Posted in Updates on Sunday 26th September 2004 at 10:14pm
End of my week of holiday, and I'm getting that strange 'back to school' feeling I remember from many years back! Its been six months since my last week off, and this week was much needed. I even managed to spend a couple of days doing nothing much in particular and catching up with friends.
Tried to keep busy for the rest of the week however, and achieved quite a bit in terms of reading, getting myself organised, dealing with administrivia and things around the house. The Police continue to investigate the fraudulent credit card transactions, and dealing with an efficient and friendly WPC has restored my confidence after a very shaky first experience. Nice to have a few rather more relaxed trips out too, with time to stop and look around. I think my status as a 'trainspotter' is pretty much clearly established now, after years in denial!
Time to start thinking about the next week off, which isn't so far away. That's going to take a little more planning. In the meantime, I need to practice keeping my head below the parapet, don my flameproof suit and head back into the maelstrom...
Posted in Updates on Thursday 16th September 2004 at 9:11pm
Central Ward Town Council by-election day. Since the local parties have only one ward to fight we have suffered a weight of leaflets in the past few weeks. Several independents standing, but on reasonably typical single issues - rights for senior citizens (and the Town Council can influence this how?), hunting (in Weston?), asylum seekers and Weston's drug-treatment centre overload. Much as I'd like to vote Independent in a local contest, they all filled me with a weird empty dread which made me want to renounce democracy once and for all! Fun surprise of the day was the chance to vote for one Richard Whittington - now if only we elected a Lord Mayor here in Weston!
I spoke to a visiting Tory (the prospective parliamentary candidate for Bristol South no less) who was out knocking up on my way home. He mentioned a very poor turnout - perhaps 18-19%. The Town Council was unpopular in some quarters when it was proposed, and the tiny non-event of a single ward electing barely registers on most people's radar. I wonder whether the results will get posted anywhere?
Spent much of the day at work trying desperately to tie-up loose ends in anticipation of some much needed leave next week. Managed quite a bit of useful work in some ways, and banged my head against the system for a while too. Fear the worst for the next few months. I can't help feeling people seem to have stopped thinking in favour of a sort of random running-about behaviour! Also spent quite a bit of the morning chasing lost train tickets, which were apparently mailed out in early August but have never shown up. Local station came through with replacements, luckily
Then it all started to add up. I'd reported a replacement credit card undelivered a couple of weeks back, which had apparently been posted around the same time. Today I discovered some very strange transactions on my account which fell on the very day I reported the card not received. Bank were fantastic, helpful, understanding and efficient. Decided once and for all to report my suspicions regarding the post here to the Police. They were however a little less easy to deal with. Only when I misheard a question and gave a patently absurd answer did the woman at the other end of the phone start laughing and become more human. All-in-all a very strange and rather awkward process to report the problem.
Off to London tomorrow for the Open House weekend among other things.
Posted in Updates on Sunday 5th September 2004 at 9:46pm
Well, now summer really is over! Just watched the final 'Torbay Express' of the year depart behind 5051 'Earl Bathurst'. Noisy and smoky start from Weston, with none of the wheel slip and fuss of 'Union of South Africa'. Good to see a Great Western locomotive back on duty.
Briefly headed out this morning, not much of note. A Voyager trip to Cheltenham where the unfortunate guard seemed to have more passengers refusing to pay than genuine ticketholders! Then to Gloucester, and a worrying lack of inspiration in the bookshop. Back to Bristol on what appeared to be a diverted Cardiff-Salisbury service - hadn't noted a planned tunnel closure.
The equinoctial feeling brought on by the railway timetable changes got me thinking about the next few months - plans include a weekend in London for the Open House Weekend, the Delgados show and the LAMAS conference on the history of St. Paul's Cathedral. I've also planned a week off for what could be an 'All-Line Rover' jaunt. Its important to have things to look forward to, I suppose.
Posted in Updates on Saturday 28th August 2004 at 11:28pm
Despite arriving home tonight to scenes of disturbance on the station, despite even seeing tides of already semi-inebriated youths heading for town on my walk home, I had a strange urge to get out and about tonight.
So, after the decidedly nerdy and antisocial activities of adding up my mileage and updating my move book, I set out to wander in Weston. I wasn't disappointed by the experience. Not a hundred yards from my door I was offered my first fight by a young Welshman, urging me to insult his friend so that they could "take my head off" - naturally I declined.
Into town, and it got worse - as I passed the front of one public house a number of utterly incapacitated young women were ejected, falling in a heap on the pavement. I politely stepped around them. I immediately changed course, swung into back streets and thought about visiting one of the few bearable pubs remaining in town. I haven't actually socialised in Weston in months, and I'm not sure what made me think of it now. I suppose it has been a long and strange week...
In the end, after the truly odd walk out, I couldn't bear the thought of even a decent pub. Even being hailed by a friend who spotted me passing by couldn't persuade me otherwise, and I turned for home with some relief.
I'm not sure where my oddly Victorian view of the world has come from. I'm not prudish, and I normally take a decidedly liberal view of life - however, Weston in the summer takes it's toll on all of us residents, it seems.
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.