Almost a fortnight!
The latest thing is promotion! Well, sort of! My colleague the Station Master has mentioned he's applied for various jobs. Now, let me say that I love driving trains, so I never want to leave the trains grade, so I noticed that in this weeks Traffic Circular [our weekly information booklet with temporary speed restrictions etc listed] they're advertising for Instructor Operators at both Acton Town and Earl's Court!
I meet all of the requirements, and although it's a lot more work and responsibility and not a huge amount of extra money, it's something I'm sure I'd be good at and I'm sure gives a lot of job satisfaction to see someone you've trained still driving on the line years later!
I know the District line inside out, so I may as well apply! I'll keep you informed how I get on. I'm quite lucky in the respect of being good friends with most of the Instructors on the District, particularly Solidbond (not his real name, obviously!) and District Dave, both of whom have offered me advice and encouragement since day one of me coming to the District, so thanks guys and expect the worried phone calls if I get an interview!!
Yes, it's that time of year when the clocks all go back an hour! So as I type this, my clock is showing almost 4am, but in fact it would have been 5am, before I adjusted everything.
I hate having to adjust everything: clocks, watches, mobile phone, video etc etc. I always discover at least one that I haven't changed about a week later!
Now, call me Mr Scrooge if you wish, but how the hell has the celebration of Hallowe'en became so popular and commercialised in the UK? When I was a kid we used to hollow out a turnip and make a lantern (we couldn't afford pumpkins!) but we'd never think about going around the neighbours saying 'trick or treat'!
Surely in this day and age this is a very dangerous thing to be doing? I know most of the kids who come around my house are with an adult, but there are still a few who aren't.
While I'm in my 'Scrooge' mood, why the hell do we have fireworks from the middle of October usually until after the new year? Guy Fawkes night is 5th November, and there are plenty of organised displays. I understood that it was going to be illegal to buy fireworks (particulary those bloody loud 'air bombs'), but it seems that if such a law was passed it is most certainly the most ineffective law ever.
All the way from Bow Road (where we emerge from the tunnel at the east end) through to Upminster is like a constant firework display. I don't mind the nice, colourful ones, but what on earth is the point of sending a rocket up which goes up, then just makes an extremely loud BOOM frightening people and animals for miles around.
Apart from anything else, I'm still a bit edgy because of the 7/7 bombings, so I almost shit myself when I hear a loud explosion now.
As well as that, why don't kids put any effort into their 'guys' these days? I can remember making a guy with an old pair of jeans, and old shirt and stuffing it with newspaper. We made a face for him out of papier mache (you know the stuff I mean - I just can't spell it!) but we never sat outside a railway station/pub/bus stop begging 'penny for the guy'!
Kids today seem to put a mask on a black bin bag, and call it a guy! No imagination or effort! Then how insulted are they when I offer them 1 penny for their guy! I do this every year, I raid the copper jar and when the kids accost me asking for 'penny for the guy, mister' I give them a single penny! Just my stingy sense of humour!
Taking The P*ss
I noticed no fewer than four people urinating on station platforms tonight on my way from Upminster to Ealing Broadway. Can these people not hold their bladders? Can they not go before they leave the pub? Can they not find a proper public WC?
If they are caught short, at least find a quiet place. All of the people I saw tonight were quite blatantly pissing on platforms against the wall, or in one case against the OPO CCTV monitors! If they can't hold their bladders then they shouldn't drink so much in the first bloody place. It's no wonder our stations stink.
Unfortunately I've broken my digital camera, or I'd have taken photo's of these people and published them here. I'd also have taken a photo of the state of my train when I arrived at Ealing for the last time tonight.
The carriages were covered in vomit, urine, newspapers, empty bottles, cans, half-eaten food etc. I've never witnessed anything as disgusting in my life, and Ken wants to give these tossers an extra hour at the expense of the serious people who need to use the Tube early in the mornings? The man isn't right in the head.
I also noticed when I arrived at Acton Town to put my equipment bag away that the ticket barriers were still closed and the amount of people who were jumping over them was amazing. So they spend God-knows how much money on alcohol, but then they can't afford another few quid for their fare? We obviously provide a free train service to anyone who is drunk, as well as a convenient place to dump any rubbish they want, a place to piss or vomit etc... So if Ken Livingstone does indeed start these later services, there'll probably be very few people who will pay for their journeys anyway, so it'll be running at a loss, not to mention the extra cleaning costs!
Only another week to go! On Friday 4th Novemeber, I'm away for a fortnight. Nowhere very exotic unfortunately, but it will be nice to get out of London for a while!
I'll try and blog a bit more in future instead of bottling it all up for one post! But until next time... Byeeee!