Sunday 18th December, 2022

Sunday morning listening was the latest Streets Ahead podcast. It’s another great hour or so of conversation, debate and solutions. Low Traffic Neighbourhoods were under consideration. It’s the first time I’ve heard a rational discussion about LTN’s.

The next stage was looked at with possible road charging schemes across individual London boroughs. I stumbled on something of an exclusive in a Buzz piece a couple of weeks ago. Lambeth floated the idea, and then buried it away in a Scrutiny report that no one would read. Except me. Ha.

I set off for a morning catch up with my sister. It was bitterly cold for the half hour walk across the rollings Wolds to reach her. In my AirPods was Robert Elms on BBC Ldn. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Routemaster had an ACE half hour or so talking about the musical roots of football chants.

I turned down the offer of a lift back to the family home. This was unwise. The Weather Gods couldn’t decide if it was a snow, sleet or rain day. It was probably all three tbh.

The remainder of Sunday was all about getting from the Fair City back down to StP. And when I say the remainder of Sunday, I mean the best part of six hours.

The train I was booked on was cancelled on Friday evening with no reason given. The last train departing Nottingham was 16:12 – which seemed ridiculously early. I wasn’t taking my chances. That would be a HELL TRAIN.

I made plans for the 15:06 instead. Except the 15:06 departing Nottingham was listed at the station as a train to the City of Death.

Oh dear.

Being stranded in the City of Death on a freezing Sunday evening before Christmas is no fun. I asked an EMR bib wearer wtf was going on.

“Engineering works, mate. Change at the City of Death and catch the replacement bus service to Kettering.”

OH JOY. I don’t even know where Kettering is.

The replacement bus journey was shit. The bus was rammed and the roof above was leaking. I tried to listen to the World Cup Final commentary, but the signal was dropping in and out. The last time I had to suffer a rail replacement service was the weekend before Covid shit kicked in. The journey today was on par for the level of crapness.

I arrived at Kettering and the train to London was cancelled. This isn’t going well. I had a half hour wait on a freezing platform in the hope that a London train would eventually rock up.

And then there was the man on the line incident. It wasn’t funny, but at least it led to the half hour speeding by.

his is delicate. How shall I say this? He was probably special needs. He was most definitely overweight. The 20 stone plus bloke decided to take a stroll along the train track at Kettering. He was wearing a trackie and a T-shirt, and was carrying two plastic bags stuffed full of cans. They weren’t even booze.

It was a rammed platform, but no one gave a shit. It was so fucking cold and we had all endured a shitty, shitty travel experience so far, with the prospect of more gloom to come.

I cracked. I felt for the fella, but tbh I was more concerned about some nut job shutting down the entire line and leaving me stranded in Kettering. I found a bib wearer and made them aware.


About a dozen other bib wearer appeared out of nowhere and removed the dude from the train track. His trackie trousers fell down as they did this, revealing a crack wider than the railway lines. It wasn’t the most dignified of scenes. But like I say – at least it passed the time.

I boarded a train that did eventually turn up. The sleet of Kettering led to snow still being on the ground from the previous Sunday as we rolled into Luton. I managed to catch the commentary on Argentina lifting the Cup.

Four hours after leaving the Fair City I was finally at StP. My ticket wasn’t checked once.

The tube journey down to Sunny Stockwell was also slightly odd. Some in-carriage dentistry was taking place. A young chap was using his phone cam as a mirror as he pulled and prodded away with his teeth. What concerned me most was the personal hygienes issues here.

Finally I was in the flat. It was that kind of evening where all I wanted to do was to binge on more Voyager. And it took Captain Janeway and the crew 7 seasons to get home as well.

I bloody hate travelling.

Links for Sunday 18th December, 2022

9 tips to conquer the Rapha Festive 500 – BikeRadar