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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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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Getting in

It's Tube Strike Wednesday - Good Luck

Short post right now - it's about 8.15am and I'm leaving in five minutes or so. British Snail and buses for me today - expect lots of stories in the office today of how long it took people to get in. L8ters.


Actually I got in at 10 - which was only about 15 minutes later than normal for me. There was a tiny shuttle service running on the District Line going one stop between Richmond and Gunnersbury. From here people could pick up the SilverLink or North London Link as it decided not to run from Richmond today.

But South West Trains were only a bit later than normal and not hugely packed. In fact there was a bit of a "last day at school" atmosphere on my carriage, with a man jovially talking to me and asking questions while I was on my moby to my friend. It was quite weird as he refused to stop talking and was clearly having a laugh hearing me juggle two conversations. He told me that he and his colleague were going to walk from Waterloo as one was wearing his walking boots, whereas he had on walking stilletoes (Tube strikes obviously give people licence to talk bollox to complete strangers).

Just as we came into Waterloo he was reading Metro over my shoulder and was as transfixed as me on an article about kissing. "It's National Kissing Day - shall we start now"....."Err it's on Tuesday" I replied. He then moaned about missing it, missing the point that it's next Tuesday.

At Waterloo, lots of people looking a bit confused and running around trying to get hold of the right bus, but other than that, everyone still seemed reasonably good humoured.

Going over Waterloo Bridge I saw a queue of people waiting for the free River Bus and the sun was shining, it's a pleasant day for walking (stilletoes or otherwise), and I'm sure loads of people will be WAH'ing it (working at home) or WTAH'ing it (watching tennis at home). Let's see if The Standard will be screaming about chaos and London grinding to a halt tonight though.

Just in case you still need help getting in there's brilliant
Emergency Rail Map: "The map carries full details of the services and connections available to passengers for the duration of the industrial action", claimed a Network Rail spokesman, who wished to remain anonymous for operational reasons. "You can clearly see from the map that the network can adapt well to the disruption and passengers may not even realise there's a strike on at all."..... Enjoy

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 30, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Tube Strike starts at 6.30pm tonight

Ewwww.....looks like it's on then

Well it looks the 24 hour industrial action on the Tube is definitely on now. Check out
The Standard

"Millions of workers face travel chaos after talks aimed at averting a strike on London underground broke down after just 10 minutes........

London Underground urged people not to drive into central London during the strike and suggested that workers should walk to their office wherever possible.

Cool that's only about fifteen miles for me, nice stroll home tonight. For more helpful advice from London Underground check out their website.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, June 29, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, June 28, 2004

Love is in the air

Metro get all luvved up

Yep it's that time of month when Metro decide to play Cupid and publish messages from people who've seen some gorgeous hunk of spunk (sorry I soooooo love
Kath and Kim - it's like an Aussie version of The Royle Family) or babe on the tube, in the hope that they just might read this and get in touch. Here are my favourites from today:

"I met you over a year a go, first thing on Sunday morning at Pimlico station - you, Claire, an Austrialian nurse on your way to work, and me off to watch the Cricket World Cup Final. You smiled at me and we started talking after you committed the evil crime of reading the back of my paper. I though you were fun to chat with and if on the tiny chance you are still in the country, single and remember me, it would be great to meet."

Blimey, he got her name, was chatting to her, why not ask her out.......D'OH

"I have only seen you once and I've not been able to stop thinking about you ever since. I saw you on Monday, May 17, at about 6pm on the Nothern Line platform at Bank station heading south. You stood next to me waiting for the train wearing a green skirt and a small top showing your flawless olive skin and were reading the Daily Mail. I have regretted not asking you out ever since."

And one that may possibly work as at least the woman reads Metro:

"You are a tall, gorgeous redhead who gets on at Victoria and off at Warren Street about 7.30 most mornings. Sometimes we make eye contact and I nearly pluck up the courage to speak. You are usually listening to a Walkman and you always have a Metro, so maybe this is my best chance to say I like you. Give me a smile and your phone number."
Tall blonde guy

So if someone sees these two tomorrow morning making eyes at each other over their Metros, pleeeeeeeese report back. I need a good wedding to go to.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, June 28, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, June 25, 2004

Tube Strike Latest

Train Strike Off - Tube Strike Still On

So many people coming to the blog looking for news on this. As of today the RMT have called off the railway strike planned for Tuesday 29th June, but Tube strike is still on for 6.30pm. (See
The Evening Standard) Coupled with that Union leader Bob Crowe has just resigned from his role at Transport for London after having a ding dong with Mayor Ken Livingstone who said that tube workers should cross next week's picket lines. (This is piss poor timing, as Bob was due for a pay rise at the end of July with his re-appointment to the Board)

Although things between Ken and Bob are at an all time low, The Standard believes it ain't over till it's over: "Hopes that the strike could be called off were raised today after it was revealed there had been telephone contact between London Underground and RMT officials. Union leaders will look for an improved deal, allowing them to suspend the action for further talks........The final decision on the Tube strike could rest with the annual general conference of the RMT, which opens in Portsmouth on Monday."

On the BBC today programme Crowe said: "What the Mayor should be doing is getting his chief executives out of their golf clubs or wherever they are in the afternoon, or cocktail bars, and get them round the table like the chief executive of Network Rail did yesterday afternoon, and sort the differences out between them."

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 25, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Vile Pictures

Some of the scariest jpegs I've seen today

Many thanks to
Ralf The Cartoonist for the following, which I can only hope to God is not a permanent tattoo:

Tube Tattoo - Click to enlarge - if you're mad enough

Then in a totally un tube related tangent, but homage to the boys last night from one of the many Beckham emails floating around cyberspace this morning via those photoshopping experts at b3ta:


More footy photoshop fandango including the above in The Standard

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 25, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

More bathroom tube ads

Tube of toothpaste puns

Following the Sure deoderant ad below, Colgate have been running a serious ads across the tube which have now featured in lines running across the bottom of today's Metro, with some London Underground co-branding:

"Take this tube for 12 hours of fresh breath"

"Don't let the person sitting next to you know that you had a curry last night"

"1.4 million people use the Circle Line weekly - How many brushed their teeth? "

All 1.4 million of them hopefully!

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 25, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Pants Sure Ad?

Bridget Jones eat your heart out

Mike Gilbert signed my
guestbook a week or so ago pondering:

"I am perplexed by an ad in the tube (maybe because I am American). Does anyone know what the Sure ad that says "Argh!!! I've pulled" and features a pair of floral underpants means? I think Sure is a deodarant and I am not sure how it all comes together. Any insight would be greatly appreciated."

What does this mean?

I managed to get a picture of the ad yesterday, but I emailed Mike back last week with my understanding of it. I believe it's when, as a chick, you think - brilliant I'm about to pull, but then you remember you're wearing a disgusting pair of large underpants (Renee Zellweger had a moment like that in the film Bridget Jones' Diary with Hugh Grant saying "What an enormous pair of knickers"). I think this would then bring you out in sweat and only Sure's deodarant would do. Really convoluted I know, and as I haven't heard a dicky bird back from Mike I don't think he's that impressed or convinced by my argument.

I spose I'll now get a load of unsavory characters coming to the blog through Google looking for ladies lingerie.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, June 24, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The next station is Oval

I thought it looked more oblong actually

I was at a client meeting this morning in Kennington so had to get off at Oval. Oval's one of those stations were the first or second time you hear the recorded voice in the train saying "The next station is oval", you have a tiny chuckle to yourself. This must wear extraordinarily thin when you hear it day after day. Or see people going to watch the cricket give each other knowing looks or say "The station doesn't look oval to me, although it is a bit curved - pnarr, pnarr".

See larger section of this spoof tube map - I know other sites have the full version but I'm not going to take on the BBC by using the whole map

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 23, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Another threat of industrial action on the way

Get ready for a strike

There's plans for an all out 24 hour walkout over pay and pensions from both rail and Tube workers next Wednesday from 6.30pm. Currently they're in talks so it may all be called off.

I'll keep you posted or check out
Google News for the latest.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, June 22, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Oldest Heat Reader?

I'll have some support stockings, some Fisherman's Friends and a copy of Heat please

Just came back from staying over at a friend's last night so jumped on at Victoria to a fairly deserted carriage, apart from an elderly lady reading a copy of
Heat - full of the latest Big Brother/Posh and Becks/celebrity plastic surgery/celebrity sneeze stories

You're never too old to read Heat

She looked fairly engrossed and I only wished I could have seen whether she was reading a discarded copy (they have a strange magnetic effect on most people) or whether she'd bought it herself.

By the time we got to Earls Court she was still gripped although her and a number of other people started flapping about a pigeon that flew on board for a lunch time snack. D'OH - was all I thought as I hadn't seen a pigeon in the carriage for some time now.

I was amazed at how determined they were to shoo it out and how equally determined it was to come back in. I spose they were worried that it would have got trapped on board and started freaking out in some Alfred Hitchcock stylie way, pecking at glasses and leaving droppings on copies of Heat - although not sure if we'd have noticed the difference. Perhaps there'd be a new column of celebrity birthmarks that look like pigeon shit.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, June 20, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Saturday, June 19, 2004

In belated honour of Bloomsday

Ulysses Tube Map

Many thanks to Ralf
The Cartoonist for sending me a picuture of a Ulysses inspired tube map that he spotted in Dublin while he was over for Bloomsday (James Joyce's Birthday?) celebrations last week.

Ulysses Tube Map

Not quite sure why it was in tube map format, but if it's good enough for Doctor Who, I'm sure it's good enough for James Joyce.

Click to enlarge

; Posted by annie mole Saturday, June 19, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Almost too real

In this hot weather

You've probably seen the real posters on the tube about
what to do in this hot weather - get off at the next stop if you feel faint, always carry a bottle of water, give up your seat to someone if they look like they need it more than you, yada, yada

My friend who runs www.isthisyou.co.uk sent me the following from rocketeer32.com via b3ta:

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 16, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Top Tube Toon

Busy Tube

I've tried my hardest to get a decent picture of
Peter Gander's winning entry for the Mind The Gag London Underground Toon Competition and failed miserably.

So I've appropriated it from the tube's website:

Click to see the orginal

Ironically the winner Peter isn't a regular tube traveller and gets the overland train to Liverpool Street, but he vividly remembers some horribly cramped journeys to where he used to work in Chelsea.

"It was never a terrific journey, but in the summer it could be horrible and sometimes a bit mad! The normal train is so much more civilised!"

Tell us about it Peter.

Any machochist who wants to see my latest picture of the cartoon in poster form, it's below:

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 16, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Monday, June 14, 2004

Wot a scorcher 2


Very continental journey home this evening. On the way back from watching my colleague's shorts (not as weird or pervy as it sounds - shorts as in short plays and films at the Old Red Lion), delved onto the Piccadilly line and cooled myself down with
hot waves of "Special" "Not in service" trains zooming past while listening to some busker playing Miles Davis' So What or some other type of Jazz that ought to be on Round Midnight.

More continental toons on my MP3 - Dr Rokit's Cafe de Flore from Angel Beach and then saw some continental looking legs in some real shorts just as I left

Wow, we could almost be in Lisbon on the tube (that's the closest I'll get to talking about Portugal today).

At least no one was cycling bikes down my part of the District Line or firing air pistols.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, June 14, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Underground, Overground

A Tube system made out of The London Eye?

"The optimistic vision for the above-ground network linking London's existing Tube stations is just one of a collection of revolutionary designs going on show today (well yesterday - I'm a bit late with the news) at Selfridges."

A bunch of designers were given free rein to think of what they would really like to see in London. (One of them was clearly on some drugs as they tried to make my old stomping ground "unglamorous Feltham" into "London's coolest area" - this would not just take some designers but every god that exists in the world and the universe and then it probably wouldn't work.)

I quite like the idea of an overground system though. Some Dutch architects came up with this who may well have been on some recreational drugs. Check out The Evening Standard for the full story.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, June 10, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Possible industrial action on the District Line

You heard it here first......

An inside source tells me that there might be some industrial action on the District Line on the 10th June because of action by Metronet SSL at Upminster depot. It may well not happen though as the same source tells me that discussions were taking place to try to avert it. So have a listen on the radio before you leave work.

Wow, I should be a politician for making such a vague post - "might", "may" "possible" - expect to hear plenty of polictical vaguries with the elections tomorrow anyway.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 09, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Phew wot a scorcher

Hot, hot, hot

I wondereded if the the fashion police would have a day off on the Tube today, but amazingly most people were wearing a decent amount of clothes although there were a number of people wearing shorts, well, who really would have been better off not wearing shorts

The Standard was
screaming with the heat

And typically or topically, when I got home this evening commenting stalwart and regular visitor Bradley, sent me a fantastic link from Metcheck which shows how hot it is on various lines on the tube. Basically it was bloody hot on all lines today.

Bradley also sent a link to a transport forum where he came across the original link and apparently someone had tried to cool down the Tube today in their own special way:

"Some idiot tried to cool down the Jubilee today by wedging a newspaper in between the doors. Of course this just resulted in a 10 minute stop in the tunnel, whilst the driver had to find out what the problem was."

Inventive but rather stupid.

At least Sheriff Ken is too busy trying to get re-elected this year rather than trying to re-instate campaign and �100,000 reward for some genius who can work out how to air condition the Tube.

Update - Quality post from Rob at The Big Smoker on some vox pop stuff from The Standard with people waxing lyrically (stupidly) about how hot it was on public transport.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, June 08, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Speaking of Ken Livingstone

Mayoral Challenge

It's only two days till election day and The Standard decided to ask the front runners for Mayor some general questions about London and they all scored pretty badly - Ken and Simon Hughes (Lib Dem candidate) did the best with four out of nine London questions right - the
odious Tory Steve Norris got three and the Green Party Candidate - Darren Johnson - only got two of the London questions correct.

There were obviously a few transport questions:

How much does a weekly zone 1-4 Travelcard cost

I would have given the same answer as Ken:

Ken - I don't know I buy an annual season ticket
Norris - Between �25 and �30, I think but I get a zone 1-3 annual pass myself
Hughes - �15.40 (how can you so precisely give the wrong answer)
Johnson - I'm not sure - I always get an annual one. Maybe about �24.

The correct answer is �29.20

Then it all went horribly wrong for bus champion Ken.

How much does a bus journey into or from Zone 1 cost?

Ken - They're all 70p (hide your head in shame Mr Livingstone)
Norris - �1
Hughes - �1
Johnson - 70p

As much as I hate buses even I know it's a quid for adults.

I quite liked their answers on how they travel to work:

Ken - Tube (yes I have proof of this)
Norris - Bus and Tube. I get the bus to Brixton, then the Victoria Line to Green Park and the number 9 to Kensington High Street (then an essay as to how wonderful his journey is)
Hughes - It varies, sometimes I drive my taxi (errr, what - he has a taxi) or I take the 53 or 453 bus. I used to cycle but my bike was stolen. If I'm elected mayor I will walk to work.
Johnson - I take a train from Brockley to City Hall.

; Posted by annie mole Tuesday, June 08, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Blogmeetette, Belgos & Booze

Boozing bookheads

On my way home last night from a very enjoyable mini-blog meet (a blogmeetette) at Belgos with
The Cartoonist, Plep, Konstantine and Mr Bali Hai - I sat opposite a couple of literary swiggers.

It was quite touching to see the happy couple reading and quietly swigging from a bottle of red wine on a Saturday night. Makes a change from sitting opposite people with cans of Diamond White or bottles of Archers, WKD or the latest alchopop.

Perhaps the man was just reading the book as a pose though, as Penguin have launched a FHM meets TLS campaign trying to get blokes to read saying that women prefer men who read books or "Good looking women prefer good booking men" - there's an intriguing "Readers' Wives" section with tales of people who met their partner through their love of contemporary fiction - or Penguins. Cheers to Ian whose blog I spotted this bizarre campaign on. You can also win a grand if a half dressed woman from Penguin "our stunning Good Booking Girl" spots you reading one of their recommended books of the month.

; Posted by annie mole Sunday, June 06, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Friday, June 04, 2004

Just about sober enough to blog

Don't drink cider again

Apologies to anyone who was travelling in the carriage with me at TCR (Tottenham Court Road) where I was was wolfing down some fried chicken which must have stunk out the whole carriage.

Funnily enough I managed to grab a picture of the Bernard Manning lookalike butcher in a carriage full of noxious smelling meats advertising the "Don't eat smelly food" latest offering from
Saatchi's for the Tube at Paddington earlier today.

Bernard Manning lookalike advising us not to eat smelly food on the tube

I don't normally drink cider and ended up ordering it by accident tonight and then sticking to it, as it was oddly refreshing until I realised that the only food I had eaten today was a bag of crisps and three satsumas ......hmmm healthy!

Fortunately one of my drinking companions (the newly hot ex colleague of mine who had lost over three stone since I last saw him) had not eaten anything at all today, so I didn't feel quite as bad.

Also on the tube I managed to vicariously read the woman opposite me's copy of Hello!/Now!/OK!/Then!/Whatever! and learnt about celebrity cat fights. The only time I ever read these gossip magazines is over someone's shoulder on the Tube or in my hairdressers. The celebrity cat fights were ex Big Brother contestants Jade and Kate (yawn), EastEnders Kat Slater and Dirty Den, Jamie Cullum and Kerry McFadden (WHAAAAAAAAAAT? WHY? It's another world) Posh Beckham and someone else (who cares?) and most weirdly Natasha and Britney (as I know my pop stars, I knew this was Natasha "I'm Singuuuuuuuullllll" Bedingfield (Daniel Bedingfield's younger sister - it's a British thing - these pop siblings are not worth troubling yourself over) and La Spearster.

After the copy of OK! (as it turned out to be) was left behind, a man too old and too suited to know better grabbed it and proceeded to read more of the celebrity cat fights and fortunately he left it behind too, so I grabbed it and rescued it from its Tube travels and will be finding out this weekend why the female Bedingfield and Britney are at loggerheads.

Oh yeah - next Thursday's tube strike's been called off - quelle surprise!!!!! (How can you have a tube strike on election day? - nicely timed guys)

; Posted by annie mole Friday, June 04, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Gig on the Tube

Do you think these will take off?

In my
comments from a week or so ago Andrew Kendall brought to my attention a band called The Others who actually had a gig on the Hammersmith and City Line between Hammersmith and Liverpool Street on the 22nd May.

It looked like a huge laugh and Andrew has posted some great pictures of the event on his site where the picture below came from:

Kindly used with Andrew Kendall's permission - check out more on his site

The last time I saw pictures like this were from a massive party on the tube - The Circle Line Party last year.

Anyway, I asked Andrew for some more information about The Others' gig and he put me on to the Let's Kill The Others Forum and I found out that it was a "normal" gig with crowd surfing, free condoms, booze, crowds, cameras and bootleg recordings which the pictures show (well they don't show the free condoms, but you'll get the general drift). Check out the video on the NME's website.

The best thing about one of the threads on the forum though was a particularly surreal idea about making it a regular occurance and how the Tube might have to change if it was:

"Me and my good friend Mister Toms very much enjoyed the gig on the tube. So today me and Mr Toms had a conversation about the tube and all the crazy things that could happen on it, and Mr Toms came up with this idea:

Themed Months on the tube.

So you could have a Star Wars month were all the tube workers dress up as storm troopers. And the repair men could dress up as rebels. Then say the metropolitan line is down.. instead of saying "The Metropolitan Line is down due to engineering works" it would be "The Engineering line is under assault from rebel forces", said over the tube speaker system in Darth Vader's voice.

And announcements could be made on the tube such as "We are now entering hyper speed". Only it would come on as the tube is inexplicably grinding to a halt (as it always does). And that would really piss people off.

Oh what fun.

And you'd have to change your money from pounds to some weird space currency to use the tubes.

With such genius ideas surely me and Mr Toms should be in control of the whole system. What do you think?"

Perhaps Mr Toms and Plastic Long Breath should take over the Tube. Sounds a lot more fun than the current system.

; Posted by annie mole Thursday, June 03, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Back in London - Tube Ordeal?

What a welcome

Ahhh, after just a few days off in sunny (and a bit rainy) Scarborough, it was back to the delights of the tube yesterday and today we face the prospect of a
tube strike to concide with the European, Mayoral and local council elections on the 10th June.

But not all doom and gloom, I saw a limbo dancing pigeon yesterday in the waiting room at Glamoursmith. I was sitting staring into space after coming back from King's Cross on the new wooden seats - thinking - ah, another day off work and suddenly a pigeon was inside - pecking on the floor. No one else had been in the room since me, so I wondered how the little blighter had managed to materialise from nowhere. After he'd finished snacking I saw him duck under the little gap beneath the waiting door.

Pigeon in limbo at Hammersmith

I also received a pretty rude email in bold letters from a tube driver who has his own IRC chat room asking me to add a link to his site as I have "duff" ones on my main site apparently (the two at the top for Eurorail and Railpass - both seem to be working fine to me). How positively would you reply to an email that started:

Do you respond to e mail these days? This is a repeat I'm sending.

Let's just hope that he's not sitting round the table for the negotiations about the forthcoming strike.

Finally, a nice email from Donal:

At Baker Street today I heard one of the regular announcements reminding pre-pay OysterCard Lovers to touch their card on the reader at "the beginning and end of your Tube or DLR journey". The person in the announcement I heard unfortunately ran their words together somewhat so it came out as "the beginning and end of your Tube ordeal or journey"...

Don't know whether this recording is limited to Baker Street. I may be going mad or hearing things - would love some corroboration.

Donal - maybe you are going mad. But I don't think too many people would be unduly surprised to hear their journey described as an ordeal.

; Posted by annie mole Wednesday, June 02, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE