Tag Archives: london underground

I Wont Distract You!

Yesterday, I was traveling up on the escalators at London Victoria underground station with my guide dog Trigger, when the following incident took place:

Man a couple of steps above me, speaking directly to Trigger,
“I know you are a working guide dog so I wont disturb you”.
Me, “thank you”.
Man, (looking directly at Trigger, “I wont distract you”, at which Trigger wags his tail and becomes rather distracted!

The above incident is, on one level comical. The comedy arising from the man in question doing precisely what he said he wouldn’t do, namely distract my working guide dog! However the actions of this gentleman where potentially dangerous and (not to put too fine a point on it, stupid)!

Guide dogs are trained to assist visually impaired people to navigate safely around streets, roads etc. They do wonderful work. However they are, when all is said and done dogs, who love attention and who can, when given it, become distracted.

I am very happy (when Trigger is not working) for him to receive strokes and cuddles (provided the person giving the attention has asked first). I rarely refuse a request to pet Trigger. However it is my absolute right to give such a refusal and the stupidity (albeit unintentional) of the gentleman in question had the potential to put my safety (and that of others) in danger. For example had Trigger pulled forward to reach the gentleman I might have fallen putting myself and those behind me, on the escalator at risk.

Fortunately the overwhelming majority of people behave responsibly around guide dogs. I only wish that everyone did so.


People caught reading on London Underground to be fined £5 as from 1 April

Yesterday evening I met a friend who works for Transport for London. After a few pints he confided in me that London Underground will be introducing fines for those found to be reading books on the tube. According to my friend who, for obvious reasons wishes to remain anonymous, there have been many accidents caused by commuters so absorbed in their reading matter they have failed to notice the person closest to them and poked them in the eye with a book, newspaper or magazine. There is also, he says an issue with people missing their stop due to being engrossed in a good (or bad) book (good and bad are, after all subjective terms).
Consequently as from today (April 1st)anyone caught reading on the tube will be subject to an on the spot fine of £5 (if paid by cash rather than card this will be reduced to £4.50). My friend believes that this will enhance the customer experience of those traveling on London Underground. Rather than taking refuge in a book or paper commuters may, actually talk to their fellow passengers! The idea does, he says have the added advantage of creating employment as a significant number of “Book Banners” will be required to enforce the policy.
What do you, my readers think of the idea? Will it work? Is it a good one? How would you feel where you to be subjected to a fine of £5 for reading on the tube?



Someone went under a train today.
We commuters continued on our way.
There is nothing one can say.
Another person went under a train today.

As I walked through Embankment tube station this morning, the announcer apologised for the slight delays caused by a person having gone under a train. This is, sadly a regular occurance in London. One thinks briefly of the poor individual (and their family and friends) then, as one must, continue on one’s way. Most such instances are suicides (or attempted suicides), while a few are accidents.

The Tumult and The Shouting Dies

Yesterday morning as I stood patiently in line waiting to enter the underground at London’s Victoria station, surrounded by the hussle and bussle of rush hour, I longed to be anywhere other than the capital of this United Kingdom. Well the tumult and the shouting can be put aside for a while as I’m off to Liverpool this evening to spend time with my mum, her partner and my sister, not forgetting Lilley my mum’s black Labrador. I do hope that my guide dog, Trigger doesn’t cause chaos by chasing Lilley around the house but that is, alas I fear to much to wish for!

I will be returning to London on 9 August and it is unlikely that I’ll blog while I’m away. See you all on or around 9 August.



Mind the Gap

Every working day (in my case Monday-Friday) I take both the train and London underground to get into the office. During my travels I hear a number of anouncements advising travellers to mind the gap between the platform and other important matters. Having a quirky sense of humour I can not help but think up alternatives to these anouncements some of which I have given below. First is the correct announcement followed by my alternative rendering:


Original Anouncement – mind the gap.

My version – mind the gap for the gap can not mind you.


Original announcement – Smoking is prohibited Anywhere on this station

My version – smoking is positively encouraged anywhere on this station


Original announcement – Please do not leave unattended articles on this station. Unattended items will be removed and may be destroyed.

My version – Please leave unattended articles on this station. Unattended items may be removed and distributed to random strangers.



Mind Reading App Released

Imagine the chaos which would ensue if a machine with the capability to read minds was released onto the market. I have an idea for a story which I may take further at some point in the future.

The London tube train has just left Hammersmith. The passengers are lost in the daily papers while others beat time to the music playing on their iPods. The only sounds are the rustling of papers and the chug chug of the train. Suddenly the sound of a slap echoes around the crowded carriage, “What the hell was that for. If you weren’t a girl I’d break your f … nose”! a young guy in a suit shouts at a slim brunette who’s hand print can clearly be seen on his reddening right cheek. “You where thinking that you would like to f .. me you filthy perv!” “You should be locked up. You need help lady. I was thinking no such thing and even if I was since when has fantasising been a crime?!”

Incidents such as this had sky rocketed ever since the release of the mind reading app which was earning it’s developers a fortune. Apple had stopped selling it in it’s iStore following a plea from the government, however it could still be downloaded for a few pounds from sites in countries over which the UK government had absolutely no control.

The cells where full of women (and a few men) who had reacted violently when the app picked up the amorous thoughts of persons in the vicinity of the app’s user. Secretaries had been fired for hitting their bosses while young ladies flew into a rage when the app detected the amorous thoughts their partner was directing towards their girlfriend’s best friend. What was to be done? Society tetered on the edge of collapse.

Perhaps I will write my story one day.