Wednesday, April 18, 2007


My joy at having my PC up and running again was short-tempered on Saturday. There I was, thinking that the song that comes up in a link in an entry posted below about the London Underground was harsh...and then I tried to get the Northern Line, en route to a planned meeting with people at London Bridge, from which I would get to the train to Pinewood and be in the audience for the television programme The I.T. Crowd.
Well, that was the plan, anyway.
Surely anyone who is sane, and who'se used the Northern Line - particularly in rush hour - will tell you that it is the depths of Hades. Perhaps it was what the devil came up when bored. Never mind that it is absolutely roasting; that it is perpetually packed; that is about as fast as a tortoise after a heavy dinner; or that it feels like it was designed in 1582. You also have to put up with the endless closures that seemingly bedevil the track. Exactly what those 1-6am nocturnal hours of the morning, when the Underground is closed, are for if not to repair the tube I don't know, but TFL seems to feel that they have to go the whole hog and close down a whole sector of the Northern Line instead - on a Saturday afternoon. All afternoon. When there are almost as many people as in rush hour. Because, strangely enough, that's what a lot of people do on Saturday: they want to go out and about after working all week.
Arriving at Bank, where I got off the Central Line and attempted to go on to the Northern Line, I found a sign saying the Northern Line wasn't running from this station. Trying vainly to find an alternative route to London Bridge, I opted for Tottenham Court Road, only to find that that whole stretch of the Northern Line was closed. Next to Euston; of course, it's closed for a fire hazard. Silly me for being so optimistic. Next to King's Cross, where I'm informed I have to go back on the only available part of the Northern Line, on the route I've just came, but now all the way to Waterloo too, and thence onto the Jubilee line to London Bridge.
In total I spent nearly an hour on a packed train next to four screaming kids, in the boiling heat, next to someone's armpit. In such circumstances, iPods are mankind's saviour.
So yeah, missed the train to Pinewood. Suddenly the thought of being in that legendary place seemed a long way off. Pissed off and dejected, at London Bridge I had to sheepishly get the bus home, the whole circular trip a pointless waste of time in the end.

1 comment:

Niall said...

Believe it or not, I actually had an almost identical experience a few months ago with the same line. In spite of all that, I love London.