The Anonymous Widower

East Coast Tickets Are Not Exchangeable For A Sensible Fee

For my Day 1 trip from Accrington to London, I booked an advance ticket on the 10:05 from Leeds to London, that arrived at 12:30.  The ticket cost me £26.45.

But at the time I booked, I hadn’t thought that I could fit in the Aston Villa part of the trip.

So I found that if I took an earlier train from Leeds, it would give me more time. But no matter, it said that I could exchange the ticket for a fee.

So I looked it up on the web this morning and found that there were tickets for earlier trains still available, albeit at a higher price.  There were also Super Off Peak tickets available at £28.90, which is probably what I should have bought in the first place.

So I went to Kings Cross and found out that to exchange the ticket for a named train would cost me a fee of forty-one pounds or so. I’ve changed advance tickets in the past and I think I got charged five or ten pounds or so.  That would have been reasonable, but not ideal, as in fact, I’m not sure which train I want to take. As it’s a Saturday, I have a feeling that a Super Off Peak ticket allows me to travel on most, if not all trains.

So I left, after realising I had a nice story for my blog and of course, I still had a valid ticket on the 10:05, even if it is a bit tight to get to Aston Villa.

At home, I found that the £28.90 ticket was still there, so to see if I could get it cheaper, I tried the TrainLine.  But that wanted £40.90. I don’t pay booking fees to anybody, so they can go and find some other mugs.

So I went back to East Coast and eventually bought the ticket at £28.90.

It’ll be interesting to see what price, I could pay for a walk-up ticket at Leeds on Saturday.

To return to the title of this page.  I don’t consider, a forty pound plus fee acceptable, when I can buy a fully flexible ticket for about two-thirds of the sum.

This trip is starting to get interesting.  Perhaps I should follow Tony Hawks lead and travel with a fridge. The problem is that I’ve had enough medical problems in the past few years, I don’t want another caused by humping a fridge.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Kings Cross to Waterloo and Back

Waterloo is south of the river, so it doesn’t connect well to civilisation using the Underground.

On my trip between Accrington and Aldershot, I’ll need to travel from Kings Cross to Waterloo.  I’ll also have to come back to get to the Arsenal.  I did do a recce earlier, but today I checked out using the Bakerloo and then the Piccadilly or Vict0oria lines.

Going south, it’s just a Victoria line to Oxford Circus and then a cross platform transfer to the Bakerloo line for Waterloo.

Going north, you walk to the left on coming off a train at Waterloo and take the escalator down marked Bakerloo. At the bottom, you go through the gates and take another escalator. Then you can actually turn immediately left and take a shirtcut throgh to the northbound Bakerloo, where I found it was better to get in about the middle of the train. This means at Piccadilly Circus, you just walk to the back of the train to take the subway to the Piccadilly line. Get in towards  the back of the train and you’ll be well placed to go straight up the escalators at Kings Cross.  But as on Day 1, I’m going to Arsenal, I’ll get in towards the middle.

Hopefully, I’ll save a minute or so.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Slow West Trains

I wanted to get my ticket from Waterloo to Aldershot today for next Saturday.

As I wanted to get a ticket from the Zone 6 Boundary, and I have a Freedom Pass, I had to queue up at Waterloo.

I waited about twenty minutes, as they just didn’t have enough staff and I was not buying a ticket for today.

The good thing was that the ticket cost me just £6.20 return with a Senior Railcard and the Freedom Pass.

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

I Was on talkSPORT Last Night

I was interviewed on talkSPORT by Jason Cundy late last night.

I don’t think I made too much of a fool of myself.

September 23, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , | 2 Comments

My Place in The Sun

I was in The Sun yesterday, just under Pippa Middleton at the bottom of page 29.  Under the headine, He Choos He Scores, it said the following.

Londoner James Miller, 64, will use trains and buses to visit 92 Football League grounds in alphabetical order in 29 days.

Not strictly true, as I’m allowing myself the 31 days of October, but they obviously didn’t have any more space.

C once appeared on page 3 in The Sun.  A case involving a saucy farmer, where she was defending the two women, who attacked him, was published many years ago.

September 21, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

The Shelf Life of M & S Gluten Free Sandwiches

On My 92 Clubs trip, I shall be relying heavily on Marks and Spencer’s gluten-free sandwiches. In their Upper Street branch on Sunday, I saw an egg & tomato salad sandwich reduced to £1.25.  The Sell/Use By Date was the 18th of September, as this picture shows.

A Reduced Marks & Spencer Gluten-Free Sandwich

I decided to put them in my fridge and see what they tasted like after a few days.

I eventually had them for my lunch yesterday, the 20th, and they were as delicious as they usually are.

I shall be checking the store every time, I go to the Angel. After all, where can you get a wholesome gluten-free snack for £1.25?

September 21, 2011 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , | 4 Comments

Tom Hunter and Piero di Cosimo

Tom Hunter is a well-known artist based in Hackney. A friend had invited me to a talk at the National Gallery by Tom to discuss a painting by Piero di Cosimo called A Satyr Mourning a Nymph.  Tom had used it as an inspiration for one of a series of large format photographs based on a series of headlines in the Hackney Gazette. There is more about the talk here.

It was all very enlightening and enjoyable.  It made me think that why don’t museums and galleries do this sort of talk and discussion more.

The National Gallery had just set up several ranks of folding chairs in front of the Piero di Cosimo painting and admission to the talk was free.

In this case the discussion was quite deep and some new insights into the painting seemed to have come forward. My friend even felt that the nymph was pregnant, which was a view supported by others and according to one of the curators of the gallery had not been proposed before.

In some ways it was slightly surreal for me, as I’d just featured in a headline in the Hackney Gazette. I can’t find it on-line, but it was about my 92 Clubs trip.

September 17, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Recce to Barnet

Barnet is a surprisingly difficult club, as it lies between Aston Villa and Barnsley.  So it’ll have to be done quickly on a trip between Euston and St. Pancras. In other words it’ll be two trips on the Northern line to High Barnet. I’d only ever been once before, when I was about seven to see Enfield play them with my father, but C as a child used to go regularly with her father, on their bicycles.

So to see how difficult it was, I took a trip from Euston to High Barnet and then back to St. Pancras. The times were as follows.

18:22 Left Euston

19:00 Arrived High Barnet

19:25 Left High Barnet

20:10 Arrived St. Pancras

So that short trip took just 12 minutes short of two hours.

It could be a bit quicker if soomeone was with me to hold the lights on Barnet Hill and get the platform right there. I got the wrong train out of High Barnet and had to wait for one at Camden Town, which probably cost 15 minutes.

At least the ground is well-signposted and easy to find, as these pictures show.

At least though the walk isn’t too difficult.

September 11, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

92 Clubs – A Recce to Ipswich

I had to go to Ipswich to have some pictures taken for the 92 Clubs  challenge.

Here’s a few I took from Ipswich Station to the ground.

As the pictures were all taken from a similar position, it just shows how close the station and the ground are.

September 11, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

92 Clubs By Public Transport Alphabetically in a Calendar Month – It Could Be Worse

I have just realised that my trip could be worse.  At some time in my lifetime, the following clubs have been among the 92 clubs in the Football League.

  1. Barrow
  2. Boston United
  3. Darlington
  4. Gateshead
  5. Grimsby Town
  6. Lincoln
  7. Newport
  8. Scarborough
  9. Workington Town
  10. Wrexham
  11. York

This isn’t a complete list but the others are easy.

September 8, 2011 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , , | 3 Comments