Monday, 4 December 2006

Life on a Train

Well, I am tentatively entering into the well-documented world of the personal blog. I must remember a few things...
do not write about work do not write about work do not write about work do not write about work do not write about work
In fact, blogging came to my attention as a result of reading about the woes of certain bloggers when their blog turned from intimate musings to explosive life-changing incendary device.

I have (not very inventively) called my blog, "Girl on a Train" , simply because this is top of my mind as I create this page.

Yes, I spend a lot of my life on a train. Like many people do in the UK. The simple necessity of Full-Time Work means I get to sit on a train for 1 hour each way to get to the office (oops, mustn't mention work!) and spend 8 hours there and then sit on the train home.

Actually, that makes life sound rather dull doesn't it? Most people wince slightly when I tell them of my train journey. But you get used to it. You have to. In fact, I marginally enjoy it. I get to read books now. Lots of them. That certainly beats sitting in a car for 40 minutes getting more an more irate at the inadequacy of other drivers, or feeling frustration at the impending traffic jam. Or needing to use some facilities desperately, yet knowing you have at least 20 minutes on the road before you are home. In fact, there is nothing more annoying than that, and it seems to happen to me strangely frequently!

Ah yes, back to trains. Onboard facilities are the norm, so your hour-long journey doesn't turn into one of excrutiating pain/discomfort.

And then there are your fellow travellers. Each in their own world, just like I am, staring out of the window, or staring vacantly straight ahead, or sleeping, dribbling (often that is me) in sleepdom, engrossed in a good book, engrossed in a crap book, reading the paper, partaking in a spot of sudoku. It used to surprise me when I was a child that people would travel so far from home every day in order to get to work. My mother was a commuter for a time. I couldn't understand. And now here I am (for the second time in my relatively short career) spending over an hour to get to work.

And, damn, is it expensive! Probably one of the most expensive forms of travel in the UK, I estimate. You can fly to Manchester from London cheaper than you can take the train (maybe, I'm not sure about that, but it sounds good. I have been told this by a few people but have never bothered to check the verity of it). I'm not sure how train companies justify those prices. Some providers are particularly poor service. Fortunately, my provider is not too bad (so far, but I have only been doing this route for 2.5 months now. Not long enough for me to start assuming the current performance will develop into a trend) apart from my 'first week at the new job' scenario. More about that another time, I think.

If only the standard commuter train was like the train advertised on the Virgin Trains advert (You know, the ridiculous ad with the red indian riding alongside the train, supposedly attempting to steal the 'entrepreneur' type's notepad with million dollar making ideas written inside it. And then the red indian gets knocked to his death by the fast on-coming tunnel. Charming that is, Branson.) whereby you can sit there in comfort with a table to yourself, drinks poured at your demand and plenty of leg-room. Perhaps this is how it is in the exclusive 'First Class' carriage. Although not the First Class of my train provider, it looks just the same as 'standard' class, to me. Not worth the extra buck. Although perhaps a tad less crowded. Fortunately I am usually cunning enough to get a seat on my train. I never understand those people too afraid to ask people to move their damn bags (there's a shelf for those don't you know/) or budge up a little.

So, from the looks of this first blog, my life consists of exciting tirades against train companies... I can understand this may have made for a fascinating read. Hmmm.. Well, I promise to liven this up a bit. Perhaps less social commentary about train life huh?

1 comment:

Bluesoup said...

You sound like me! Well, about the train thing. I guess, from your email, that we are on the same line except you are two stops after me (on the way in to London and two stops before me on the way home again)...

Fun and games, isn't it?