Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Adventures in Travel - Commuting Style

When I got on to the computer this morning to check that the trains were running before I set off for work I groaned when I saw the red "Cancelled" signs and warning message indicating that there were problems after Wimbledon with delays of "up to 30 minutes", which is SW Trains code for "bring a toothbrush and shaving kit" from previous experience. My normal route is into Waterloo, on the Waterloo and City line to Bank and then a five-minute walk to the office. A quick check of the bus departures showed that I wasn't easily going to be able to get to Morden and onto the Northern Line to Moorgate (and a short walk) so I decided to take my chances and see if I could make it to Wimbledon, which would get me on to the district line to Cannon Street (and a long walk).

Happily when I got to the station there was an unscheduled train waiting, presumably the apparently cancelled 06.12, so I hopped on that only to find that it was going to terminate at Raynes Park and not take me to Wimbledon. When the doors opened at Raynes Park most people bundled onto a train waiting at the other platform but myself and a few others headed to the bus stop, probably veterans of  previous commuting disappointments who thought that the train wasn't likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. My plan was to get a bus into Wimbledon and jump on the District Line to Cannon Street but as a number 57 pulled up I realised that it could take me to South Wimbledon and onto the Northern Line to Moorgate! Yes!!

That all went to plan and I happily settled into my seat but was roused a few stops later when the guard announced that the train controller was redirecting the train via Charing Cross and not via Bank as advertised. Half the passengers hopped off that train and onto the next one and settled in for the remainder of the ride in the hope of a peaceful journey. But no... at Elephant & Castle we were told that Bank station was now closed due to a fire alert so the train wouldn't be stopping. While that wouldn't affect me current journey I breathed a grateful sigh as my normal route would have put me on the way to Bank station, or now more accurately into the bus queues outside Waterloo.

Finally I got to Moorgate and after a short walk was celebrating my micro-adventure with a cup of tea. What was the net effect of my adventures? I was ten minutes later than my normal arrival time. Result!

So how did you get on with the trains this morning fellow commuters? Anybody see my tweet before they set out?

Friday, 13 January 2012

It's the BIG GAME!

It's the big game tomorrow! No, not Chelsea v Sunderland or Man Utd v Bolton. I'm talking about THE big game! Worcester Park FC against Guernsey!!

Guernsey are top of the table in the Combined Counties Division 1 with a 20 wins from 22 games with only one draw and a loss and they're used to playing in front of home crowds of over 1,000 whereas Worcester Park are in 9th place and have 10 wins, 3 draws and 9 losses. With Worcester Park having scored 4 goals last week in their win over Epsom & Ewell and Guernsey having a goal difference of +78 (that's an average of more than +3 per game) there should be a fair few goals to watch.

It'll cost you a couple of quid to get in if you're not a member but that then gives you access to the bar and freshly-cooked hot food is available all the way through. Kick off is at 2pm rather than the more conventional 3pm as Worcester Park don't have floodlights so make sure you get there on time.

Game on!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

A Footie New Year

Happy New Year I you all! I helped celebrate mine by heading down to Green Lane today and watching Worcester Park FC take on the might of Cobham in the Combined Counties League with the two teams in 10th and 9th place respectively in the table. A lacklustre first half saw better play from Cobham but no goals though a nicely-priced cheeseburger and chips plus a cup of tea helped stave off the cold and liven the spirits. At the beginning of the second half the 50 strong crowd saw Worcester Park come out transformed and after a few good chances went begging they were rewarded with a lob that put both the ball and the goalie in the back of Cobham's net. After 15 minutes or so Cobham took control but failed to convert the pressure into goals and were punished for their failures when Worcester Park put in a second goal just before the final whistle. It's unusual to go to a stadium where the number of spectators decreases every time a train pulls out and it wasn't the greatest football I've ever seen but it was a good result, which should lift Worcester Park above Cobham in the table, and really nice way to spend a couple of hours on a Bank Holiday Monday.

EDIT: The score on the FA site says that it was 3 - 0 in the end so that must have happened when I took Brinkster Minor off to the toilet. Typical eh?