Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Selfish Driver

On my way in to work some schmuck obviously thought it to be a good idea to block the cycle lane and force all the cyclist onto a very busy dual-carriage way.

Ride Home

Thames Water were doing there usual bit to help save water by having a massive burst main in West London. The main street was completely gridlocked with one or two cars even floating in the water. All the buses were also stuck.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Drivers eye view

Here's a very short clip taken from the cab of a tube train. It's not very long though:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sick as a Parrot

Thankfully I am very rarely ill, and even rarer do I vomit. Not so last night, I woke up around 03:00am with really bad stomach cramps, and after about 20 minutes or so, had the misfortune to be sick.

I assume it was something that I ate. All I ate yesterday was some grilled cod fillet, weight-watchers bread and 2 bananas. I'm not feeling too bad at the moment, just a little light-headed, so unless I am ill again, I will be cycling to work in about 2 hours.

Trouble seems to follow me

I was working my rest day yesterday as one of the smaller stations on the group. The last time I worked at this particular station was about 6 weeks ago, when I had the unpleasant meeting with a young woman who thought the world revolved around her (her exact words), she refused to purchase a ticket, verbally abused and threatened me, and basically acted like the spoilt brat she was brought up to be.

Lucky me, she was back again last night with one of her equally chav-like friends. Her friend touched in with her Oyster only for Queen Chav to double gate. As it was so blatant I called her back from the gateline, only to be ignored. I then followed her to the stairs and told her to come back and purchase a ticket. Obviously she didn't want to do that, so she started verbally abusing me, threatening me, etc etc. Eventually she realised I wasn't going to back down (I threatened to stop the train until the BTP arrived) and she returned to the gate line and exited the station. As she did so, she turned around and threw her full bottle of water all over me. Whilst technically that was an assault, with the heat it was very refreshing so I thanked her; much to her disgust.

Monday, June 19, 2006

test video

Had to go to the opposite side of London today to collect some goodies that I got from ebay. If this works I may post some more vids, perhaps some from a drivers eye view.

Anyway 10 points to anyone can guess where this is.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Health checks

I had a blood test last week with my local GP, and the results came back yesterday. Apparently my cholesterol level is a little raised with a reading of 5.13, I also have low blood pressure with an average reading of 100/60. This seems a bit confusing as I don't drink, I don't smoke, I do at least 20 or so miles a day cycling (today I did 41), I eat very little red meat, maybe once a month, and I haven't eaten take away food for about 5 weeks. I am a little overweight (about 8 kg) though, which I am trying to lose.

Any health conscious people out there able to give me some advice and what may be causing these readings.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Part 2

It started raining on my way to work this morning and I get completely and utterly drenched. I had water in my shoes and my Ipod headphones stopped working. Anyway, I managed to get changed and put the kettle on before we had our first problems. After yesterdays service I was hoping for an easy day, but it wasn't to be. The Picc. was suspended from Rayners Lane to Uxbridge because of signal failure and the District was suspended from Parsons Green to Wimbledon, also because of signal failure. Thankfully, the suspensions didn't cause too many problems. At 10:25 I was about to commence my break when the phone rang, and the LIA (Line information asst) gave us the news that they were preparing to suspend the entire District line and we had to detrain any trains in the area so they could run empty to the depot's. The line had a complete loss of radio communication and for safety reasons they have to suspend the whole line as the District don't have the staff necessary to double-staff the train cabs. The idea of a meal-break was obviously out the window. I then head down to one of the platforms and assists the CSA's and to give information to train operators and also to customers. Eventually the all clear came through with extremely severe delays to the whole line. Another 30 minutes overtime claimed as no chance of a break again.

Two days in row part 1

I got into work yesterday about 06:10 and the night turn supervisor wasn't in the office, and the office was being baby-sat by a CSA. On of our trains was stuck in the sidings and then the signals went down. I quickly put my bike away and got changed so my colleague could go home. Eventually we get that sorted out, so then the priority lay in getting the kettle on for the morning boost of caffeine. After about 40 minutes or so, I am about to head to the DSM's office for my 6 monthly P&D (performance & Development) interview, when the other supervisor calls me on the radio to inform me that Acton Town had lost complete signal control and that everything in or out of Acton was suspended. I remain on the platform and start to detrain whatever trains were in the area, and start assisting customers with their alternative routes. Loads & loads of complaints but not too much abuse for once. I felt sorry for the Heathrow customers who either had to take 2 buses or change at Paddington and get the Heathrow Connect which were accepting our tickets at the time. Eventually the powers that be decided to put in a free special taxi for heather customers from another station which did alleviate some of the pressure. I was unable to get a break, so I had to claim 30 minutes overtime instead.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Verbal assaults & threats

Unfortunately, because of engineering work, we have no service this weekend on the lines where I work. We do try to let the customers know well in advance by displaying posters at least a week in advance, it has been in the Metro newspaper everyday etc etc. Quite a substantial amount of our lovely customers either completely ignored the aforementioned information, or forgot. So they turn up at the station and normally one of two things happens:

1) They walk straight past the scaffolding, ladders, tools, the scores of contractors, posters and staff and go onto the platforms to await their trains.

2) They happen to notice all of the above, and utter various expletives to themselves and come and politely ask for and politely receive the information they require.

We also have a third category of people, who may initially do either of the above, then come and swear at our staff, threaten us and take it too personally as if LUL are only doing this engineering work to annoy them.

Just today whilst assisting on the gatelines and directing people to the replacement bus services etc, I have been threatened with a pitbull terrier, threatened to being stabbed and gutted, called a racist and too many verbal assaults and insults to count. I have a long 12 hours duty tomorrow, and I am not expecting to have any other staff, as my managers have neglected to cover the other duties. If that is the case, then I will be providing my service from the safety of the ticket office.


Normally I have very limited access to external internet sites at work as they are generally blocked by the firewall, websense. Not, usually a problem as I know how to get round it. One of the sites we can get though is BBC. Although I am not a major football fan, I try and follow the results of the world cup matches and maybe one or two of the England games, however the IT department has decided to disable the activex controls on the system and we are therefore unable to listen to the BBC radio commentary or watch the streaming live matches that the beeb is broadcasting on its site.

I was able to catch the first half of England lacklustre performance today by listening to the screams of the fans in the pub next door to the station.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I have managed to cycle every day to work for the last 2 weeks except for yesterday, because of the constant rain we have been getting. I was also thinking of complaining to my local council about the state of the cycle paths in the area, not that it will do any good. There are numerous pot holes, cars parked in them, broken glass all over the place, road works in the middle of the cycle path, and very uneven bumpy path where previous road works have taken place, and they obviously haven't taken care when resurfacing the path.

Ambient Music

We have a couple of stations on my group that have had ambient noise speakers installed to play classical music in the background. The idea behind this, is that some 'yoof' (with the exception of 3.1 et al) detest this kind of music and no longer loiter around the stations and cause trouble. Only trouble is that the two stations that are using it on my group don't really have a major problem with loitering youths. We do get the odd gang of them steaming through the station, but they don't generally hang around, they're in and out. Not sure if any other stations have the same scheme going, I think some stations on the East End of the District line have them also.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


You may have seen some of the station staff using these recently, and some of my fellow bloggers have blogged about them. They provide real time information as to the whereabouts of the next trains, A-Z map of London, Journey Planner etc. Seems like a nice idea but half the time the staff can't get a signal or when they do then the page takes so long to load, then the information is no longer 'real-time'.

What is this?

Whilst on my cycle to work, I go through Chiswick roundabout and there is a strange structure near the B&Q. Anyone know what it is?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Currently Reading ...

Finished the last one, and just started this...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Spring Cleaning

Seeing as my colleague accidently deleted his old blog, I decided to amend his link, and add a couple of others that also link to my blog. If I have missed anyone, I do apologise, just give me an email and I'll sort you out.

Nice weather

Thought I'd take advantage of the nice sunny weather and my rest day by going for a cycle ride.

Left my house at 12:15 and got back at 15:15, so 3 hours riding aimlessy around. I'll probably regret it in the morning though.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Currently Reading...

I read about 5 or 6 books a month, normally on the way to work and back, and if I am lucky enough to get an uninterrupted meal break during it. I normally go for horror, sci-fi, and the occasional language book, but for a change I am trying something new, I'm about half way through and it's not too bad.

Only one more to go

Only one more night shift to go. Last night was the 3rd night in a row with the last trains more than half hour late. I do hope metronet pull their fingers out and get things back to 'normal'.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Just getting ready for my penultimate night shift. Last night was another late finish, but thankfully, we didn't get many conractors. Had to deal with the usual drunken idiots at the weekend who for some reason find it rather amusing to hold trains, drop their belongings on the track and jump down to retrieve them, lean over the platform edge to urinate, defecate on the platforms, etc etc. Thank G-d the weekend is over.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Another late finish

Last night our last trains came through almost 45 minutes lates, due to what we were told at the time a SPAD (Signal Passed At Danger), when in actuality it was because of some drunken schmuck breaking the doors, and messing up the service.

Rant of the Day

I'm half way through my current week of nights, and one thing that contractors ALWAYS seem to do, is leave the boswick open whenever they leave the station. Not fully open, only about 8 inches or so, but for some reason, customers think this means the station is open and proceed to enter the station, climb over scaffolding, and go onto the platforms to wait for their non-existent trains. 20 minutes later they come back and complain that there are no trains. I probably spend about half an hour each and every night chasing customers out of the station.

Any contractors reading this: "Please close the gates on your way out!"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Safe & Sound in Egypt

I am currently in Egypt enjoying the last week of my spring holidays. Thankfully I am in Cairo, far away from the madness that is happening near Sharm el-Sheikh. I am due back on night shift again next week, so hopefully I will have something interesting to blog about. I have been having a few problems with my home PC so I am really tempted to splash out on a Mac.

I have been a PC user from the beginning and until very recently (ie now) have never used a mac before. Although some of the shortcuts etc do take a bit of getting used to they do seem to be more stable machines.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Back to work

I got back from Egypt on Monday night, only to find the picc line was suspended because of radio communication problems. Ah well, only had to take 2 buses to get home, so it could have been worse. Apart from the fact that I left my jacket at home and was bloody freezing on the way home.

I am currently hard at work on my last night shift for the week, with one day off then back on early turns. When I get the chance I\'ll post some pics from Egypt.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No work for 10 days

Off on a short 10 day trip to Egypt tomorrow morning, so no LUL for a while :) Nothing much has been happening at work with the exception of having very few staff since the introduction of the shorter working week. I think a few of our staff would probably prefer to go back to the old rosters as they seem to be working more hours than before.

I've finally got rid of the car. I was spending over £200 a month on petrol, insurance etc, which is a bit daft as I get free travel. Since I have to walk about 20 minutes to my local tube station, I should hopefully be losing a bit of weight.

Anyway take care everyone, and see you all in about 10 days. Don't work too hard either.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Best blonde joke ever ...

An oldie but hey who cares?:-

blonde joke

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Boy am I ready for bed. All of the evenings contractors have just booked off the station, after banging, drilling and cursing through the night, no doubt upsetting some of the local residents.

I have to give the OPO monitors a quick check, do a station check, do an emergency gate test, and then I can open the station to the public.

2 and a half hours until my relief turns up, then its a (hopefully) 30 minute drive home and straight to bed for about 4-5 hours before getting ready to pick the kids up from school.

Did I mention that I hate nights!!!