A few random thoughts….



There are some words that no matter how much I try, I simply cannot learn to spell. I have a fairly mild form of Dyslexia, and have always struggled a bit with spelling, but I struggle on.

I don’t throw my hands up and say “I have Dyslexia, ergo, I do not need to worry”, I can usually see the mistake and then take pride in correcting it and presenting a correctly spelt lump of text. Well, it’s usually correct.

In a way writing is a challenge, and therefore one I enjoy because I get maybe a smidgen more satisfaction from it than most, because outputting a stream of words lacking little squiggly lines underneath them is exceptionally pleasing.

But some words simply refuse to stick in the brain. Restaurant, Awkward, Anonymous, etc. All seem to be blind spots and no matter how often I type them they refuse to make a comfortable home in the brain and present themselves when needed.

I guess it’s just as well that I am not an anonymous restaurant critic subject to bouts of awkwardness.

Wooded Paths

Near where I live is a supermarket, and next to it a small wood. There are two routes of identical length, one goes around the outside of the wood, and the other around the other side, but just within the wood.

One is a route of dull tedium along a boring paved path of no aesthetic appeal whatsoever. The other is through the wood, and offers a delightful break from tarmac and monotony.

Guess which one is hardly ever used.


Tube Strikes

There is much fuss about the plans to close ticket offices in tube stations and move most of the staff to standing by the ticket barriers instead — not least because it means 750-900 job losses.

TfL maintains that most of them will be voluntary, while the unions talk about up the scale of the impact the job losses will have. I saw a number the other week that struck me as interesting — in a coincidental sort of way.

According to TfL’s last board minutes, London Underground headcount has increased to 21,091. While the job losses are concentrated in the stations, it’s actually quite a small percentage of the total.

Appreciating that its a union’s role to protect jobs I do wish they would drop some of the rhetoric about the gutting of the London Underground.

Incidentally, it turns out there are also another 81 staff on maternity leave.

And finally, can anyone explain why London Underground closes lifts when there is a shortage of staff, thus preventing disabled people using them, while the DLR seems to be quite capable of operating lifts without any staff whatsoever?



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  1. slabman says:

    Just keep in mind that ‘aukward’ is in the direction of a large extinct flightless bird – and that’s a direction you don’t want to go. It could be awkward

  2. greatkingrat says:

    There are stricter fire regulations in place for underground stations, which are required to be staffed at all times. The underground stations on the DLR (Cutty Sark and Island Gardens) also have to be staffed, but the above-ground stations do not.

  3. Kit Green says:


    I am a mild sufferer. The TfL new fares poster that you drew our attention to a week or so ago is almost impossible for me to read correctly. I cannot see the overground carriage that has “arrive” written on the side without me reading “arrived” as I cannot help seeing the cab as a “D”.

  4. Greg Tingey says:

    Tube Strikes
    Because, unfortunately, the two sides have become locked into a permanent mental state of war.
    It is mostly the fault of LUL’s “management” who seem to believe that shouting louder, bullying & making decisions & only then supposedly “consulting” with the workforce is the way to run their business.
    Yes Bob Crow is a left-wing “miltant”, but it is very noticeable that the industrial relations in other parts of the railway industry are usually a lot better than that on the UndergounD.
    I wonder why that might be – what is the difference, given that you have, effectively, the “same” staff & unions?

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