Monthly Archives: August 2012

Some people just don’t listen.

One thing I always believe is that I can learn something off everybody I meet, whether it’s how to do something or for that matter how not to do something.

Now an incident recently came to my notice where something has happened, and I remember saying right at the start that it would happen, and I seem to remember I was not the only one. Time has proved me right and what I said would happen has done so and it’s come back to bite the originator on the backside.

Now whether the person in question will learn from the experience I honestly have no idea and for that matter I am not really bothered, as it’s a fact that some people will never learn nor will they listen.

When there is a problem they will address the problem and issue a patch for it but they wont acknowledge that perhaps just perhaps what’s being done that led to the problem should really be reviewed and discontinued.

So if you think this posting refers to you then you might just have realised why you have a biting pain in your backside.

Back to the railway tomorrow and hopefully it will be a good and profitable weekend.

Another typical bank holiday day

Whilst I am writing this we have at the moment torrential rain, thunder & lightening.

Not the ideal weather for the middle of summer.

Now one of the questions I get asked especially from readers of this blog across the pond is “What’s a bank holiday”?

Well have a look here and all will be explained.

Here in the UK we take these holiday weekends very seriously, the problem is that it always seems to be terrible weather over bank holiday weekends.

Now today we have had heavy showers and thunder for most of the day, so people who are out and about enjoying themselves have got wet a few times.

We managed at the station to avoid most of it and did not get too wet when we were out sorting the trains.

Two more days to go, lets see what they bring weather wise!!!

The one thing you can predict about UK weather is that it’s unpredictable.

Not of this planet

No I am not talking about some of the customers we get.

I came across this picture on the NASA web site and their copyright is acknowledged.

mars sunset

Spirit acquired this view of the Martian sunset from Gusev Crater on April 23, 2005. Using data from images such as this, scientists have learned that twilight on Mars is longer than on Earth, lasting for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset. Dust high in the atmosphere scatters light to the night side of the planet. Similar twilights are seen on Earth following major volcanic eruptions.
Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Texas A&M

Put’s the pictures the permanent lookers get of the railway into perspective, Mind you they would have to pay something to get to Mars to take the picture above, in the case of the railway all they have to do is get in the way and pay nothing.

Two extremes of the same situation

Another hot sticky humid day today and weather wise not at all enjoyable. Slow as well as the heat kept many people in at home.

Unlike yesterday which was mixed traction today we ran a diesel only service for the main train, and as always it’s interesting to see how people react to no steam.

Take for example one chap, he qualified for the most obvious question of the day award and ended up winning by a mile. He looked at the time board which stated diesel against all services, he looked at me and asked “No steam today?” When he found that the only steam on the railway was Thomas pulling the TPO it was as though his world had collapsed. His shoulders sagged and he shuffled off as though the world had ended.

Then not 15 minutes later another gentleman came up looked at the board saw it was diesel and said to his wife “Excellent it’s diesel let’s travel”.

Now this brings up the fact that whatever we do we can’t please everybody no matter what we do and what we run. Yesterday was a good example with first and third service being steam and second and fourth being diesel hauled. We had moans that not all services were steam hauled and we had moans that not all were diesel hauled. As I say no matter what we do we can’t please everybody, so we have I suppose to reach a happy medium and that’s run what we can on the day. Locomotives will sometimes fail for example, there is no way of avoiding that whatever we do, when this happens some people behave as though the world has ended and they will have to sacrifice their first born to make things better.

It’s a funny old world dealing with the general public and even the most level headed punter can suddenly become a pain in the rear in the blink of an eye and for the most stupid reason.

I remember a few months ago when a family arrived on the platform to find the last train of the day had left for Peterborough which was where they wanted to go to. You would have thought the world had ended, the father asked loudly what I could do about the fact the train had gone. My answer was to suggest they walk to the main road at the top of the Mere and get a bus. His only comment was “It won’t be steam though”.

Keeping as much of a straight face as I could I pointed out that we were running diesel that day anyway so the train they had missed was not steam either. He just looked at me and then at his wife as she just burst out laughing. He walked off in a sulk and his wife asked me to excuse him as he could be the most childish of the family at times.

Come to think of it I have never seen them since.

So there we are perhaps we really run a crèche for adult children. There’s a thought!!

It was a tad warm today

Today could best be described as hot!! It peaked at 31.9c, and was mostly very humid hot and sticky with just the occasional breeze to help us cool down

I walked down to the station early as it was cool, shame it was humid as well, by the time I got to the station I was past my peak and had a gloss finish.

Did well on water and ice cream so likely to sell out of both tomorrow, mind you that’s not a bad thing of course.

Nice set of customers today and none really of note to be honest.

In other words they came they said it was hot and they spent money, we can ask for no more!!!

Cris was with me today and he is a great one for chatting to the customers and visitors, he seems to enjoy himself!!

Sue with me tomorrow and it looks like another hot day, at least she wont require the fan heaters on I HOPE!!!!!

Cold calling at the door

One of the perils of working from home are the interruptions from people knocking the door. It amazes me how many people seem to be just walking round the area plying their wares and trying to convince you that what they have to offer will change your life beyond all expectations when in reality all that will happen is that you will be poorer at the end of the month money wise.

Lets have a look at some of the callers who seem to knock my door on a regular basis.

I am pleased to say that the bible bashers thankfully miss me out these days, due no doubt to the fact that I am so abusive to them. Despite the fact I am an atheist I have no problem with whatever religion and beliefs people may have. What I do have a problem with is the fact they seem to want to convert me. I don’t try and convert them to atheism so I object to the trying to convert me to their beliefs, it’s as simple as that.

I will lump these together, at least once a week I get them knocking the door, not to deliver me something but to ask me to take a parcel in for a neighbour. This leads me to wonder why some of my neighbours insist on having stuff that needs to be signed for knowing full well nobody will be at home, I can’t get my head round that. Generally the are a pleasant bunch and normally always cheerful. I am happy to take stuff for my immediate neighbours as they would do the same for me, but some other neighbours I would not throw a bucket of water over to put them out if they were on fire!!

I am pleased to say that these vultures have not knocked my door for some time. There was a period when we would have them knock several times a day and they would return in the evening for another go at those who did not answer the first time. They were a thick skinned bunch who did not have the ability to take no for an answer, and the only way to get rid of them was to resort to insulting them. I fondly remember one who had opened my bin cupboard and filled in some paperwork, then he asked me to sign it to show they had checked my meter. I started to read it but he told me I did not need to as it was a standard form. In that respect he was right it was a standard form to change suppliers to the one he represented. He genuinely seemed offended when I ripped it up into small bits and put it the rubbish bin. Another gem was a chap who clamed their gas was hotter than the gas supplied by my current supplier.

These are on the increase and at least a couple of times a week they knock my door looking for scrap metal, with the prices as they are at the moment this is not really surprising. They beat a hasty retreat when I ask to see their recycling permits, which they have to give me a copy of if I request them to do so if I give them metal to be recycled. generally they are a shifty bunch and the type you would cross the road to avoid normally. They normally have an open backed vehicle with them full of associated junk.

I will group companies such as Virgin and Talk Talk  into this group.
Virgin are the most persistent and it’s amusing to listen to them mentally running through their script. They offer the world if you will sign over your soul to them, take them off script and they flounder to answer. Talk Talk have self employed leaches who will lie through their back teeth to try and get you signed up and get themselves commission. I am happy with BT who supply my telecom needs and have no inclination to change.

To me these are by far the most annoying. They invariably call when I am eating my evening meal and they bob about like chipmunks on speed. They work in groups and wear a bright reflective bib for the charity they are representing, their aim is to get you to sign a monthly direct debit pledging to give money to the charity that as long as they are working for them is so dear to their hearts. Yet again insults seem to get rid of them as they are on commission only. They knock the door and wave an identity card just outside your vision range when you answer. The question guaranteed to floor them is “How much of what I donate actually goes to the charity?” Last time I saw figures published the answer I seem to remember was about twenty pence of every pound actually ends up with the people who need it, the rest is spent in wages and running costs of the charity. Now this figure could have changed but I expect not. One dizzy looking blonde one told me all of the money goes to the people who need it, she seemed confused when I asked her that if that was the case how did she get paid?

So there we are a selection of the people who knock my door and stop me working. Who knocks your door that you find annoying? I would love to know.



We have discovered a trend.

This weekend I had Paddy with me on Saturday and Jason with me on Sunday, and the three of us have discovered a trend.

Now I know your all wondering what the trend is, after all none of the three of us are trend setters!!!

Well the trend is that people are getting ruder, simple as that. I am not talking about youngsters that since time immemorial people have rightly or mostly wrongly have said are rude.

No I am talking about middle aged people and normally men, there seems to be a growing trend not to bother with the common words of please and thank you.

They bellow, they interrupt and they are in simple terms bloody rude.

Is it so hard for people when they ask a question to add at the end please? Is it so hard when they receive an answer to utter the words thank you?

Of course it’s not, but we are seeing a growing trend amongst middle aged people to behave like spoilt children.

Let me give you an example that happened on Saturday. It is lunch time, Rosemary the gardener and I were sitting on one bench and two working members who do maintenance were sitting on the other. All four of us were eating lunch, and in between the four of us was Paddy standing by the entry doors to the building. Onto the platform came a middle aged chap who was for a better description dressed like Rodney Dangerfield when he was in Caddy Shack, in other words to put it simply he looked a bit of a sight.

Ignoring Paddy who was there to help whilst we were having lunch he walked to me, timing it so I had just inserted a sandwich and had taken a bite, and simply asked “Who is the driver today”? Not a please not a sorry to disturb your lunch, just simply a question with not a trace of manners. I pointed him in the direction of Paddy saying that Paddy was there to help and I was eating lunch. He just walked off without a thank you when Paddy said he did not know the answer. The ironic thing was I did know the driver, but his manners were so appalling that I must admit I had no wish to help him.

There is never any excuse for bad manners, but one thing I have noticed is that the people who appear for want of a better term to be the poor of the parish are always well mannered, and are a pleasure to deal with.

Jason and I had the same today, a steady flow of middle aged males lacking even basic manners, they out numbered those who were a pleasure to chat to.

So are we the only three to notice this trend, or do you agree with the above? Please leave a comment on your thoughts.



Wow a coffee

I am in a state of shock!

I have just sold a coffee, to say its quiet today is an understatement. Dull old day with intermittent rain showers does not equal brisk business.

Sat through a film on the iPad and now working my way through a book.

Just been looking at the BBC news site and struggling to find much news that’s not about the Olympics. It has captured the nation it seems and lots of people who’s idea of exercise on a Sunday morning is making a bacon sandwich seem now to have got the bug. It seems from what I have read that bicycle sales are through the roof as are enquiries for membership to sports and athletic clubs.

If only that could rub off on the permenant lookers at the railway, if only the sight of a steam engine would encourage them to part with a few pounds. They don’t think or realise that if everybody just looked and spent no money then there would be no railway nor no trains for them to watch.

Perhaps we should hold races between the engines and for publicity offer coverage of every running day live on the BBC. Then perhaps people would realise what spending a few pounds at the railway means to its continued future!!

Get your water here.

Well here we are blogging live at the railway.

Today has been monsoon season and could have been March weather wise.

Again nice customers today but nobody after bread to feed the ducks with. No really daft questions either though a few came close I must admit.

Although we had lots of rain it did not put the visitors off enjoying a day out to see Thomas

Running all week except Friday so we will see what the week brings business wise.

Lovely weather for March, shame it’s August!

Well todays weather was, shall we say mixed.

We had sunshine, torrential rain and hail. Lovely weather for any time of year but August. As I am writing this we are in the middle of more torrential rain with thunder and lightening thrown in for good measure.

For some unknown reason during the day it mainly decided to rain when the train was in, this is quite common, and not especially nice today.

Peter was helping today and we had a good natter between trains and customers.

Today was the first day of the Thomas Big Weekend and it was recommended that people travelled from us as we have a large free car park, so we were busy but in spurts before trains.

Some really nice people in as well though a few were for want of a better description hard work. I am sure most don’t mean to be but they were wanting lot’s of attention at the expense of other passengers.

Tomorrow the weather is forecast as being the same as today so that will be something to look forward to, it’s so nice to have rain in the middle of summer!!!

Highlight of the day award is given to the lady who asked if we had any bread to feed the ducks, she was eying my sandwiches I am sure. I am not sure if she wanted to buy some or just be given it, the conversation never reached that stage.

We will see what tomorrow brings, my guess is that it will be more of the same, watch this space as they say.