The Anonymous Widower

Piers Corbyn

I’ve just read Piers Corbyn’s entry in Wikipedia.

It is the sort  of short light reading, that you need to pass the time on a bus, train or toilet.

November 13, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Coolest Trains In London

It was hot in London today, so I thought I’d investigate how well the New Class 710 trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

I did the following journeys.

  • A 141 bus from my house to Harringay Green Lanes station.
  • A Class 710 train between Harringay Green Lanes and Gospel Oak stations.
  • A Class 710 train between Gospel Oak and Blackhorse Road stations.
  • A Victoria Line train between Blackhorse Road and Highbury & Islington stations.
  • A Class 707 train between Highbury & Islington and Moorgate stations.
  • After doing some shopping, I took a 141 bus to my home.

I took these pictures on the route.

Some observations.

Passengers Towards Gospel Oak Weren’t Numerous

The train going to Gospel Oak station wasn’t very full, wil only about half the seats taken.

The Train From Gospel Oak Was Packed

It was rather different going back, as every seat on the train was taken and there were passengers standing.

The Seats And Air In The Train Were Comfortable

I would certainly recommend a trip in a Class 710 train on a hot day, as a means to cool off.

Let’s hope that all the other classes of Aventras have the same quality of air-conditioning.

The Victoria Line Wasn’t Busy

The air and temperature ion the Victoria Line wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t of the same quality as the Class 710 train.

But the trip made me think that passengers avoid the deep tube in hot weather.

Class 707 Train To Moorgate

I used the cross-platform interchange at Highbury & Islington station to switch to a Class 707 train, running a Great Northern service to Moorgate station.

The air-conditioning was working well and the two other passengers remarked that it was good in this hot weather.

It’s a pity that these trains have ironing-board seats.

Will These Trains Cut Crime?

When I moved to Dalston in 2010, the service along the North London Line was just being launched and wasn’t fully running until May 2011.

Dalston was the haunt of aimless youth and it wasn’t the best place to live.

Nine years on and it has all changed.

The youths have disappeared and the perceived threat of crime seems down. So where have they all gone?

From stories I have heard, public transport has improved so much, that a large proportion of the youths, have discovered something better to do! It’s called work.

  • New Class 378 trains
  • North London Line trains have gone from four trains per hour (tph) to eight.
  • East London Line trains didn’t exist in 2010 and are now sixteen tph.
  • There are several fleets of new buses.
  • Increases in train frequencies are planned.

Dalston is now a much better place to live.

The new Class 710 trains will soon be running on the following routes.

  • Gospel Oak to Barking Line
  • Liverpool Street to Cheshunt
  • Liverpool Street to Chingford
  • Liverpool Street to Enfield Town

And the new Class 707 trains will soon be running on the following routes.

  • Moorgate to Hertford East
  • Moorgate to Stevenage
  • Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City

Most new trains will be in service by the end of this year.

The following will be delivered.

  • More capacity
  • Increased frequencies
  • Better comfort
  • Wi-fi and power sockets
  • On-train CCTV

A lot of the previous ancient trains will be scrapped.

Will the new trains cut crime and the perception of crime in the areas of North-East London, that they serve.

It is too early to tell, but good public transport has had a remarkable affect on Dalston.

So will the same thing happen in Enfield, Hasringey and Wathamstow?

 

Conclusion

I wonder how many people with a Freedom Pass like me are cooling off in this weather by using these and other trains.

July 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

When Are We Going To Get Some Rain?

It’s now over a month since I experienced any rain and I feel totally crap, with a very dry month and I suspect dry lungs as well.

I drinking lots of 0.5% alcohol beer, tea and lemonade, but it all seems to make no difference!

I need a right royal downpour, so I can walk around in it.

January 21, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Why Are There So Many Slim Female Weather Presenters?

As I travel around the country, I have probably watched BBC News or Breakfast in perhaps seven to ten regions.

Over recent years, the proportion of weather presenters, who I see on the BBC who are slim and female, seems to have grown.

It is a rare event to see a stocky male weather presenter.

I am not complaining, but after watching Alina Jenkins doing the UK weather and Elizabeth Rizzini doing the London weather, I had a thought.

Both ladies are slim and they were wearing dresses with elbow length sleeves, which showed off slim arms.

With all the pointing and waving that weather presenters do, it struck me that the reason there are no many slim female presenters could be that there is less of them to get in the way of the information on the screen. Presenters too, are often squeezed into a narrow vertical space at the side of the screen.

So is it just about getting more information on the screen?

Earlier this week Lucy Martin, who lost most of her right arm at birth was presenting the London weather in a sleeveless white dress.

She has to do everything with her left hand and her performance is as polished and confident as anybody else.

You do wonder though, that as she can’t use her other hand for balance as we all do in a presentation, she actually can give a less busy and more professional performance.

 

August 23, 2018 Posted by | News, World | , , | 2 Comments

The Railway At Dawlish Is In Trouble Again

This report on the Guardian is entitled Waves Batter Railway Line At Dawlish Station As Storm Emma Hits UK. It has a video, which shows the ferocity of the storm.

But at least things seem to be happening to create an alternative route, when Emma and her friends are causing trouble!

This article in the Tavistock Times Gazette is entitled Okehampton Rail News Welcomed Across The Region.

This is the first paragraph.

The news that the Government is creating a plan to bring an all-week, all year train service to Okehampton has been welcomed by MPs — including those for Okehampton and Tavistock — and county councillors from across the area.

The article goes on to say that the Transport Secretary; Chris Grayling, has instructed Great Western Railway to produce a creditable plan for an all-week, all-year train service between Exeter and Okehampton.

It is not a complete railway line to Plymouth and Cornwall avoiding Dawlish, but surely, it will help get rail passengers round a blockage, perhaps by using coaches along the A38 between Bodmin Parkway and Okehampton stations.

I suspect that part of the GWR plan will be to be able to get a trusty short-formation InterCity 125 between Exeter and Okehampton in all but the worst weather.

I suspect too, that GWR and their drivers and other staff, know the limitations of InterCity 125s by now, when it comes to getting services through Dawlish in atrocious weather.

The BBC has this video of the last train going through before the line through Dawlish was closed in 2014.

March 4, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can I Have Some Serious Rain, Please?

I haven’t really felt well since, I went to Sunderland a few weeks ago!

I’ve searched weather maps and systems and I can’t find any serious rain, anywhere!

Even Manchester hasn’t got any!

It’s all a Russian plot to kill me! Or at least get me seriously ill!

February 24, 2018 Posted by | Health, World | , | 4 Comments

What’s The Weather Like In Africa?

This is a difficult question to answer, as Africa only has a limited number of weather stations.

So along comes Kukua, which has designed a low-cost, mobile network-connected, solar-powered weather station.

There’s a report in the latest edition of BBC Click.

It shows how the devices are helping small farmers in Africa.

November 5, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Sun God Has Blessed Hackney Wick

If you look at my pictures over the weekend of the Hackney Wick Station Subway Installation, there’s two common factors – The sun and no rain.

Imagine having to do all that heavy work in an intense storm named Jeremy or Nigel.

Obviously, the Queen too, hasn’t been near Hackney Wick.

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Has Scotrail Got The Wrong Sort Of Heat?

This article on Rail Magazine is entitled Train failures and crew shortages hit Borders operation.

This is said.

ScotRail Operations Director Perry Ramsey says the company has identified a fleet-wide issue with the Class 158s that affects them particularly badly during hot weather.

Under heavy load, such as accelerating on steep gradients, the engines can overheat and shut down, leading to disruption.

So has ScotRail  got the wrong sort of heat?

 

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Vitamin D And Me!

On Tuesday, there was this article on the BBC, which was entitled Vitamin D ‘heals damaged hearts’. This was said.

Vitamin D supplements may help people with diseased hearts, a study suggests.

A trial on 163 heart failure patients found supplements of the vitamin, which is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight, improved their hearts’ ability to pump blood around the body.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals team, who presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, described the results as “stunning”.

I have been discussing this with two of Europe’s top cardiologists and we’ve come to the conclusion, that I don’t get enough vitamin D.

And would you believe low vitamin D can cause; bad nails, conjunctivitis and plantar fasciitis.

I have all three!

One cardiologist pointed out that gluten-free bread and breakfast cereals aren’t fortified with vitamin D, like normal ones are.

No-one; coeliac, doctor or dietician, had ever told me that before!

So I get my vitamin D from the sun!

But as the devil has switched it off this winter, no wonder I’m in poor health!

That woman doesn’t like me!

On the other hand, I’m a London Mongrel of German Jewish and French Huguenot roots, with quarters of stubborn Devonian and solid Northants yeoman stock thrown in. A large proportion of my ancestors are also real East Enders and of course my father was a genuine Cockney.

So I hope I can give her a fight!

Incidentally, this winter, I’ve never found so many other people suffering from plantar fasciitis, so are we all suffering from a lack of sun and therefore vitamin D. Two of the sufferers were people, who had indoor jobs, that involved a lot of standing and walking.

Intriguingly, the only other time, I had bad plantar fasciitis was the winter of 2004/2005. I’m still looking for data on that winter’s weather, but this article on the  BBC from 2006 says this.

Deaths in England and Wales fell to 25,700 last winter, a decline of 19% on the previous year.

Office for National Statistics data shows the rate, which hit 31,640 in 2004/2005, is back to similar levels as the previous four years.

Statisticians look at deaths between December and March, and compare them to those during the rest of the year.

 

I shall not be surprised if 2015/16 has been a bad winter for the deaths of the elderly.

For myself, I’ve started taking a vitalimn D supplement as I have been advised.

I’d sit in the sun, if that woman would let it out!

You might ask, why I don’t go to the sun for a week, as I can certainly afford it.

But when you don’t like taking holidays in the sun on your own and can’t walk long distances to explore interesting sites because of the plantar fasciitis, your stumped!

 

April 7, 2016 Posted by | Health | , | 5 Comments