May 28th - A foul commute to and from work, characterised by constant drizzle, wet greasy roads and drivers not concentrating. Nearly wiped out on the way to work, a lady pulled out on me from a factory forecourt so closely her car snapped the reflector off my rear mudguard. Had I been slightly slower, she’d have clipped my wheel and I’d have been off. She didn’t even stop.
Returning on a no less intemperate journey home, I was cheered to see the cows still on Jockey Meadows; a fair-sized herd, there seem to be about 12 or 15, and they were looking wet and fatalistic as only cows can.
I’m convinced they’re here to maintain the meadow and churn it up, whilst spreading the fertile love in the form of cowpats. They certainly seem to be having a good go.
They were fascinated by me and my bike. I’m sure they’d all have come to the gate had I waited long enough.
November 30th - When you have to be home for something important., that’s when fate trips you up. I was dashing home. I left work at 3:50pm, and the trains I would have caught from Tyseley or Acocks Green were all cancelled due to London Midland’s ongoing staff crisis. Catching a train at Spring Road, I managed to get to New Street in time to catch the Walsall train. When that turned up ten minutes late, it was only two carriages. With other service cancellations, there was no way I’d get on, and the crush I witnessed on the platform was nasty and dangerous. I opted to try for a Lichfield bound service, but they were all similarly stricken or curtailed. After 30 minutes of faff at New Street, I got a train to Four Oaks, and cycled home from there. After a freezing, tired ride, I arrived home at 6:40pm - nearly three hours after I left work.
The local train service operated by London Midland is crippled by bad man-management and operational difficulties. I could have cycled the distance in a third of the time, and wished I had. I’m seriously considering dumping the trains for Birmingham journeys. The farce that is the cancellation of services due to staff losses and mismanagement is harming the reputation of the service, and resulting in huge crowds of frustrated passengers at New Street. Quite how bad this will get with the Christmas crowds is causing me a great deal of concern. Awful.
November 7th - a drizzly wet, frustrating day. I took lots of photos today, but only a couple of ones I took of Nuneaton Station came out anywhere near good enough to use. I was in Leicester for work, which necessitates two trains - one between Lichfield TV and Nuneaton, and one from Nuneaton to South Wigston. I don’t normally mind this journey at all - it’s relatively quick and Nuneaton isn’t a bad station to change at. The London Midland service down the Trent Valley line which is normally excellent has been lousy so far this week, and on my way home, wet, tired and irritable, my train was cancelled. Faced with waiting an hour for another train that may not turn up either, I thought hard and got a train into Birmingham instead, and from there another to Shenstone. Two hours late I arrived home.
Life can be trying sometimes.