the way".

; Posted by annie mole Monday, November 24, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, November 21, 2003

Protest Page in The Evening Standard

It's a new page in every Friday's Evening Standard to give people the opportunity to moan (or praise) travelling in London.

My favourite is the following letter:

"I have difficulty understanding the new London Underground references to "normal" and "good" service. You may be interested in the explanation that a friend of mine received in response to a letter to the group manager: "In response to your question on the difference between 'normal' and 'good' service it was agreed by the company that 'normal' service would refer to when all trains are running and there are no disruptions on a particular line, and that 'good' service would refer to when there are some cancellations, but generally a good service available". All therefore clear."
John Edwards, Worcester Park, Surrey

About as clear as mud!

Send your stories to
transportprotest@standard.co.uk or phone 0207 938 7563 or text 87202 with the word PROTEST at the start of your message.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, November 21, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE
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This morning's Metro Moment

The scariest picture I have seen all day - it's Pinocchio's mug shot.

Now he truly IS One Stop Short of Barking - Click to see Michael Jackson's mug shot in full size

Plus amazing Metro online discussion as to whether Michael Jackson has bleached his skin or not or had plastic surgery

(By the way, what's the difference between Michael Jackson and a carrier bag?
One's plastic and a danger to children, the other carries groceries home from the supermarket).

Oh dear - remember the people who read Metro are sharing your tube carriage - it's a worry (Although that includes me too - even more worrying).

; Posted by annie mole Friday, November 21, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, November 20, 2003

London Underground Strike in the run up to Xmas

The timing could be better guys (or perhaps it is good as it's bound to cause the most disruption) but tube staff have voted in favour of industrial action in an attempt to improve safety on the London Underground following the
two derailments in 48 hours last month.

The RMT voted 55% in favour of the strike and according to the BBC

"The action will probably start within 14 days with a series of 'go-slows' but London Underground said it will "change nothing".

Union members will be told to drive at just 10 or 15mph instead of the normal 40-45mph over lines where they have safety concerns."

Amazingly this is one strike I am fully behind. Like the LU bosses personally I don't think it will change anything dramatically but it will certainly get safety on the tube clearly back in the public eye where it belongs.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, November 20, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Customer Charter - my first claim through tuberefund.co.uk

I have just made my claim through
tuberefund after having to wait 17 minutes for a tube at Waterloo to get to Piccadilly Circus on the Bakerloo Line.

For a lot of the time the stupid platform indicators showed that the train was due in a minute. After five minutes it was clear that this was not the case. No announcements and the platform gets busier and busier. Then the platform indicators decided to show the truth - ie nothing. No one had any idea what was going on.

Waterloo, finally facing nowt, Waterloo

We were then told that the trains were delayed due to advanced mumbling and garbling. Then heard that the driver was leaving Lambeth North. Then apparently he must have decided to go for a tea break as five minutes later we were told that he wasn't leaving and the indicators when back to their helpful blank state.

Finally we were told he was now leaving Lambeth North and the train rolled into Waterloo after I'd been waiting for over the required 15 minutes to claim my money back under the Customer Charter. I hope that everyone else on the platform and further up the Bakerloo line did the same.

The beauty of tuberefund means no stupid pink forms to fill in and the ability to make your claim straight away while you remember the details and you can do it online or use your mobile phone - which is particularly handy.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 19, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

George Bush tries to close down the tube

Bloody cheek of the man. Not content with it costing London over �5 million for security he wanted to try to get the entire London Underground network closed down for his state visit to London. For more check out
The Guardian (kindly spotted by Dave from the excellent acerbia.com).

And what sort of security are we paying for if a 61 year old woman can scale the fence of Buckingham Palace and put up a flag saying "Elizabeth Windsor, George Bush is not welcome here".

Although we have a much better track record of looking after our Heads of State than the Americans. Spencer Percival was the last and only British Prime Minister to be assassinated and that was in 1812.

Excellent Bush joke follows:

While on his state visit to England, George Bush met The Queen. He turned round to her and said: "As I'm the President, I'm thinking of changing how my great country is referred to, and I'm thinking that it should be a Kingdom."

The Queen then replied: "I'm sorry Mr Bush, but to be a Kingdom, you have to have a King in charge - and you're not a King."

George Bush thought a while and then said: "How about a Principality then?"

To which the Queen replied: "Again, to be a Principality you have to be a Prince -
and you're not a Prince, Mr Bush

Bush thought long and hard and came up with "How about an Empire then?"

The Queen, getting a little annoyed by now, replied "Sorry again, Mr Bush, but to be an Empire you must have an Emperor in charge - and you are not an Emperor."

Before George Bush could utter another word, The Queen said: "I think you're doing quite nicely as a Country".

You go Ken

London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has also been his usual outspoken self on Bush's visit. He told The Ecologist magazine:

"I actually think Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we have most probably ever seen....I don't formally recognise George Bush because he was not officially elected, so we are organising an alternative reception".

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, November 18, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, November 17, 2003

The Bible & the 21st Century commuter

I often see people on the tube reading small copies of the Bible quietly to themselves or deep in thought and staring into infinity with the Bible on their laps. Must be something about the District Line, as up until today, I had only seen them on that line. Went to my post grad course today and got the Waterloo & Shitty Line or the Drain (to give it its more popular name) and then the Northern Line and there I sat next to a woman reading the Bible on a
Bookman, which is a little e-book or electronic thingy like a Psion organiser.

Pains on Trains

Speaking of books, me and my friend who's having a book published next year were a little put out to see the book Pains on Trains advertised on the tube. D'OH - it's a look at 50 painful train commuters including the "Flamboyant Groin" and "Double Seaters". Sounds familiar - check out my tube rules page and a previous blog entry here.

Oh well, it was only a matter of time before someone bought out a book with a similar them to the one I've researched - One Stop Short of Barking. Metro and the London Underground's own official site have also highlighted commuter saints and sinners and unofficial etiquette too. Needless to say One Stop Short of Barking will be infinitely more "funny", more "painfully true", and more "laugh out loud" than these blokes' book. Perhaps there will be a trend in "track lit" books from now on.

Bitter & twisted, moi? Good luck to them.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, November 17, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, November 14, 2003

London's most expensive game of squash

Don't forget the 24 hour London Underground strike on the Hammersmith & City and Circle Line started last night at 9pm and there is a very, very, very limited service on those lines today. You'll remember that the strike's all about the dismissal of a tube driver who was seen leaving a squash court when he was off sick with an ankle injury.

For more see my earlier post - from November 6th further down this page for more about this most recent tube dispute.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, November 14, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, November 13, 2003

District Line possible closure - Richmond-Turnham Green - Update

Tony Arbour, Greater London Assembly Member for Hounslow
Kingston & Richmond, has visited this blog and made a post with a full update of his alternative proposals to the possible closure of the District Line section which I use every day. Many thanks Tony for sharing those proposals with us.

As a local resident I feel much better informed now. See
Tony's post in the earlier entry of November 10th.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, November 13, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Tube Celeb Spot 4 - Tonight I'm going to be.......

You are not going to believe this but I had another celebrity tube spot today. Regular readers will know that I've hardly seen anyone famous on the tube itself until
very recently. My argument is that famous people don't use public transport as they use taxi's or have chauffeurs or drive. But lots of people have proved me wrong on this and are always letting me know about their famous celebrity tubespots.

Well today I saw Matthew Kelly out of "Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be" - top Saturday ITV programme Stars in their Eyes. Now I know that Matthew lives near me as a couple of years ago I did see him myself at Turnham Green tube station. He also rather bizarrely gave me his autograph when I went up to him with a notebook at some function when I was simply trying to ask him a question.

Since leaving Stars in their Eyes Matthew, has gone on to get rave reviews by playing Lennie in Of Mice & Men at the Savoy Theatre in London. Amazingly I did manage to get a picture of Matthew at Gunnersbury tube station today and believe it or not that's him leaning against the poster of Lesley Joseph. See Matthew at Gunnersbury & Matthew as Lennie side by side.

Matthew Kelly at Gunnersbury

So he wasn't exactly on the tube. But I was when I saw him, so I think that counts.

It is true I am fast becoming the London Underground's version of an Avid Merrion style celebrity stalker.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 12, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Has anyone seen these on the tube?

I've heard quite a few times now about the "No Talking" sticker below being seen on London Underground carriages, but never actually seen one myself. It seems that someone is really taking this
unofficial rule to heart and I would love to see the faces on tourists when they see it.

No talking - penalty �200

Picture from my friend's fotolog from his wonderful isthisyou.co.uk - lost photo booth picture site.

I think the stickers must come from the same people who produced the "No Busking" sticker seen in my entry from October spotted on a busker's guitar.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, November 11, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, November 10, 2003

District Line Turnham Green - Richmond possible closure

Received the following
letter from Tony Arbour who's apparently my representative on the Greater London Assembly for the Boroughs of Richmond, Hounslow & Kingston who's proposing an alternative to the closure of the District Line which I use every day to get into work

Regular readers of this blog know already what my reply to the survey will be. I'd already commented on this in an earlier entry in October.

I'll keep you posted as I feel another campaign coming on. Must have a lie down.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, November 10, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, November 07, 2003

Christmas is coming

The first signs of Christmas were spotted on the tube today.

Increasing number of ads for suggested Xmas pressies, including
more presents from the London Transport Museum in a 12 Days of Christmas series (typically as of today, at least, the cufflinks below aren't even on the London Transport Museum's website!) :

I also spotted a London Underground advertisement for Schott's Miscellany (note to my friend Mecca whose book - One Stop Short of Barking - I am helping to research - your book will have arrived when you get a tube ad!)

Buy two or three for Xmas pressies!

Schott's Original Miscellany was last year's Xmas bestseller. My friends bought several of these for people last year (none for me though, hint, hint), but I never saw any tube ads for the book though.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, November 07, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Tube workers set date for strike - 13th November 2003

Now if you think this is
industrial action about all the recent safety issues, think again. It's about the driver that was sacked because he was seen leaving a gym!

Not as mad as it sounds and if you read this blog regularly-ish (shame on you if you don't) you'd have seen my earlier report (8th October) about this. Basically the driver, Mr Barrett, was off sick with an ankle injury and someone saw him leaving a squash club while he was on sick leave. Somehow his London Underground bosses found out and sacked him. His argument is that he was told that some exercise would actually strengthen his ankle. The RMT (large rail union) say he was sacked because he was a union activist:

"Despite the slurs on his character this is a clear case of victimisation of an RMT member making every effort to get back to work after sustaining a serious injury.

"The clear majority for strike action shows that his colleagues have not been swayed by an attempt at media assassination. LU must reinstate our member
Said Bob Crow leader of the RMT.

Bob Crow RMT leader

There must have been a "grass" around because the London Underground say Mr Barrett was playing "competitive squash" and not just exercising his ankle, and this is why they say he was sacked.

Anyway, the ballot for a strike happened and a date has been set of a 24 hour walk out of workers from 9.30pm on the 13th November on the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines. A hundred workers will be going on strike and although this is only two lines it will have a serious knock on effect for the whole of the Underground network.

According to The Evening Standard this could effect at least 50,000 people's journeys or the BBC estimate at least 55,000 people. Bearing in mind that the Circle Line will now be affected too, it's going to be at least double that figure in my opinion - oh joy! Let's also hope that no one was planning a Circle Line Pub Crawl on Friday night.

For more on the industrial action check out the following link.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, November 06, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Tube Celeb Spot - The Doctor

Coming up from the Piccadilly Line on the escalators at Piccadilly Circus,
Peter Davison (All Creatures Great & Small, the fifth Dr Who & At Home with the Braithwaites and tons of other TV) went racing past me.

Dr Who spotted on the London Underground

At least I thought it was him. So in full celebrity tube stalk mode, I rushed up the set of escalators to see if I could catch him at the next set up. Again he was racing up the escalator stairs and left the barriers and went to the exit I normally use. Must be him I thought, he's going for the Shaftesbury Avenue exit, which means theatreland, lovies.

But he went walking through the Trocadero. How bizarre? I crossed Shaftesbury Avenue as normal and headed towards my office in seedy Soho, and saw him heading out of the Troc, and also crossing onto Shaftesbury Avenue where I imagine he was going to go into one London's many theatres which are within spitting distance of each other.

Three tube celebs spots in the space of a month (John Hannah, Rageh Omaar), whereas none this year up until that point. It must be Xmas.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, November 05, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Pleasant journey

Yet another sunny November morning. Noted that the
Flower & Firkin pub at Kew Gardens Station has now rightly been renamed The Railway. Even though the doors to the pub don't actually open onto the platform, for some legal reason, the windows and doors look out onto the platform and it's the only pub I know that's so close to the tube line it may as well have doors opening on the platform.

At last it's been renamed The Railway

So then you could have a quick bevvy and stroll leisurely onto your train as you heard it approaching, rather than having to leg it out through the pub and through the proper station entrance to get onto the train.

Got to Hammersmith to change onto the Piccadilly Line and it was pretty busy (even though I was late), so using the tube rule of where to stand to get on first, I weasled my way in front of people just standing around and stood right in the middle of the Mind the Gap floor sign and the doors opened right in front of me (as if by magic) so I smugly entered and took the last seat in the carriage much to the glowers from people who'd been waiting for the train far longer.

How to be the first to board your tube train


; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, November 04, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, November 03, 2003

More delays - put your feet up

Coming home this evening on the District Line there were signal failures at Gunnersbury. To be fair the driver was giving us minute by minute accounts about what was going on and why we were crawling along at snail's pace. I really thought he was going to turf us out when we got to Gunnersbury which has happened quite a lot of times and is particularly galling when you only have one other stop to go.

However, the man opposite me had the right idea and had a handy briefcase cum footrest ready to hand (well....er.....foot).

Is it a briefcase? Is it a footrest?

; Posted by annie mole Monday, November 03, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Today's Metro Moment - Monday mornings suck

The free newspaper Metro is obviously on a roll with the "Commuter Sinners" idea and it looks like it will be a regular feature each Monday. Sadly though today was one of those very obvious questionnaires about how you judge yourself as to whether you're a saint or a sinner. There were only five questions which are all to be expected and stuff that I'd been highlighting on my
tube etiquette page years ago.

All had those answers where you can really easily fiddle the results (if you're remotely bothered to do the quiz in the first place) - you know - Mostly zero's - you are a saint, Mostly 10's you are a sinner. Come on guys you've got to do better than this.

I found the section on why we hate Monday mornings much more amusing:

"Reason Two: We briefly forgot what it was like to be in close proximity to other people's body fluids in a space even David Blaine would have found cramped. Is it our imagination or is public transport even more obscenely full on Monday mornings as the compulsive sickie brigade avoid an obvious long weekend?"

; Posted by annie mole Monday, November 03, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Another bright autumnal morning

Kew Gardens Station

; Posted by annie mole Monday, November 03, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Lynne Featherstone completes her reply

Another thank you to Lynne, Haringey councillor and Chair of the
London Assembly Transport Policy Committee, who made a very large comment in this blog in request for information about what was going to happen to safety standards on the tube following two derailments in 48 hours. She also gave her view on what was going on in the emergency talks she was part of two weeks ago (see
this post).

Lynne's full addition to her earlier reply is here

It's interesting to note her own opinion which forms part of her response:

"My own personal view is that the Government should be legally liable as it was responsible for signing off a contract which was inadequate in terms of maintenance standards, inspections and supply of information."

Once again a big, big thank you to everyone who asked questions and contributed to the debate and posted links to it on their own websites and blogs. It really has shown that with a bit of noise we can get politicians and people in power to listen.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, November 02, 2003 Permalink COMMENT HERE