Friday, October 16, 2009

Rodents in the First Class Lounge and other railway tales...

The Virgin First Class Lounge at Euston station is really rather swish, though the access provided to Scotrail customers travelling on the Caledonian Sleeper to Glasgow kind of sets the weary and worn nature of the Scotrail rolling stock in context. Free, proper coffee and soft drinks, biscuits, nuts, alcohol, comfortable seats, computers, showers. All the things you don't get on the train. Except for the cheap alcohol, funnily enough.

Oh, and rodents. Susan saw a long tail disappearing and swears she heard squeaking. A box of poison was clearly on display. And according to one of the staff, they are aware 'they have a problem'. Rats or mice? The jury's out. But it's a decaying sixties station and...

Anyway, the lounge closes at 11.00pm, as does the (very expensive - £8 a bag) left luggage store. So we had the rather grim experience of waiting for Scotrail (23.50 departure) to allow us aboard the train. Not until half an hour before sailing.

The northbound train was A LOT more pleasant than the southbound. Better lounges, with 'the only real leather sofs on any British train', better availability of drinks, and a breakfast delivered on trays with teapots, not a paper bag with crappy cardboard cups. You get a £2.50 voucher for drinks, too.One typically trainish toilet per coach, no showers and really cramped sleeping accommodation. No power points worked, no wi-fi, same as the way down.

BUT, even travelling first class, which means you don't have to share a cabin with a stranger, you can get a reasonable deal on tickets and you save a night's accommodation. And, whisper it, there's something romantically daft about a sleeper train. Oh, the joy of watching the dawn break over...Motherwell. Though the run from London to Fort William is a long-term ambition...

Boat tonight and home tomorrow, all being well. NO MORE SHOPPING!


Nairn said...

Life without Tom – Part III

Pleased with my efforts at tidying up my iTunes library my attention turns to my vinyl collection. When I now play some of my records I’m puzzled as to why they were purchased, but a few merit a listen and to that end the hardware and software were bought at great expense some years ago to enable me to record my vinyl onto computer.

To date I have managed a total of one LP. I’ve no excuse, it’s comparatively easy to do, launch the software, put the needle on record, and hit the record button. But then there is the dive over to the computer to stop and then start it again in between tracks. It doesn’t sound too difficult but I get distracted and miss my diving cue that means I have to start the process again from the beginning.

I resolve that it would be better to have my LPs on my computer as one whole side at a time if this would help transfer the music. I could after all go into the software, bring up the tracks and insert a 3 second silence to divide up the tracks properly, at least that is the theory, likely to happen… no!

I’m cracking on with the hallway although I’m lamenting real old-fashioned cotton dustsheets. The modern plastic ones seems to have the knack of tangling around your foot as you move, dragging themselves away from the area they are supposed to be covering, or just blowing into a heap when you open a door.

I manage to record 4 LPs onto the computer, although several now appear to have painty marks around the edge. This was mainly due to my lack of concentration and not getting to the record until I heard the ‘click, click, click’ which means the end of that side. Never mind, it is a definite start and with yet another week of Tom’s holidays to go who knows as to how many might get processed!


Sunny Nairn

norrie said...

Listened to the final part of Toms Drinking Diary today - good stuff again.

Shambolic as I have been in the past I have to say I have never troubled the medical professionals and / or the polis but the interviews made you think! Not a pleasant task for them....