For the last month I've been enjoying my new freelance lifestyle, which generally involves working at home and not going into London for work purposes unless absolutely necessary. The reduction in stress just from not having to get on that f***ing tin box of a train every day has been enormous.
And, looking at the chaos that's occurred on the main line out of Liverpool Street these last 2 days, I'm extremely glad I'm not going into London every day... and very sympathetic to you poor bastards out there who are still having to grin and bear it.
It's symptomatic of the regularity with which shit like this occurs that the BBC website is featuring it only very low down the list of newsworthy stories, buried here in the Essex section of the site. It's even below the story about a worm found in a chicken kiev from Morrison's, for f***'s sake.
So what's goin' down? Well, the overhead power line at Ingatestone. 1 mile of it to be precise. What happened - and what keeps happening every few months - is that one of the creaking 40-year-old intercity trains which crawl up and down the line to Norwich brought down the power line. The train is still stuck there and there is no estimate from Network Rail on when they'll be able to reopen that side of the line. So the commuters have to put up with a reduced service - on one of the busiest lines into London - for the rest of the week.
The Network Rail guy interviewed on the BBC's Look East local news show (well, local is pushing it a bit - why do I care what the hell is happening in Wisbech, for instance?) was a smug moron who ignored the issues completely and said 'underlying performance has been very good'. That's like saying that the guy in the office with a poor attendance record actually has an impeccable attendance record - if you calculate his average attendance based only on the days he was in the office. Seriously, this is the lameness of the crap they try to fob people off with. The funniest thing that happened was when someone turned the sound off on the Network Rail guy's headphones feed - so the BBC guy in the studio was asking him how Network Rail was going to improve performance on the trains and he just stood there on the video link, looking like the self-satisfied twat he truly was.
I hope Barack Obama will be able to sort this mess out when he wins the US election in November. In the meantime, commuters should commandeer the trains and run them themselves in association with the drivers' union - on time and without the corporate bullshit National Express and Network Rail try to diss us with.
As ELO once said to the power line... "Don't Bring Me Down".