Monday, June 11, 2007

Bing Bong

Blimey, three excellent Doctor Who episodes in a row!

*holds up a round black plastic object*

Is this a record?

Anyway, if you've ever wondered how the old British class system is ticking along, the best possible time to find out is on public transport. During a mild crisis.

Two seconds after the news of the cancellation of every single train leaving from Paddington this morning due to a power failure had filtered through to the first class lounge (yeah yeah, if you book ahead it's only a tenner more, and the extra legroom is handy), a man in a suit turns bright red.


The lady in the yellow tabard smiles blankly. I am on her side.

News circulates that if we all peg it to the Tube, follow native guides to Waterloo and storm the platform, there is a possibility of a small train heading roughly South West. This we do, and I manage to find the first class bit, guessing that residual class fear will keep the commoners from taking any free seats for at least another ten minutes. I am correct.

It also becomes apparent that every single person in my carriage is, regardless of whether they bought a first class ticket or not, heading to Cornwall to stay in one of their second or third homes. The nice Irish lady next to me and I begin quietly plotting their deaths.

A ticket inspector comes through and announces that anyone not in possession of a first class ticket will have to move out. Everyone looks at me, because I am scruffy,with slightly mad hair and a hooded top. I take out my first class ticket, and rub tiredly at my right eye with my index finger, which means I am SECRETLY MAKING RUDE GESTURES AT THEM ALL. Hahahahah, twats.

One middle-aged lady is asked to give up her seat so a passenger with a first-class ticket can have a seat. She struggles loudly, and with poor grace, but eventually stands up. When the passenger himself arrives (bald man, suit), she draws herself up and brays poshly:


Bald Man in Suit: (utterly unruffled) Yes.

He sits down. Rest of carriage glares at him. Nice Irish lady and I get the giggles.

More conversation ensues, mostly to do with the annoyance of how annoying it is to pay a small amount of council tax on a home you only use two weeks out of year. Then there is a debate about whether Plymouth is in Cornwall (it isn't).

Man in Tweed: No, you see, when the train gets past the bridge, all the little local people sort of huddle together and speak in Cornish.

Me: That's it, I'm going to KICK THEIR ARSES.

Nice Irish Lady: Ooh lovely dear, I'll hold them down.

I didn't in the end, because the train got into Reading and the whole sorry process had to begin again. Sorry, rubbish ending.

* I could have said 'yeah yeah, I got a lift home in my mate cello's chauffeur-driven car Thursday, you ain't all that, buster', but I only just thought of it.

I left the Patrocloflat at eleven this morning. Got to mine at eight.


Tedward's Missing Ear said...

"ARE YOU BRITISH?" that is fucking outrageous.

Agree about the Dr Whos. Excellent.

* word verification - "lktkkd" sounds like a dodgy alcopop

belladona said...

That may be my favourite episode ever. Especially since today at work I saw and overheard two little children peeking around a corner at the Sphinx statue we have, clutching each other and saying 'It's a stone angel! It is!' Aww.

Marsha Klein said...

"...all the little local people..."
Gah! If there's one expression that makes me SPIT...My mother-in-law employs this one so often, you'd think she lived in Lilliput, not Buckinghamshire!

nanga parbat said...

Off topic but in the spirit of pained ranting I am now officially stuck in South America for the rest of my life because I cannot remember ANY of my highly classified Secret-Squirrel phone banking passwords, or indeed how much money I last withdrew on my credit card or what the overdraft limit is on an account I haven't used in 2 years so not only can I not PAY OFF my credit card bill I can't even get them to send a new one to my co-signatory (mum). Feel a bit of a pillock, to be frank, but better for getting it all off my chest so thanks for that.

Word ver - duhvuf - noise i just made while rolling my eyes and slapping my forehead.

Oli said...

I took first class up to Brighton on the weekend. For the extra tenner, it’s the right way to go. However, I also had a posh twat on my journey, this time armed with a mobile. Also, having the whole of the circle line down was a jolly, wasn’t it?

And yes, ‘Blink’ was bloody brilliant. Now I’m off to huddle with the rest of my little Cornish friends and talk in Cornish.

Sylvia said...

I'm amazed anyone can get to Cornwall, what with all the trials and tribulations you seem to have everytime you travel to and from there.

Have you tried flying to Newquay? Would that be any good to you?

james henry said...

Ah the problem is, you have to get out to Stansted, then when you get to Newquay, you have to get from there across to Falmouth, so you may as well get the train...

Sylvia said...

Oh goodness, yes, Stansted....forgot about that! Took me nearly 2 hours to get there from Streatham a few weeks ago, and that was with no delay at all on the tubes and trains!

Driving isn't an option as that takes forever too.

What to do, what to do....

kaiki said...

my favourite train journey in the world is the branch line from truro to falmouth – a couple of months ago a combination of pouring rain and small carriages meant that everyone was squashed damply in together and rather then bicker and moan and shove bloody shove, the situation seemed to kindle some ‘spirit of the blitz’ camaraderie in which everyone talked and laughed and, in some cases, sang*.
it was lovely.
*although the singers were, it turned out, drunk.

Skeadugenga said...

Interesting image of little local Cornish folk huddling together, were there pitchforks? If each part of the line has an ethnic characteristic, then I'd say you were in serious danger of zombie attack when you stopped at Reading.

Oli said...

"You have to get out to Stansted"

You can go via Gatwick now if use Air Southwest. But then there's the booking in time, and, y'know... the guilt.

"my favourite train journey in the world is the branch line from truro to falmouth"

Really? But it's always late and it smells of horses...

"you were in serious danger of zombie attack when you stopped at Reading.

I'm sure everyone has their views on where the vampires live...

kaiki said...

oli – you are right, the falmouth train runs on it’s own fickle timetable and smells of horse-musk and damp…but it’s scenic and after the snobbery of the brighton and london transport systems it always makes me smile just to be on it.
james – i admire the fact that you gave a secret rude gesture. you win, in my opinion.

Skeadugenga said...

"I'm sure everyone has their views on where the vampires live..."

There's a roost at Swindon and another at Didcot. Reading, definitely zombies. Nothing so exotic as a vampire would come within 10 miles. Even ninjas pass it by.

richard said...

I like the Truro to Falmouth branch line too.
Has this blog now reached an improbable critical mass of people who have travelled on a relatively minor part of the Rail Network?

Sylvia said...

Fear not - I've never travelled on that line.
Does the Crystal Palace line count at all?

james henry said...

Clearly British Rail are missing a trick by not having a falmouth to truro branch line blog, the shortsighted fools.

Imo said...

Ahhh Stansted the evil place that wants to expand into 3 runways and overtake the countryside with tonnes of concrete - not to mention keeping me awake at night with noise pollution. Sorry had to have a little rant there.

Blink was brilliant and none of my three boys (aged 5, 8 and 11) were at all phased at the thought of statutes coming alive, they're more worried about sleep deprevation from the planes - I think I was more scared then them. Kids these days just have no imagination!

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

I too enjoyed Blink. I thought the Weeping Angels were properly creepy at times.

Because I am one of the odd few adults who don't drive, I am forced to endure the cattle-carriage conditions on our trains.

I must consider upgrading to 1st class more often....

Steve Dix said...

Minor point about "Blink"..

When the Angels are hiding from Sally looking out of the police station window, no-one's observing them.

So how come they're statues then?

Otherwise, yet another excellent episode.

Kalista said...

I can confirm as a resident of Reading, that it is a town rife with zombies. Particularly in 'The Oracle' the most mystically named shopping centre in the world.