Thursday, 29 April 2010

travel mayhem

My train tonight was cancelled. Again. I count myself lucky though. While I was sitting opposite the Traveling Douchebag #1, Train Buddy was on the train an hour later than mine. He sent me a message to let me know that his train was on fire. Not to worry though - the driver managed to battle the blaze and limp the train to the station. Just another day at the office. Ho hum.

The Traveling Douchebag

I've decided to add a new segment to the blog - the Traveling Douchebag . I was inspired by a recent birthday gift from a friend. She gave me a copy of a book called "The Quotable Douchebag" by Margaret McGuire, which listed real quotes from famous people that illustrate what jerks they are. My train homage to this will wonderful book will expose those who break the unspoken rules of acceptable behavior on public transportation.

The first installment will introduce you to a perfect example.

This guy talked really loudly into his phone for AN HOUR. I was wishing for a tunnel. He took up the entire seat next to him on a crowded train with his bags. His conversation consisted mainly of making plans for drinking and music festivals while he downed 3 cans of lager. If that's not enough for you, note the way he's got his fringed scarf tied diagonally across his chest like a messenger bag, the sunglasses on the train, and the psuedo-Buddhist accessories.

 I welcome you, Dear readers (all 5 or six of you),  to make your own contributions as well. If you happen to visit this blog and notice your photo here, time don't be such a douchebag.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


I was so busy at work today that I looked up and realized I'd missed
my train. Rather than waiting for an hour for the next one, I decided
to run for one that requires a speedy change at a large station. I
hoofed it to the station, only to find that my train had been
cancelled. That's one more that won't be counted as late in the annual

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Decades later

I am just pondering why, after approximately 15 years of mobile phones
being de rigeur, some people still insist on yelling into them.

Do they think this will help the other person hear them better? Do
they think everyone else is secretly so interested in their daily
minutiae that we want them to speak up? I propose a new theory: it is
simply the inevitable fallout from the ipodiots. They are deaf from
listening to their little white earbuds at full volume that they don't
know they are shouting into the phone.

Have you forgotten me already?

This morning, we are again cursed with a jam-packed 2 carriage affair.
The conductor checks my ticket and then proceeds to perch his ass on
my laptop while he sells tickets to the people across the aisle. No
apologies, so I can only assume that he feels that this ménage a trois
between his backside, my equipment and my face is the stuff of my

He makes his way to the end of the carriage and back again before we
have reached any new stations and checks my season pass again.
Apparently, the experience we shared meant nothing. Sigh.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Welcome back!

The sun is shining, the air is brisk. It's my first day back on the
train for a blissful week of working at home followed by a week of
vacation spent toiling in a sunny garden. To celebrate the spring in
my step brought by, well, Spring - I decide to eschew the bus and set
off early for a healthful walk to the station. I should have had
breakfast with the chickens instead. The train is 15 minutes late.
Welcome back.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Good Life

This week has seen the complete rebirth of the derelict allotment vegetable plot that my friend and I have taken on, as well as the arrival of 4 laying hens in my back garden. I've never owned chickens before, but in the 36 hours since their arrival, the whole family have really enjoyed their presence. They've even won over the heart of the dear husband who was merely humoring me until this point.

The installation of the coop was a bit of a debacle. A lovely friend of mine who keeps chickens offered to build  it for me from an old bunk bed she had and deliver it nearly assembled. When it arrived, it was much bigger that the space for which it was intended and was in approximately 37 million pieces. 5 people and 7+ hours later, it was assembled, and the girls are happily scratching away in their new home. We even got an egg!

Introducing our new ladies: The toddler wanted to call the leghorn hybrid Daffodil, so we stuck to the flower theme, naming the French Maran Hyacinth Bucket (Keeping Up Appearances) and the black Sussex rock Violet (one of my mom's fave flowers).Well, we kind of stuck to the theme. The spouse decided to name his speckeldy Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.

I love spring

You know why I love spring? Because I can take time off while my students are on holidays. It means no commuting. It does mean digging up shrubbery while it's hailing outside, but never mind.

Train Buddy, however, has not been so lucky. I was hoping that for his sake, the train strikes after Easter would go ahead so he could stay home. Unfortunately, the strikes were legally challenged and the poor guy had one heck of a mess yesterday. I was just ankle deep in chicken poo. I much prefer the poo.