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Annie Mole's, daily web log (blog) & “guide” to the London Underground
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Friday, January 30, 2004

Today's Metro Momento

The right kind of snow

After the recent
snow/london transport problems, I thought it was only a matter of time before there was a "Disgusted of Dulwich" letter in Metro. So this morning we had:

"A quick note to London Underground: the white fluffy stuff currently falling from the sky is called snow. It is not a rain of frogs, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, or Rodan the flying monster. Furthermore it is the right kind of snow (ie the kind that doesn't fall underground), so let's have the trains running properly, eh?

And if you are really stuck, give the Swedish transport authorities a call and ask them how they manage to run a seamless, delay-free service through ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures.
" Anthony O' Neill, NW1

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 30, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Alastair Campbell, Mandy & Down Street

Weird Evening

It's not very often that you can say you were in the same room as
Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Anna Ford. Or see the editor of The Sun Rebekah Wade trying to buy The Hutton Report. But all in the name of charidee, I was this evening. Not going to divulge too much in case I get sued, but also the very worthy Leukaemia Research Fund were involved and the very active London Triathlon too. But enough of my personal life (although if you're really interested it was reported in The Guardian), now here comes the tube bit.

On the way to the room where the media and charity and political movers and shakers were, me and my colleague walked past Down Street. "Oh", I say, tube geek head screwed firmly on "This is where Down Street Tube station used to be. They still make films there occaisionally" (part of the BBC drama Neverwhere was filmed there), "Really," my colleague replied in a bored fashion. "It's amazing where these lost tube stations turn up", I prattled on. "Mmm", replied colleague, "So who else do you think will be there tonight?"

Down Street by Wyrmworld

On the way home from room where charity and media and political movers and shakers were, I got to Hyde Park Corner tube and found a door in the platform of the tube which Neil Gaiman (author of Neverwhere) himself would have been proud of. A definite entrance into the mythical London Below where "real" Earls preside over Earl's Court and there are "real" black friars at Blackfriars and "real" knights at Knightsbridge.

Door into London Below at Hyde Park Corner tube station Door into London Below at Hyde Park Corner tube station

Actually funkypancake took a very similar picture of a door at Bank Station. Where do these secret doors lead? And who has the keys to them?

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 29, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

On this day in 1962

29th January 1962 - Unofficial tube strike

It was "everybody out" when an unofficial 24 hour London Underground strike was called. Apparently a partial service was maintained in the "central area" by some men staying at work.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 29, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Wrong type of snow

Tube is surprised about snow

We have been having for days and days now,
weather forecasts predicting snow. In fact it's been snowing in Scotland since the weekend and it's been forecast to move down south and yesterday you couldn't move in Soho for the grit, as Westminster Council had been uber vigilant and gritted every single slope on the pavements. I supposed they're petrified that some new meeja geek, or film luvvie, or one of Belle de Jour's mates will sue the pants off them if they slip and fall.

Last night it actually snowed in London. It's not too heavy where I am right now, but already the tube is like "Oh my God, it's snowing therefore any line that operates in the open is fooked". Anyone reading this blog from last year may remember I actually broke my leg in two places (ie I didn't break it in Sydenham and then in Victoria, my leg bone had two breaks) this time last year. That was through slipping on ice outside a station (British Rail). Jag reported how it took him nine hours to get home when we had the same unexpected snow which basically closed down the outer regions of the Piccadilly Line.

So even though we've been warned about it. Even though we're in the UK which is cold and known to get the odd bit of snow. Why are "underground" lines like the Piccadilly Line and the Metropolitan, and the Jubilee and the Central Lines, which are mostly "overground" still struggling to cope with snow and some parts have no service this morning?

Geek fact number 1,324 - More of the London Underground is overground and in the open than in a tunnel.

Oh yeah, those My Doom virus geeks I mentioned yesterday could definitely help the tube here - how many ways can you say bad weather - This is due to adverse weather, This is due to severe weather conditions, This is due to bad weather conditions.

Any advances on these three currently gracing the London Underground delays site?

Update - Nice to see The Big Smoker sharing these sentiments.

Update 2 - Just in case the London Underground need a further reminder, here's an up to date weather report from Funjunkie. And it's now not just fooking freezing up north, there's heavier snow and it's freezing in London too.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 28, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Camera phone people wanted

Get Fifty Quid for taking pictures on your camera phone

I've no idea whether this is legitimate or not, so it's worth checking out the website. But I've just been sent the following email:

I work for a Rosslyn Research, a market research company based in London. On behalf of a Multimedia client, we are looking to recruit users of mobile phones with in-built cameras to take part in a survey. The ideal respondent should also be based in London and take more than 30 pictures a month, of which they process 15 a month in some way, eg forwarding to friends or groups, storing and manipulating, uploading to websites or blogs etc. We also aim to include some pairs of friends who exchange pictures on a regular basis.

The survey will consist of the successful respondents keeping a log over four days, including this weekend, whereby they list details regarding the pictures taken (eg for fun, for work related tasks, for research) � there is a payment of �50 for taking part in the survey and completing the log. Thereafter, some respondents will be selected for a second stage, whereby they will be �shadowed� by a representative from our clients company in the circumstances where they would normally take pictures. This session is expected to last from and hour to an hour and a half.

If you are interested in taking part in this survey, please contact me at:

Justin@rosslyn-research.co.uk to discuss the matter further.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Justin Pocknell
Operations Department
Rosslyn Research Ltd


As I hope you can tell by the quality of the pictures on this blog, I don't use a camera phone and haven't got a camera phone so I won't be taking part.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 28, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Not a good day to say hi

Say "hello", then wave goodbye

Sorry another brief digression. After spending virtually my whole day deleting messages from the anal retentive fookwits who thought it hysterical to create the most pathetic useless virus (called,
My Doom apparently), I've had the misfortune to encounter. Get a life.

If anyone has had an email from "me" called "hello" or "hi" or "test" or "error" or "blank" at completely made up name at goingunderground.net - it obviously ain't me, it's some fooker with a brain the size of a pea.

You know what mate (by whom I mean inventor of the current virus of the day), why don't you get yourself a job on the tube where your talents could be put to excellent use inventing excuses as to why the trains are running late. Why don't you conjure up some reasons as to why the District Line is a good idea? Then try to figure out why there are many fewer trains running to Ealing Bdway than Richmond? Then do a little sideline in working out ways to persuade people to part with 50p's for the chocolate machines at stations, and then swallow that money. Then invent the whole Oystercard system on your day off and come up with the sad campaign to "touch in and out".

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 27, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 26, 2004

Teenagers on the tube

My love hate relationship with tube teens

Sorry to any teenagers about to read this, but most of the time I'm not wild about teenagers on the tube. Although this usually applies to packs of teenagers, not groups, London teenagers don't hang around in groups but in packs. They're usually too loud, they're usually giggling or kissing their teeth, they're usually taking up too much space, they're usually in the way and they're usually on their way to somewhere far more exciting than me, which is the main reason why I hate them.

But sometimes I love them. I love their humour. I love their youth. I love the fact that they don't give a shit. I love their clothes. I love their hair. When they're by themselves, I love them more. I love the fact that they are just a little, just a tad, and just a bit shy and unconfident and not quite sure what they're doing amongst the commuting grown ups. Take the girl below, her trainers, her combat mini skirt, the way she's curled up in the corner, the way her feet are crossed and most of all................

I love this girl

her truly excellent folder with the papier mache red leather clad boobies stuck on one of the tarty looking women on her college collage.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 26, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, January 25, 2004

I wish I could speak Dutch

Useful as a icebreaker on parties

Just found a referral to my blog from a
Dutch-Canadian Blog, where the blogger, Peter, started off by talking about their favourite T shirt (see below) which is linked to this blog and how the T shirt was "useful as an icebreaker on parties".

Going Underground T Shirt

There's then a great discussion about all sorts of stuff (from the very rough translation) we have:

"a derogatory picture of the London underground. Some lines are in my experience lekkerder then others"

"I have the shirt with the slogan "Mind the pinch" on udder altitude.."

"I am a supporter of the underground railway in Paris. I find my way there blindly. Terrible system."

"...the underground railway to sit and smell I which strange air of parfum, moquette, adhesive and detergent...."

Then there's a bit of a discussion about cheesecake (WTF), then

"Eh .. London Underground. Laaavely. "

Then I can't understand any more. I just wish there was a better translation tool (The disclaimer at the bottom of the translation says - "Note: This is a computer translation of the original webpage. It is provided for general information only and should not be regarded as complete nor accurate. " - no kidding. Only a third of the page is translated and the machine then thinks, "Oh fook this, I can't be arsed translating the rest of the page" and goes off to do something else - like what? Make some tea, read the papers - it's a computer programme for Christ's sake and it's already getting bored or going for a little lie down).

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 25, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, January 24, 2004

London Olympics - a new sport involving the London Underground

Race the Tube - my Olympic Bid

I have very little interest in spectator sport or sport of any kind really. The Olympics bores me silly and the idea of it coming to London conjures up nightmares of even more overcrowded tubes, even more confused tourists asking the way to Lie-sester Square and whether it's best to change at the blue line (which blue line, there are two of them?), but the only good thing, might be that the tube finally runs throughout the night in 2012 - whoopeedoo.
The Guardian put the current tube to the test for getting around during the Olympics and unsurprisingly find it hopeless and totally confusing for tourists.

Anyway, various bloggers including my colleague Elizabeth and Diamond Geezer have recently been talking about what a real London Olympics would be like if we won the bid to host the games. What would the London Olympic mascot be? What sports would be truly unique to London?

This reminded me of a real race that used to take place in London every April called "Beat the tube race" - try as I might, I've not found anything about this particular race through Google, (I know the tube have their own official Tube Dash) but this man alone against train race is reported in the fab book "Eccentric London".

Basically, it was the idea of a chartered surveyor called Richard Guthrie, who thought it might be fun to outrun a tube train. "A group of determined young professionals, wearing braces and pinstripes, board a Victoria to Wimbledon train, get off at South Kensington and sprint like hell down the Fulham Road to try to get back on it at Fulham Broadway. 1.6 miles and four stops down the line".

Now knowing this is on the District Line with its constant stops between stops and delays, very few people managed to beat the tube. However, the whole thing is totally Pythonesque, with the pin striped suits and braces.

The author of Eccentric London reckons they would stood more of a chance cutting across "the Circle Line from Farringdon down to Blackfriars where you can virtually see the other end. You could do it on crutches, or pogo sticks and still beat the train". Excellent idea and I think it should definitely be an Olympic sport.

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 24, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, January 23, 2004

More Japanese Subway Signs

They are having a laugh

The sign very kindly sent to me by
Jag has to be a spoof sign. I'm pretty positive the men being asked to close their legs sign that I've blogged before is real, but this one below has got to be a spoof

We heart the Japanese

Now the funnier thing about this picture is the explanation as to what the dubious looking sign is supposed to mean. Jag says:

"I am told that from left to right - it means:

1. person with injured arm
2. person holding a child
3. pregnant woman
4. person with injured leg

But when I looked at it - it seemed to convey something rather different! If it's not a hoax - then Japan can be an awfully confusing place!"

Update - D'OH I thought this was too good to be true - it definitely looks like a spoof sticker now, but the "original" the "hoax" is based on still looks very funny, see Fernando Serboncini's comments below.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 23, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Happy Fridays

Oystercard fooked, tube delays up by 25%, possible strikes

Just another ordinary day on the tube.

Heard on the radio at the Oystercard system had a major failure last Friday, and has gone a bit squid shaped. It means sometimes that people swiping it on the blue thingies, don't get let through the barriers. There's already been a fair amount of comments on this blog about the
Oystercard - is it shite? how far away from the blue thingy do you need to be to for the gates to open? is it a government plot so that they all know where Londoners travel to sell on to people who would like to know where all Londoners travel? (Like who else but the London Underground is going to be interested in that level of detail) and that's just for starters.

Yesterday The Evening Standard reported : "Tube passengers are suffering the worst service for more than a decade.

New figures show that delays have risen by almost 25 per cent in the past year, while the proportion of train journeys completed successfully has fallen dramatically

Err, tell us something we don't know.

And finally to add to the woes, that possible strike I mentioned a few days ago about the tube track workers being "unfairly" sacked for having alcohol on them at work, is definitely on the cards. The thing is with the "Farringdon Five" as they're now being called, I first felt sorry for them, now it appears that over 100 empty cans of beer and cider were found in their mess room. Not wanting to accuse them of drinking on the job, but purleeese, wouldn't they at least have the sense to get rid of the cans. For more see the Evening Standard

Happy Friday.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 23, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 22, 2004

What not to do down under

Aussie rules

I must thank, Australian Blogger
Daniel Bowen who signed my guestbook this morning after coming from the Bloggies' awards nomination page, to say that he'd helped to write an article about train etiquette in Melbourne. Amazingly it bears a striking resemblance to some of the unofficial tube rules I've reported in my time.

In Oz we have: "Men who wrap their legs round women and constantly touch them", on London's tube we have: "Men who sit with their legs wide apart".

Similar annoyance in Japan too:

Men close your legs

In Oz we have: "Mobile phone freaks who love the sound of their own voice", on the tube we have "Talking Loud and saying nothing"

In Oz we have: "Dealing with a greedy double seat user is like dealing with the devil incarnate" on the tube we have "Don't think your bag is entitled to a seat"

In Oz we have: "Public Transport displays of affection is mind numblingly annoying for those who have to share your loved up space", on the tube we have "Being forced to endure slurpy tube snoggers"

But the best Oz one is about giving up your seat to the obviously visably pregnant or elderly (we have the same rule on the tube), but article in Melbourne says
"Just remember we'll all be old or pregnant one day".

Cheers Daniel you've made my day.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 22, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Hellish morning journey & EastEnders

Delays, disruption and Gita out of EastEnders

Jeesus I spent about two hours getting to work this morning, as there were massive problems on the Piccadilly Line, due to a fire engine being called in at Covent Garden. Fortunately we were warned about this at Baron's Court so most of us were able to jump back onto a District Line train which then waited outside South Ken or Gloucester Road, while the driver must have decided to pop out and get a full English Breakfast and read the FT from cover to cover before getting back onto the train and moving it. Anyroad.......

I was on the District Line and I think at Gunnersbury, who should get on but Gita out of EastEnders. Anyone who's read this blog for a while will know that I've been nicknamed the Avid Merrion of the London Underground - ie a celebrity stalker, and if I see a celebrity on the tube, which is as rare as rocking horse shit, I will try to get a picture of them.

Don't get excited though, I've hardly ever seen anyone above C-B list celeb status (which is my point,
celebrities rarely use the tube). In the past since doing this blog I've seen & photographed Scud Stud Rageh Omaar, Tonight I'm going to be TV Personality Matthew Kelly and seen, tube flick Sliding Doors actor John Hannah and the Fifth Dr Who Peter Davison. Now I can add actress Shobu Kapoor who played the diminutive Gita Kapoor part of the token Asian family, and arrived on the BBC soap in 1993.

OK so here are the pictures, I can't believe people have been waiting to see them:

Bear in mind I recognised her voice on the mobile before I recognised her, which is something only a truly sad EastEnders fan would do:

Final shot, is about as close as I could do without looking like a complete stalker:

She's put on some make up by this stage, and the ones of her putting on lippy and eyeliner were simply too blurry as the train was moving at this point in time.

So there we have it, X list celeb on the tube. Although she's probably more famous that some of the people in the latest round of "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here".

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 21, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Everybody Out

Another tube strike threat

Just when we thought we were free of industrial action following the suspension of the
sacked sickie squash player strike just before Xmas, I've just heard that we may have another strike on our hands. Apparently, six tube track workers were "unfairly" dismissed as it was claimed that they were in possession of alcohol or possibly found drunk on the London Underground.

I can't find any news about this on the net yet, doubtless it will come later on. But my friends were talking about a TV programme "Pissed on the Job" which was on Channel 4 a few days ago. And one found the most scary story to be that of the London Underground station manager who was pissed on the system:

""Ian", in his late thirties, is a London Underground station manager. He admits to having driven trains while drunk, drinks heavily before and during work, and has fallen asleep on the job. His family have left him and at one stage he was sleeping rough. " said The Scotsman.

If the guys that the strike is over were drunk, it is incredibly, incredibly scary, but if they weren't it's a major slur on their character, and the RMT railway union seem to be fairly quick to bring the tubes to a halt in these situations (as with the sickie squash player). More on this will follow when I find out more.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 21, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Tube Radio Ads & Oystercards

We heart Oystercard

Currently listening to the radio before heading off to work and I've just heard an ad which follows the theme of how you can buy your Oystercard London Transport travel pass at any time. It went very, very roughly like:

Woman shouting: "Love, why's there's a station assistant in my fridge?"

"Don't worry it's just to show how you can buy an oystercard at breakfast time."

We saw this theme before on December 9th, with the "
Happy Chinese Family at the Breakfast Table with Friendly Black Ticket Man in the background" poster.

Oh yeah, and there's definitely the same reggae music playing in the background as the London Underground cinema ads with people riding llamas and dressed in doublet and hose. Don't ask. It's all too early and surreal for me.

Are you getting Touchy about the Oystercard? - see the comments below this picture and add your views:

Touchy about the Oystercard travel pass?

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 20, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

More Referrals

Falling asleep in degrees, kucken

One of the things I've really loved about this blog getting award nominations and almost winning awards, is that I do get a much wider audience than the UK. As I have no language skills and can only speak Cockney, I have to use "Google translate" or other web translation tools to find out what some of the sites are saying.

My favourite today is from
Supatyp. There's a picture of the woman with the eye shaped hole in her fish net tights and in German says:

Viel, viel mehr wie nur gute Fottos ausser U-Bahn! Runterscrollen und mal die Dame, die grad eingeschlafen ist, kucken!

Google's rough translation of this is:

"Much, much more like only good Fottos except underground ! Runterscrollen and times the lady, which fell asleep degrees, kucken!"

I'm sure my friend Ralf - The Cartoonist and fellow blogger Horst - The Aardvark or anyone else who can speak German would be able to enlighten me on how close to the truth this is.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 20, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, January 19, 2004

Polite Piccadilly Line PA

Please get up for pregnant ladies, pregnant men can stand

Left work quite late this evening and had the misfortune to get on a train that was doing a massive stop, start, stop, start or rather a massive stop in tunnel. The stop that gets to the level where people are starting to get a bit worried and look round at each other, and start muttering and get hot under the collar and start to think "I don't want to suffocate and share my last breath with these people, get me out of here now".

But our driver kindly gave us a running commentary at each of the long stops between stops saying it was due to a defective train in front of us.

By the time I got a seat, he gave the following fairly lengthy announcement which bought a smile to the face of everyone in the carriage -
click here to hear him. It was really sweet how he was sounding so earnest about people feeling faint, and going off to seek the more than happy station staff and assistants who would have glasses of cool water to refresh them. You almost expected that you'd get a little head message or shoulder rub when you got off too.

What made this funnier to our carriage is that ours was at the back of the train and so relatively uncrowded, a few people were standing, but the idea of feeling faint and claustrophobic had long passed. So the need for the flashing dot matrix sign below, was a bit, well, needless for us

not a request for a feathery duvet

The sign actually said "Move down please", and was not an instruction you might find on Belle de Jour's site (Let the bitching begin, mwah, ha, ha).

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 19, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE


Bloggies 2004, the votes are open

OHMIGOD - I have just got back from a four hour meeting, handled all my work emails, responded to the comments people had made in the comments section, not looked at my stats and thought, "Oh I wonder who got nominated in the bloggies" and I did. Wow, for two categories too, Best British and Irish Weblog (along with GreenFairy.com, The Big Smoker, Plasticbag.org and A Teenager blogs) and Best Topical Weblog (along with Belle de Jour, The Joy of Soup, The Agonist and Bookslut).

So all I can say is thanks to everyone who nominated me, thanks to the judges for shortlisting me and if you could vote for me that would be fab. Unlike The Guardian Awards, the Bloggies are voted on by the public. So I'm going to get all BAFTA'ish and say "These Awards would mean so much to me as they are voted for by you, the public".

Thanks again, good luck to everyone else who was nominated and the closing date for votes is 31st January 10PM EST (don't ask me what that is in GMT I'm still in shock)

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 19, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Blogging on Radio Four

And now for some navel gazing

Allow me a moment's diversion from the tube, just cos I was so incensed when I heard it.

Weblogs have definitely arrived in the UK, The Guardian Awards bring blogging to the public eye each year and now the BBC's latest outing of them was on Radio 4 on Friday in
The Message - our regular look at the media with a panel of writers including politician Tony Benn, crime writer Val McDermid and Alan Taylor (a writer and journalist, I'd never heard of). Jenni Murray introduced the idea of blogs in the typical Aunty Beeb way......"And then there are the bloggers the people that write their own weblogs" - "weblogs" pronounced in a way like she was describing something unspeakable that you would have found behind the sink (you can listen to it here).

It looked promising when Tony Benn said: "Bloggers are publishing personal journalism"

Val McDermid (who Jenni Murray labels a "computer fan") says that as a writer, she'll look at the ordinary diary for research purposes. But then makes the following comment about blogs "The vast majority are not worth the time it took to type them into the keyboard. As with so many things on the internet there is a democracy of access but no democracy of talent......A lot of them are almost sub Bridget Jones, and you can see there's with a desparate trying and a striving for effect and to get onto The Guardian's list of best blogs."

She continues "The vast majority are just a waste of time"

Jenni getting into her stride now, eggs Val on and says "and of very little use and will go into ether".

Val concludes: "Yes, thankfully".

So as far as the Beeb are concerned, it's alright if you are Stuart Hughes and are a "proper writer and journalist", but even if you are writing stuff which other writers may use for research one day to understand what life which like at the turn of this century, that's not any use.

Interestingly, Jenni Murray was waxing lyrical about blogging for women several months ago, when a personal favourite of mine - Pixel Diva was on Women's Hour talking about blogs. In fact their researcher even got hold of me and "auditioned" me for the interview. I have a feeling I was a bit too unusual or blokey for a woman as I was not supposed to blog about trains but about relationships and traumas and use my blog as therapy (which incidentally I do - stops me going mad on the tube).

; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 19, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Isle of Wight Tube

The Grandaddy of tube trains

Thanks to Bradley yesterday who made
a comment saying that I wouldn't want to end up falling asleep, getting to Heathrow and sleepwalking to a plane bound for the Isle of Wight, where they have 1938 tube trains running. If I was going to sleepwalk onto a plane I'd hope that I would be bound for somewhere far more exotic than the Isle of Wigget.

However, this reminded me that fellow blogger Stuart went home to the Isle of Wight for Xmas and took some pictures on his camera phone:

Stuart said: "I live on the Isle of Wight, which has a small and rather...erm, quaint rail service. It was rated as the most punctual in the nation when someone gave out stats without taking into account the fact that they only have three trains and one line, which is itself about nine miles long in total.

Anyway, the bit I thought you'd be interested in is that they are old Tube Trains...and I mean OLD. Most of the inside is still wooden panelling, wooden floors etc etc and they maintain the old purple London Transport livery. Needless to say coming home it was a bit odd having been on the Piccadilly/Northern Line earlier in the day, to go across the Island on what must be like the Grandaddy of the newer trains.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 18, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, January 16, 2004

Where are those tube fairies?

Tube gods and fairies on holiday

For the first time this year, I missed my stop through falling asleep on the tube coming home. I'm always falling asleep on the tube, as I mentioned quite recently (on
Christmas Eve Eve), but I also tend to have an innate sense of knowing when my stop is. This evening I went to see the fantastic film Lost in Translation (just go and see it), then had a meal afterwards and full and satisfied fell asleep on the Piccadilly Line. Like I normally do, then relied on the tube fairies to gently prod me awake at my stop.

I woke up to see Turnham Green (my stop to change onto the District Line) out of the window. But it took some time for my sleep addled head to connect with the fact that the doors had already closed and the train was about to leave.

I swear I have never known the Piccadilly Line take so long to get to the next stop of Action Town (sorry) Acton Town. Stop, start, stop, start. Infuriating, plus I was worried I might fall asleep again and end up at Heathrow Airport, somehow sleepwalk my way out of the station and onto a plane bound for Barbados. Second thoughts, that might not have been such a bad idea.

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 16, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Subway Life

Interesting art project

Ralf, from
The Cartoonist, got in touch with me asking if I'd heard of the following (which he heard via Dublog):

"Antonio Jorge Goncalves makes drawings of people sitting in subway trains in 10 cities around the world. He stays an average of three weeks in each city, making around 300 drawings which seek to cover different times of the day and the different lines in the subway system."

Not having heard of it, I popped over to the website - Subway Life - to have a look.

I haven't had a look at the other lines yet but thought the London ones were interesting:

My particular favourite is the one of the bloke below with hair, like chips or chips for hair.

Chip headed bloke

; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 16, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, January 15, 2004

On this day in 1956

15th January 1956 - Covent Garden Tube Ghost Spotted

It was reported in the Sunday Dispatch that a ghost was seen in Covent Garden London Underground Station.

"Is the statuesque figure wearing white gloves and seen by members of the station staff, the spectre of William Terriss, the actor stabbed to death at the Adelphi Theatre by a maniac 59 years ago?

One member of staff, Station Man Victor Locker, a West African, who believes he saw a ghost, cannot bear to work at the station. His application for a transfer to another station was granted immediately.

Personally, I don't know how anyone can bear to work at Covent Garden station, ghost or no ghost. For more on
tube ghosts.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 15, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Cone busker - Part two

Perhaps the
Brit Awards should have a busking category

Another "farty noise" traffic cone busker who we first saw on the 31st December was spotted today by Ross Sleight and he kindly sent me a picture that he took with his camera phone and blogged on phathouse

To see another cone busker click here

Ross wrote a pretty top article in New Media Age about the power of blogging and how it can be used commercially, which gives me the perfect excuse to blog at work in the guise of "researching the blog medium" and become the company "blogging expert".

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 14, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

More Guardian Award referral comments

Annie Mole - real name or pseudonym?

Ross Sleight from the post above, and many other new visitors and commenters have come as a result of my blog being Highly Commended in the
Guardian British Blog Awards. M C Morgan did recently and wrote the following:

"The Pepys' Diary project by Phil Gyford gets a mention, as does London Underground Tube Diary by Annie Mole (making a case for well-chosen pseudonyms [Actually, I'm assuming it's a pseudonym: a dangerous assumption].) Annie's project is impressive and enjoyable (and, for me, a little nostalgic) - every bit as impressive as the Pepys' Diary project. There's value inherent in documenting observations of the daily round from the inside, as Pepys and a thousand other diarists have done. But Mole goes a little further, using the blog medium to create a broad and deep document.

But people seem to mis-read what she's doing, including missing out on her gender and who she works for.

Mmm is Annie Mole a pseudonym? Anyone who's been reading my main site or some of the other links on this blog, will know the answer to this one. But thanks M C for your other comments too, they rock.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 14, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Pictures I'm looking for

Or rather pictures I won't be able to take on the tube

Tony, who's just signed my
guestbook was drawn to the opening section on my main site, where I list some pictures that would be most rare to see on the tube.

He said: "I noticed that you are looking for a photo of a smiling member of staff Believe me if you had to work for this cowboy outfit (I do) you wouldn�t Smile! But the best time to try is every 4th Wednesday, which is pay-day"

Other pictures which I claim would be hard to find are:

  • A Northern line train (most rare)
    (although someone who works on the Nothern Line signed my guestbook and said that he smiled on their days off and at going home times!!)

  • Commuters looking happy during the rush hour

  • A ticket machine that does not say "Exact fare only"

  • A busker who is playing music just for the hell of it

  • A chocolate machine on a platform that works

  • A "photo-me" photo booth that you can fit more than a mouse into

  • A penalty fare inspector who is not a sadist

  • A District line train that does not stop between every stop.

    And, just before anyone sends these pictures in to me, it's a joke, you know, I'm trying to be ironic.

    ; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 14, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE
  • Tuesday, January 13, 2004

    Eye, eye, eye

    Fish Eye Lens

    As yesterday's pictures seemed to get a lengthy comment from jag about cameras, and not using flash photography, and Lomo's (yeah I didn't know what they were either), today's header seemed appropriate.

    I was sitting opposite a woman this morning on the District Line and was drawn to a hole in her fish net tights. It's not just me, but doesn't that hole look like an eye?

    Once I thought that, I simply couldn't stop staring at the eye.

    Then later on I visited Marieke's blog -
    Bunny Factor 10 who had picked up the point I made on the main site about doing Magic Eye on tube seats.

    Marieke said - "Look at the picture: does it or does it not give you Magic Eyes. Makes you wonder what secret images the London Underground have hidden in their seats. Maybe messages for terrorists? Security hints?"

    And also I wore my glasses today for the first time in ages, certainly the first time this year, as I was getting eye strain.

    It's funny how you can find so many eye references when you are looking for them. Shit there's another one. Must stop now before I hypnotise myself - Quote the hypnotist, Kenny Craig, from Little Britain - "Look into my eyes, my eyes, my eyes, deep in the eyes, not around the eyes, but in the eyes - click - you're under"

    ; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 13, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Monday, January 12, 2004

    To Stun a Mockingbird

    or Rocking Mockingbird to sleep

    I had to go to City University today for my postgrad course so got the Misery Line (the Northern Line) to Angel. Opposite me was a woman who was clearly not reading her copy of To Kill a Mockingbird and was about to nod off. She certainly looked how I felt:


    It's awful when you just can't keep your eyes open particularly when there's some psycho sitting opposite you with a digital camera and an evil glint in her eye.


    A stop further down the line and she'd clearly gone beyond passport control for the Land of Nod.


    I'm loving how she managed to keep her book upright, and how she wasn't
    leaning onto the person next door to her or snoring, or drooling (well her hair was in the way, so I really couldn't see if there was any drool going on).

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 12, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Sunday, January 11, 2004

    Underground Buskers

    Meet the Going Underground Buskers

    No, they're not me and a couple of mates, and I didn't commission them. On the way into town today to see
    Lost in Translation (which was bloody sold out when I met my friend at the Curzon, so we had to see American Splendor instead, which was excellent anyway and very, very funny). I was reading in the carriage and a couple of buskers got on board. Crikey, that's all I needed as I was trying to concentrate.

    But "imagine my surprise" when about 15 seconds into their loud song I realised they were enthusiastically and madly playing The Jam's "Going Underground", the song my site is named after.

    Luckily my camera has a little microphone on it, so if you click here, you'll be able to download their rendition complete with train background noises and the giggling gaggle of girls in the carriage further along, who gave them a large round of applause at the end.

    Click to hear these London Underground buskers playing Going Undeground

    It was quite hard to take the picture above as they kept moving backwards and forwards to meet each other in the middle. However, I'm pleased I caught their can of Kroenenburg on the floor by their guitar case.


    Just returning to American Splendor for a moment, I was struck by how much like blogging, Harvey Pekar's cult cartoons were and obviously I'm not the only person to have thought this:

    Before bloggers made it ho-hum to share their daily grievances with all mankind, Harvey Pekar was chronicling his annoyance with co-workers, old Jewish ladies in grocery lines, and women who wouldn't date him in his underground comic American Splendor. From Slate

    Harvey couldn't actually draw the cartoons himself, so his stories were told in story board form with stick men, and he got cartoonists to do the illustrations for him. Much like my blog where my digital camera and scanner does the "illustrations" for me.

    Incidentally, Harvey Pekar even has his own weblog - although being famous again means it's not been updated since October 2003 (maybe that's when the film came out).

    Pekar is a big jazz fan and I was delighted to find out that he's soon going to be guest DJ on my evening & weekend radio station of choice - Jazz FM (24th Jan). There's also a mini interview with Pekar & review of the film in this month's WORD magazine - which incidentally is what I was reading when the Going Underground buskers came on board.

    ; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    More Guardian Awards stuff

    I am in Love with Pundit Mania

    Many thanks
    Pundit Mania for such a nice comment below:

    "In the "best specialist" category the Guardian considered the excellent London Underground Tube Diary, which has a nice design, good photos and readable text postings. One can see immediately that this site is "alive". Strangely, the Guardian did not give the award there but went to Pepys' Diary, a nice site but not even remotely comparable to the overall effort and quality of the London Underground blog. One can surmise that the Guardian is still engaged in a love affair with an age that is long past and perhaps it is time to give some more sensible priority to OUR own modern day."

    Thanks Andis - your cheque's in the post.

    ; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    No talking, no eye contact

    More unofficial tube rule stickers discovered

    Fan-bloody-tastic, while browsing some of my many favourite blogs on my links on the right. I came across an entry in
    funkypancake's blog, where he had actually managed to get a picture of one of those spoof tube signs I'd mentioned on November 11th. On that occasion it was a "No Talking" one and the one below spotted on the Glamoursmith & Shitty Line (Hammersmith & City Line) is also great, and must have confused the hell out of any tourists:


    For more on this unofficial "no eye contact" rule - check out my main site.

    ; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 11, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    On this day in 1863

    10th January 1863 - Passengers travelled on the tube for the first time

    Blimey, they didn't know what they were letting themselves in for. The world's first underground railway opened to the public on a Saturday at 6am from Paddington to Farringdon and formed the world's first tube line - the Metropolitan Line.

    But even then the London Underground's line didn't launch when planned:

    According to The Times on January 2nd 1863:

    "It appears that arrangements have been made for opening this line on the 10th [of January] for public traffic, but as the 1st of October, the 1st of November, the middle of December have been announced from time to time as the probable date of opening, it is presumed that no one will feel disappointed if a further postponement should take place. " From this
    excellent page on the tube's opening.

    On the actual day of opening The Daily Telegraph reported:

    "Of the general comfort in travelling on the line there can be no question, and the novel introduction of gas into the carriages is calculated to dispel any unpleasant feeling which passengers, especially ladies, might entertain against riding for so long a distance through a tunnel. "

    Any gas that I experience being introduced while I'm in a tunnel is calculated to make me hold my nose and change carriages at the next stop.

    (Cool - a page from my main site comes up second in Google when searching for 10th January 1863 london underground).

    ; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 10, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Friday, January 09, 2004

    On this day in 1863

    9th January 1863 - Private opening of the tube

    A ceremoninal tour of the Metropolitan Line, the world's first underground railway, took place with the tube's directors and 700 guests. Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, had been invited but as he was more publicity shy than
    Tony Blair, he declined, saying that he was anxious to keep above ground for as long as he could.

    He died two years later.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 09, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Sniffer dog on the tube

    Mind the Ganga

    Really exciting journey home last night, as when I got to Piccadilly Circus there was a bit of a kerfuffle going on. A brown and white spaniel was barking and looking very interested in a flushed looking guy with a rucksack. The guy was suddenly and quickly bundled off without too much protest by a couple of policeman and the dog ran round in circles while being pulled back by another burly looking copper. It took me a few seconds to work out that I was seeing a sniffer dog in action, which was rather cool.

    Sniffer dog at Piccadilly Circus

    By the time I had manoeuvred myself into a position to take the picture above of the policeman and Sniffy (we shall call him) and an Oystercard promoter , the dog started barking and lurching forward again. (Incidentally perhaps the police were talking to Oystercard man about the daylight robbery of the recent
    price hike in tube fares)

    "Shit" I thought, "he's after my Nurofen", so I backed off a bit. Sniffy was after someone else who must have been shitting themselves, but fortunately it was a false alarm.

    Now I'm assuming here that Sniffy was after drug carriers rather than explosive carriers. Piccadilly Circus is the nearest tube to that hot bed of vice - Soho. And also at the far west end of the Piccadilly Line we have Heathrow Airport.

    But who knows, it was the first time I'd ever seen Sniffy and his police mates, perhaps they'd been tipped off. Perhaps it was just a routine sniff.


    A fellow blogger linked to this entry in the last line in their LiveJournal, he seems to be a bit confused about my gender. Although I make postings about trains, people tend to assume that I'm a bloke. I just can't seem to put the message across that I'm a chick (Regular readers know I have a bit of an obsession about this oversight or assumption).

    Och well, I think the majority of people who read the blog know I'm a woman (the posted by Annie at the bottom of each entry is a bit of a giveaway). However, some people are always going to assume I'm a trainspotting bloke, so I spose I just have to live with it.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 09, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Thursday, January 08, 2004

    Pigeons and pigeon droppings (and penguins)

    Why is being used as a pigeon loo, lucky?

    Continuing this blog's lavatorial theme,
    Pixel Diva had a great post yesterday about being lucky enough to have a pigeon crap on her. It is an old wives' tale that this is supposed to be lucky, but I have no idea why. Can anyone shed any light on this?

    Kindly sent to my by Andy Vine and used with his permission

    With all the pigeons I've encountered in my life, from the cocky commuter pigeons on the tube, (see 31st December entry) the exhibitionists in Trafalgar Square, the mad Italian ones in Venice, I've never been lucky enough to have a pigeon shit on me.

    Update - Today's Metro momento

    It seems also appropriate to report that in today's Metro there's an article on penguin poo:

    "Penguins' poo-power takes the biscuit
    ......The birds are able to expel their faeces with such force that they can project them some 15 inches from their nests......(scientists) found that penguins point their rear ends out of the nest and then fire their thick white to pink faeces with such force they land far away from their nests. ....Penguins, they found, can generate pressues of up to 60 kilopascals
    (WTF?) with each poop - more than four times the amount of force humans generate, reports New Scientist Magazine"

    Fantastic. So at least we can be grateful that a) penguins can't fly, b) we don't have them in the UK and c) getting crapped on by penguin shit would probably cause you serious injury.

    ; Posted by annie mole Thursday, January 08, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Wednesday, January 07, 2004

    Toilets on the tube

    No lavvies on the london underground

    Continuing with yesterday's theme of feeling sick and puking on the tube, fortunately or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, there aren't any toilets on London Underground trains. Someone from "The United States" signed my
    guestbook yesterday to ask this very question.

    Despite the cartoon below (from the excellent Geoffrey The Tube Train and the Fat Comedian), you won't find loos in the carriages and there aren't too many at stations either:

    There aren't any toilets on the tube

    The handy site tubeplanner.com provides a list of the facilities at each station and I think there's even a tube map around somewhere which might show which stations have loos.

    But some people do improvise on the tube and find their own conveniences.

    ; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, January 07, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Tuesday, January 06, 2004

    Computers on the tube - part two

    Is the London Underground selling computers?

    I don't know what it is about me, but I seem to attract people who carry their computers on the tube. I don't mean laptops in nice carrying cases, I do this all the time, but people who carry their computer monitors around on the tube often sit opposite me. OK, often is an exaggeration, but just over a month ago I saw a young couple clutching each other and
    a monitor and hard drive on the tube. This evening there was a bloke sitting opposite me with his computer on the seat next to him.

    Previous computer on tube spot

    I could hardly take the picture this time as I couldn't believe that this was happening again and I was shaking with supressed laughter, but managed to compose myself to get the shot above.

    I just hope he bought a ticket for it, as it was occupying a valuable seat - for more on inanimate objects taking up tube seats click here.

    ; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 06, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Feeling sick

    Don't feel ill on the tube

    I felt like a bag of shite coming in to work this morning. This District Line was lulling me to sleep and also making me feel really sick at the same time with its constant stop, start, stop, start, stop, start. I felt like I was on the latest Channel 4 reality show
    Shattered and could hardly keep my eyes open.

    Changing at Glamoursmith (Hammersmith) I didn't even get a seat, as I was coming in earlier than normal for a first thing in the morning meeting. Fortunately, by the time we reached Earl's Court, I finished strap hanging and collapsed into a seat behind me. The Piccadilly Line sped into Piccadilly Circus, the lurching finished and by the time I was in the lift at work taking a phone call to say my visitors had arrived, I was fine. There's nothing like a two hour early meeting and a cup of Lemon & Ginger herbal tea to clear your stomach.

    While on the Piccadilly Line I kept my eyes shut so just had an aural perception of the tube and I don't know if I was dreaming or aurally hallucinating (again I seem to be living Shattered vicariaously at the moment), but at one of the stops, a station assistant shouted in a really sing song voice, "Stand Clear the Doors, Stand Clear the Doors, Stand Clear the Doors." His microphone must have broken and he was seriously unfamilar with the word "of".

    Feeling like I was about to feel sick reminds me of one of the first stories that a person sent to my main site many moons ago about throwing up being catching on the "subway". I still don't think the story is true, but only read this if you have strong stomach.

    ; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 06, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Extracting Varicose Veins

    Seen on Funkypancake

    According to
    Funkypancake various London Underground lines were brought to London from different towns and villages.

    "This is why each of the lines has its own individual characteristics, and why so few other towns in the UK have their own underground transport. One engineer on the project said "it's like extracting varicose veins and putting them back in someone else's legs, but much more rewarding""

    It's a nice myth/urban legend/fairy story. Or it may even be true?

    ; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, January 06, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Monday, January 05, 2004

    Shock horror Gwyneth Paltrow travels on the tube

    Daily Mail report on Gwynnie's tube travel

    Tube flick,
    Sliding Doors' star and mum to be, Gwyneth Paltrow, really travels on the London Underground. The Daily Mail said so today, so it must be true:

    "Should commuters on London's beleagured Circle Line (strikes, duvet days, cancellations, hardly a train to be seen) be heartened by Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow's endorsement of the line. Says the Belgravia based thespette: 'I do take the tube. I mean, of course I don't dress up and put on make-up, I just put on a hat. Trust me, it works.' The disguise might, Gwyn, but not the train!". Boom, boom, that's a cracker.

    Gwyneth Paltrow & John Hannah share a moment on the tube

    Trust us Gwyn, the disguise probably wouldn't work as my celeb spotting prowess uncovered her tube film co-star John Hannah last October and even a woolly hatted Matthew Kelly and red fleeced Rageh Omaar did not escape.

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 05, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    The London Game

    "Fun" board game that mirrors travelling on the tube

    Stephen from Australia signed my
    guestbook today to let me know about The London Game: "which is a map of the underground around which you have to navigate to get to certain places. Weird but kinda fun."

    Sadly if you know me by now, not only have I heard about it but actually bought a copy of the thing (travel edition natch) - although even I haven't played it yet.

    The London Game, click to enlarge

    On the instructions: "The object of the game is to visit four of London's places of interest and be the first to return to the main line station from where you set off. You travel by the Underground changing lines exactly as you would in real life".

    Like real life there are inevitable hazards like "losing your ticket", "losing your camera", "missing your stop as your engrossed in a book", "getting stuck in the rush hour" etc etc. Stephen thanks for reminding me, would have been perfect to play at Xmas if I'd be suffering from tube withdrawal symptoms.

    Ebay have a few of them. My travel copy wasn't from the 1970's although I think that's when it first came out.

    The first item on Ebay (which will be sold in less than half an hour) was for a much older tube board game called LOBO which is apparently from the 1930's, when the underground was more reliable as there are none of the hazards we see in The London Game.

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 05, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    On this day in 1964

    5th January 1964 - bloody barriers

    The first automatic ticket barriers were installed on the London Underground at Stamford Brook.

    Wonder how they went down with the public and how many people were
    getting stuck in them.

    ; Posted by annie mole Monday, January 05, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Sunday, January 04, 2004

    Public Transportation is for Jerks and Lesbians

    Quote from Mr H J Simpson

    Some of my friends are a bit like Homer Simpson when it comes to using the tube. They wouldn't go as far as saying that "
    public transportation is for jerks and lesbians" but they just don't use it for a variety of reasons - claustrophobia and safety issues mainly.

    Homer Simpson avoiding public transport - From the brilliant frame by frame guide to The Simpsons - Springfield Paradise

    I found this top Homer quote from Heidi's excellent me , my life + infrastructure. And a fair bit of Googling tracked the Simpsons episode down to Brake My Wife, Please. I did watch this episode over Xmas but missed the "jerks and lesbians" quote as the images of Homer faxing for help after going over a jetty in his gadgeted up car (how he lost his licence) were still with me.

    Homer doing a variety of things whilst driving - not advised

    Update - 21st March 2004 - it's being re-run so I got a recording today

    ; Posted by annie mole Sunday, January 04, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Saturday, January 03, 2004

    Racehorses named after tube stations

    Not a spoof map, but fun anyway

    End of year, beginning of year is when I try to get my filing done and my colleague at work gave me the following page from
    The Observer ages ago and I've ony just got round to scanning it in. Hard to believe that there's so many horses named after tube stations. So if you fancy a flutter, you know where to go.

    And with too much time on my hands I've sadly linked some entries from the blog to some of the stations featured on the picture.

    Some stations are hyperlinked to blog entries - this one isn't, try againApril 29th - DLRGetting home from St PancrasWestminster Station - During the power failure - August 9thViewed at Barons Court - Sept 23rd - Energizer AdJanuary 14th - deep escalatorVictoria - June 29th getting back from GatwickHomeward Bound - The Railway pub at Kew Gardens StationSaw this at South Ken interchange, on the way to Sloane SquareWaterloo - Pissed Santa SpotEmbankment - Pissed Santa SpotLeicester Square - Scene of Busking SantaCeleb spot at Richmond - OctoberTrying to get to Marble Arch - August 9thInspector Sands at Covent Garden - 4th December

    ; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 03, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Happy Birthday to GoingUnderground.net

    GoingUnderground.net is 5 years old

    Bloody hell, my main site is five years old today. Born on the 3rd January 1999. Wipes tear from eye. I'll be sending it off to school soon with a little lunch box and school uniform and everything.

    ; Posted by annie mole Saturday, January 03, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Friday, January 02, 2004

    Guardian Awards - more surprises

    More strange referrals from being highly commended

    This blog has been and is still getting a shedload of visitors and links since being highly commended in last month's
    Guardian British Blog Awards

    This frustrating yet amusing entry is from the weirdly named Finibus Bonoreum et Malorum (I didn't do latin at school and the blogger in question clearly didn't do grammar):

    Blogs worth noting is the winner of the photo category: NYCLONDON and the strange (fictive?) blog of the call-girl in London: Belle de Jour. But the most strange one is truly the London Underground Tube Diary where a guy is just writing and share photos from his ordinary daily routine as a employee at the London Tube.

    Errr - a) I'm a woman and b) bangs head against a brick wall - I DON'T WORK FOR THE LONDON UNDERGROUND, seriously I do not. I would rather stick needles in my eyes than work for the London Underground. It's bad enough having to use the tube every day, imagine what it would be like knowing they were paying your mortgage and bills and paying for your food, nightmare.

    Also I'm now officially a "wacky brit" which is top (well at least according to MTJ's blog):

    In the mean time, if you want to see what a "real" mass transit journal looks like, you should visit Annie Mole's London Underground site - she fabulously covers every aspect of the "Tubes" and even proclaims her site to be "almost award winning." Besides, those wacky brits really know how to turn a phrase! Or in Westernese, "Them thar Englishers really does knows how to talk, yup."

    Proclaiming my site to be "almost award winning" - erm, what else do I say about it? The highly commended blog? The just lost out to a dead guy blog? The didn't quite win five hundred quid blog? Or as my ex husband would say - The "Stop saying your site's so great" blog.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Alternative Tube Maps

    Strange versions of the London Underground Map

    It's come to my attention over the last month that loads of people have been referencing a spoof map about the tube as though it's only just arrived (
    see this).

    Puts on trainspotting hooded sweatshirt and Nigel anorak - the map above was in a Have I Got 1997 for You book, as long ago as 1997 (funnily enough) and I've been referencing it on my main site for years.

    Also it's not the only good spoof tube map - there's some top ones on my London Underground maps page of my main site

    The Doctor Who Gallifrey one is excellent from a Dr Who convention where Bonnie Langford was also in attendance.

    The If England had lost the war one is interesting.

    Simon Patterson's Great Bear is the most expensive and he gets the award for making a bundle of money out of a really simple idea and getting it shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1997.

    There's also a spoof of The Great Bear around where the tube station names were replaced with swear words and obscenities - I've not linked to it as it's too puerile for words - although Geoff Marshall links to it plus many of the others I've mentioned above plus some others.

    I also came across some excellent tube carriage map stickers from www.8letters.co.uk)

    click to see more from where this came from

    Enjoy - although it's a shame poor old Harry Beck original designer of the tube map isn't around to sue the pants off everyone.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

    Today's Metro Momento

    New Year's Resolutions are a waste of time

    Another thin issue of Metro today for the people who are back after New Year for a day to then be off work again for the weekend. This sucks and I don't know why offices just don't close today. I have not received one work related email or telephone call since Xmas Eve and the New Year.

    Anyway like me, Metro say there's little point making New Year's Resolutions:

    Forget New Year's Resolutions - they're a waste of time. They encourage you to focus on what's wrong in your life, make you do things you don't want to, and inevitably end in failure.

    So instead Metro give you loads of ideas to indulge yourself in the New Year with lists of best places to go for fry-ups in London, Best bars for Happy Hours, Best restaurants for boozy lunches and Best places for Killer Cocktails. If they added best places to get Cuban cigars or best bars for smoking the anti New Year Resolution list would have been complete.

    Metro totally rock this week and have kept me going when travelling in on the deserted morning tubes.

    ; Posted by annie mole Friday, January 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE