17 July 2006

Tiresias rides again

Back to commuting every day, and so far so good. I qualified for a discount off my season ticket, which makes the comparison between the cost of commuting and that of renting in London even more favourable to commuting. The train was on time, there was ample space on it and it kept to schedule. The cycle ride to the station was a delight, though my leg muscles aren’t accustomed to that form of exercise, and it will only take one rainy day to ruin that aspect of my journey. I didn’t try to set any records, but no doubt I’ll soon be timing my journey. (Today I took about 20 minutes; in the past I have managed 16.)

Even after a year away from Coach A, I see several familiar faces, exchange smiles and nods with people I’ve probably never spoken to. I locked my bike up at the station: one commuter places his unicycle in the guard’s van (that should of course read ‘train manager’ rather than guard, and I don’t know what his or her van is called these days), which may be some sort of sign of the times. It takes up less space than a bike, I suppose, although this is a large-wheeled example (‘Big One’, its trade mark announces).

A perfect day for a run through the parks to the office, except that when I get going it’s immediately clear that my back pack is too heavy – and will probably split if I run far with it. At the entrance to Paddington Station, there is a small collection of British Transport Police vehicles, police officers with fluorescent jackets and sniffer dogs (one a lovely Springer spaniel) in attendance, as a reminder of all that is worst about public transport in the metropolis. Even so, I cross Praed Street and descend to the District and Circle lines. (And was one of the trains bombed a year ago not a Circle line one? I calculated that it was about five minutes ahead of the one that I took.) So I will have to rethink what I carry with me each day.

RCV, when I tell him I'm back to the daily commute, makes the remark about Tiresias that makes up the subject line of this posting. I wouldn't like readers (if there are any) to think I flatter myself: why should I, when there are others to do it for me?

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