I’m furious. This is what happened today: I was intending originally to go bowling with some friends at Queensway. The only way to get there was, of course, tube. So I journeyed up there, taking about half an hour, including interchanges and slow walking on my part. No problem; in fact I was early. Next thing I know the location had changed – bowling was booked out and I was supposed to get to Hammersmith (where I had originally started). No problem, I should be able to do it in about 20 minutes. So I thought.
The best way was to take the central line onto the circle/district and go south. I quickly noticed the trains were running slow (I spent about 20 minutes waiting for one southbound at Notting Hill Gate). When it finally arrived I was ferried to Earl’s Court where nothing but fun awaited me. At first lit up signs on both sides of the Westbound platform indicated every single train seemed to be going to Wimbledon. About 15 minutes later I gratefully hopped on a train which was going in the right direction only to discover, about ten minutes later, that it was to be redirected south, to … Wimbledon. After waiting for about half an hour for the next westbound train, customer service decided to tell us all that there had been a ‘signal failure’. Which meant there was zilch going from Earl’s Court to Hammersmith by District. Dashing down to the Piccadilly line (I was about an hour late at this point) I was confronted immediately with a motionless closed train and an announcement about the lack of westbound Piccadilly trains. I bailed out of the station and called a friend, asking how to get to Hammersmith by bus. Predictably, such a manoeuvre is apparently impossible without the aid of the tube. Returning to the station I waited a further 5 minutes for a northbound train in the hope of somehow tricking God into giving me an easy journey – hopefully he wouldn’t notice and continue throwing crap at the Hammersmith-Earl’s Court link. Notting Hill Gate forced me to walk a long way to finally get on the Central Line. A barrage of expletives later, I eventually made it to Shepherd’s Bush where I bailed out again and used Bus 72 to get back home. Tricking God had worked.
I had left the house at 6:45 and arrived back home at 8:30 – I had spent almost *two hours* shuttling back and forth between Notting Hill Gate and Hammersmith. I will count this as evidence for God’s lack of benevolence if he indeed exists.
The problem is that there really is no way of getting around London these days. My only real option was to use the tube and being at the mercy of such incompetence is really quite scary. They can’t even spell ‘St James’ Park’ right: