The Anonymous Widower

An Idea From India

This article from Global Rail News is entitled India’s Minister for Railways launches glass-roof scenic rail cars.

Why not?

Scotrail’s plans for shortened HST train sets to go between the major cities will hopefully carried out with style and a great deal of respect for the scenery.

For a start, will the seats be arranged like these in Chiltern’s Mark 3 coaches.

Note that the picture was taken in Standard Class.

There can’t be more stylish, comfortable and practical rides in a train of this Class anywhere in the world.

What is not shown is the cheery staff with the snacks and drinks trolley.

All of this too comes from a subsidiary of Deitsche Bahn and it is far superior to anything I’ve ridden in Germany.

I wonder if windows can be put in the roof of a Mark 3?

Probably! Engineers  certainly have ways of making Mark 3 coaches do anything they want

But there’s always the option of connecting cameras to the train’s wi-fi.


April 21, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Mainland Birmingham

Just listening to Adrian Chiles doing a live broadcast on the Brexit debate from the Bull Ring in Birmingham.

He has just interviewed a third-generation Indian sub-continent stall-holder, who described himself on-air as born in Mainland Birmingham.

Even Adrian, who is a Brummie, was caught out by the phrase.

The wonders of the English language.

May 17, 2016 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Off To Blackpool Today

I’m going for the day to see my football team; Ipswich Town play there.

I’m dreading part of it. Breakfast at Carluccio’s in St. Pancras will be it’s usual good standard and the Virgin trains to Preston will probably be excellent, but the local train to Blackpool will be it’s usual crap self. Then it will be a walk in pouring rain to the ground, as only locals can fathom how to use, the town’s Third World bus system. But that is probably an insult to places like Goa, where I explored the area on the buses with a titled blonde widow. I think she was rather disappointed, in that she didn’t get her bottom pinched. But then the people of the sub-continent, are generally very polite and courteous.

At least though, the rain will wash the pavements of Blackpool of the vomit, that they seem to be paved with.

The football will probably be terrible because of the rain.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

November 9, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

The Death Of The Voice Of Reason

Few in the UK have heard of Narendra Dabholkar, but according to this report, he was murdered in India a few days ago. Here’s an extract.

Blaming opponents of the anti-superstition bill for the murdering rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said organisations behind such acts should be isolated and their activities stopped.

Amid spontaneous public outrage and grief over 69-year-old Dabholkar’s killing in Pune on Tuesday, the state government on Wednesday had cleared a proposal to promulgate an ordinance to check black magic and inhuman religious rituals.

“The forces which did not want this Bill to be presented and passed into a law were the people responsible for silencing his voice,” Mr. Chavan said.

Before we say that things like this don’t go on in the UK, we ought to look at ourselves carefully. David Aaronovitch in the Times yesterday wrote a powerful piece about this case and detailed cases all over the world and in our past.

I am happy with my life as a scientifically-correct atheist, but doubt I’ll ever see superstition and most religion consigned to the dustbin of history. Let’s face it we can’t even get to grips with things like the appalling treatment of women, children, and those with a different colour or sexual orientation, by quite a few people in this country.

August 23, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | 3 Comments

I Don’t Know My Port From My Starboard

Although, I was a private pilot for many years, if you ask me quickly I always had to think, if port is left or right.

You can do it by remembering that port has the same number of letters as left or by noting that POSH could stand for port out starboard home, which meant that passengers going to and from India and the Far East from the UK, got the northern or cool side of the boat.

There’s a discussion on the explanation of posh here.

My next door neighbour, at one time, had been a British Army colonel, who’d served in India and he told me the standard explanation many years ago.  He also told me, how on the voyage back to the UK, they used to throw their pith helmets into the sea with great gusto after they had passed through the Suez canal.

I have no evidence to the origin of the word, but having heard many tales of life in the Army many years ago, the word could have been cooked up as a friendly term of abuse, by a group of very hot squaddies. I bet today, those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, have developed some words of their own. After all, the word Blighty for the home country, was very much a word developed by those stationed overseas, that has entered the English language.

March 29, 2013 Posted by | Travel, World | , , | 1 Comment

A Taxi Driver In Mumbai

I’m just watching the BBC documentary of a London cabbie trying to drive a cab in Mumbai. Fascinating.

I posted this story of my holiday in Mumbai.

March 10, 2013 Posted by | Food, Travel | | 1 Comment

It’s Even Cold In India

I like this article from Rahul Tandon on the BBC’s web site.

What is going wrong with the weather?

March 3, 2013 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Win The Toss, Win The Game

They’ve just said this, on the cricket commentary of the last game of the one-day series between England and India, as all games have been won by the side winning the toss.

I’ve always thought that the toss has too much influence.

Perhaps it would be better, if the first toss in a series was done say the day before the first match in a broadcast ceremony.  And then after that the toss would alternate.

But then what do I know about cricket?

January 27, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

The Dignity Of A Sari

On Saturday, I was on a 30 bus at Highbury Corner and an  Indian lady of about sixty or so got off the bus and walked up the road.

She was obviously going somewhere special, as she was immaculately dressed in what looked to my untrained eye an expensive sari. She was also carrying a big bunch of flowers, so perhaps she was going to visit a friend or family for lunch.

She had this aura of dignity, that I have observed so many times in India, with women dressed in a similar way.

You don’t see Indian women dressed this way so often where I live.

The first time, I came across a lady in a sari, was when my mother had an operation for varicose veins in the 1950s.  The doctor then was a very beautiful Indian lady, who used to do her ward rounds in a sari. Both my parents incidentally, thought it perfectly normal.

I also remember, when I used to work at ICI in Welwyn Garden City, that one of the team I worked with; Manju, occasionally  came to work in a sari on important days, or perhaps when someone was leaving.

You don’t seem to see Indian women in the workplace these days dressed in a sari.

January 7, 2013 Posted by | World | , | 3 Comments

A Tale Of Two Young Women

Today we had the good news of Malala Yousafzai leaving hospital after being shot by the Taleban in Pakistan  for speaking up for the education of girls.

But the student, who was raped and murdered in India hasn’t been as lucky. The latest news is here on the BBC.

What is it in the sub-continent about their attitude to women and girls?

But saying that, there is a surprisingly large number of Asian men in jail in the UK for sex offences.

January 4, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment