The Anonymous Widower

Footballers On The Couch

Susanna Reid said on BBC Breakfast this morning, that they’ve never had a current footballer on the couch, whereas virtually all the British medallists from the Olympics, have joined them.

She has a point, but I don’t think it’s down to intelligence, but imagine if say a Chelsea player was on describing how he’d just scored an amazing hat trick against Manchester United, think of all the abuse they’d get.  They used to have current footballers on A Question of Sport and they don’t now.

Or it could all be down to agents wanting something like image rights!

But i still think she has a point.


August 15, 2012 Posted by | News, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

The Ladies Who Bus

Three retired ladies are using their Freedom Passes to travel every London bus riute from end-to-end in numerical order. The project is described here on the BBC’s web site.

And I thought I was mad visiting all the 92 football and Premier League clubs in alphabetical order.

August 15, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Scotland’s Thoughts On An Olympic Homecoming Party

I just read this article in The Scotsman, which I thought was a serious newspaper..

The celebration for the Olympic and Paralympic medallists is going to be in Glasgow, but I would have thought that there was a case for it to be in Edinburgh.

The comments are priceless.

August 15, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Branson Good, First Group Bad

You have to admire Richard Branson on the way he has marshalled the general public to stand up for Virgin Trains.  I listened to a couple of phone-ins and the callers were generally behind Virgin. One caller virtually said that he like travelling on Virgin for the loyalty scheme.

As an extensive train user, there is little to choose between Virgin Trains and First Great Western, but both are much better than the state-run East Coast Trains.

Virgin’s main problem at the moment is a shortage of Pendolino trains.  This is being rectified, with a few new ones coming into service and the existing fleet growing by a couple of coaches per train. Whoever got the franchise, would have benefited from the increased number of seats.

But as I said in an earlier post, I think that one of the keys to success for First Group, is its links in Scotland.  This could cut costs and also bring about an integrated system to get passengers between the north of Scotland and the south.

August 15, 2012 Posted by | News, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Usain Bolt In Sclater Street, Shoreditch

I took these pictures of the painting of Usain Bolt by Jimmy C in Sclater Street, Shoreditch.

It’s very easy to get to and all  you need to do is get to Shoreditch High Street station on the East London line, turn left as you come out of the station and turn right at the main road.  Sclater Street is directly ahead.

You can even see the painting, from the lift lobby on the Southbound platform.

August 15, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Wot! No Potatoes!

I bought an egg and potato side salad in Waitrose this morning for my lunch today.

Wot! No Potatoes!

I’d half put it on the plate, when I noticed it had lots of tomatoes and no potatoes.

I was in the Islington branch today and showed them the photo.  They gave me another one, which I’ll have for lunch with some smoked salmon.

August 15, 2012 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

Job Losses, Higher Fares and Worse Service

Bob Crow’s reaction to the loss by Virgin of their West Coast Franchise to First Group is predictable.  When did Bob Crow’s union ever do anything for passengers?  Individual members do every day, but will we see the union call out their members in protest at the change of franchise holder? I hope not, but a strike is one way to get the best deal from their new employers.

As to the two companies, I’m in a unique position to judge them both. In my trip around the country to visit all 92 Football and Premier League clubs, I used Virgin Trains and First Great Western extensively. I had no issues at all with either in terms of punctuality and customer service. And as a frequent rail passenger, what really matters.

On a practical level, now that First Group has both the West Coast and Scottish franchises, might we see better connections at Glasgow to places north of the central belt. Could it also mean that services like Liverpool and Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh get better?

The two franchises meeting in Glasgow, may also give First Group a cost saving in terms of train stabling and overnight servicing. Only they could tell me the answer to that one, but it would seem to make sense.

It does seem that this will be the end of Virgin Trains.  Am I bothered? No! Not at all! Anybody who works for them, will probably get a new job soon somewhere in the rail industry, as overall we’re going to run more trains not less.


August 15, 2012 Posted by | News, Transport | , | 1 Comment