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can we has christmas? - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2007-12-21 00:14
Subject: can we has christmas?
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:crabbycrabby
Music:pink floyd
After work this evening Bogna went over to finish up some details of her cousin's estate with her co-executor, and since I didn't have to be home to cook dinner I decided to finish off some bits and pieces of Christmas shopping.
I did some quite close to the office, then I went up to Chancery Lane station to get the Central Line into the West End to get some last bits and bobs. And as I was standing there on the platform I watched the Central Line turn up its toes and die, right in front of me. The first train to come in was too packed to get on, as was the second. The third came in and just didn't go out again. I stood there and watched people coming off the escalators and cramming themselves onto the carriages. Finally someone made an announcement over the public address which went like this: "...hiss crackle...train will...hiss Bond Street mumble...journey..."
Screw it. I left Chancery Lane and I walked to the West End, did some shopping, was conquered by the lure of the Virgin Megastore on Tottenham Court Road, wandered around a bit, bought a copy of Wish You Were Here, walked back to Holborn to get the Piccadilly Line home.
I hate London at Christmas. It's too crowded and in the runup to the holidays the pavements are packed with office parties going drunkenly from restaurant to pub and it just does my head in.
But one amusing sight that never changes, whatever the season, is when you stand at a pedestrian crossing with a bunch of other people with the little red man lit up. The little red man says `do not cross,' but if the traffic somehow comes to a stop because it's turning into traffic lights or more traffic you can bet that a healthy sixty or seventy percent of the people standing beside you will suddenly decide to play a game called `Let's See How Many Of Us Can Cross The Road Before The Traffic Starts Moving Again And People Start To Die.' I used to think it was quite amusing, a long time ago, but these days I'm starting to see it as survival of the fittest.
Anyway, I get to Holborn and the Piccadilly Line is really really crammed, so I wind up getting the Piccadilly Line in the opposite direction to Green Park, where I change for a wonderfully empty Victoria Line northbound to Finsbury Park, where I change for the northbound Piccadilly Line I would have caught at Holborn in the first place. Not so crammed, because it's been emptied out by people getting off at earlier stations. So I get on the next train, and I'm doing okay timewise, really.
Except that the train crawls, it stops between stations, it crawls some more. It takes the thick end of forty-five minutes to make a journey which on a good day will take less that a quarter of an hour.
Finally winding up at Arnos Grove to find the station announcer telling us there were `minor' delays on the Piccadilly Line. Minor?! I'm afraid I lost my mind a little there and instead of waiting for a bus I stomped across the road to the taxi office and got a cab home.
And I'm working on Christmas Eve. As usual.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-22 00:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It seems to me that the thing about public transport, wherever it is in the world, is that it always attracts people who have absolutely no idea how to run it. It's a modern mystery.

Bogna's name is prounced Bog as in Thog, and na with a short a. It means something like `from God' or `of God' and you'd be surprised how many different ways it can be pronounced. One of her employers pronounced - and indeed spelled it - `Bodnar,' while another pronounced it to rhyme with the Italian pronunciation of Bologna. Bless you for taking the trouble to find out.

Edited at 2007-12-22 12:21 am (UTC)
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Chris
User: camies
Date: 2007-12-21 07:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"I hate London at Christmas"
quite. Much of the time I could remove the 'at Christmas' from that statement (but not all the time). Fond of quoting 'The Sweeney': "I sometimes hate this bastard place, it's a holiday camp for thieves and weirdoes". Though living out in the 'burbs compared to Hammersmith does have its downs, like people won't come and see you because it's too far (cf. the first email I opened this morning).

The Victoria Line doesn't seem to work very often at all at the mo, but it's the one you had no trouble with!

Re people crossing against the red, I try not to! With a comment of 'Are you in a hurry or something?'

Have a good holiday season anyway.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2007-12-22 00:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know what you mean. My stamping ground is around Fleet Street and Holborn, which isn't so bad most of the time, but every time I go into the West End I get the feeling I'm entering a country of lunatics. Living in the 'burbs isn't so bad, although where we live has become progressively more shabby down the years and it seems to be getting harder and harder to get to.

And you're right about the Victoria Line. I was a bit surprised about that, but it worked when I needed it to. The worst times on the Victoria Line are match nights at White Hart Lane when the trains are full of Spurs supporters going up to Tottenham Hale.

You have a good Christmas too. Hopefully we'll bump into you in the New Year.
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