October 6th, 2006

glee sue sylvester

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

...that a young man of twenty in possession of an open bottle of wine must be a COMPLETE AND TOTAL WANKER. As Little Owl and I discovered whilst waiting at Lee for our train. Two blokes (and girlfriend) were both knocking back wine from a bottle apiece, harrassing a couple of Polish girls sitting next to us, leaping back and forth between platforms ACROSS THE RAILS, and coming *this close* to being eligible for a charge of public indecency. It makes one weep for the future of the nation. Anyway, have come home and am being comforted by Johnny Cash and yogurt and raspberry/strawberry compote (very nice - will endeavour to save you some, Katie). Am tempted to write of my despair with The Youth of Today to the Times, signing myself "Disgusted of Richmond".

As, in fact, I am similarly tempted to do on the subject of Oyster cards. The Oyster card is a fine, fine invention (though I will admit to being a little troubled by their earlier advertising campaign, whispered forth on station speakers throughout our fair capital, about how it was better and easier and would make the world a happier place, because shades of 1984, tbh) and should be embraced by everyone. It is cheaper and far more convenient.

Except, of course, when it comes to topping up the beknighted things, because then they turn, on a dime, as they say, from a sailor's friend to an albatross around his neck. Most of the stations I frequent have a paltry number of Oyster card ticket machines, all of which have ginormous queues at them, in comparison to the fifty million normal ticket machines that NOBODY IS USING. Now, obviously I appreciate that the Oyster card is (relatively speaking) a new introduction to the London transport system, but the fact remains that if they wish to get everyone using them, TfL needs to provide an infrastructure which makes the whole process as painless as possible. Waiting in a queue for the best part of a quarter of an hour (as I have experienced at Waterloo on one occasion) is A BAD THING.

And let's not even touch on Richmond where, despite being a terminal stop on the District Line, has decided to foreswear tube ticket machines altogether, and half their ticket booths refuse to have anything to do with Oyster cards. WTF? Rawr.

But yes. La. On a lighter note, I was on leave today, which is always pleasant. Although I didn't manage to have a lie-in (actually up in time to exchange words with Katie, which is unusual on a normal day), I prepared myself for the day in a leisurely fashion, and bopped off to Ealing Broadway to meet up with Chris and Bex, who were doing a spot of house-hunting there. (For those who might not otherwise be aware, mon petit frere et sa petite-amie are moving down to London next month, which is Jolly, Jolly Exciting, parce que he is a fine young chap, albeit gradually turning into our father.) We dined on toasties at a select coffee house, and chatted of this and that (chiefly TV and politics - both fine topics). Then they went off to look at flats and I investigated the shopping possibilities of Ealing (not particularly inspiring, on their main drag, at any rate, though I bought some relatively cheap shoes - shiny (literally), brown, flat, and with little velvet bows (in a non-twee-ish-annoying way, obvs) - which is always satisfying).

After my sojourn into Ealing, I returned to the PF, did very little, then rang Xanthe, chatted for a while, then realised that if I wanted to get to Brownies in time, I would actually have to leave. So I left. (See my through logic there...)

Sadly, I was about twenty minutes late to Brownies, on account of stupid trains not working properly. Bastards. Unfortunately, Katie was on la meme train, so we were both sadly delayed. The Brownies this week were slightly mental (although still, under the insanity, their usual rather cute selves (I don't really like the word 'cute' but I can't think of a better one of the top of ma tête so it will have to do)) so it was a job of work for all of us to keep them in line. We were doing Brownie traditions stuff and they all enjoyed themselves so yay (not, obviously, that I can take any credit for the programme, but whatever...), and I felt quite useful and not standing-about-like-a-lemon, so huzzah for that. I quite enjoy being Puffin, and will be going along with them next week to visit the fire station.