Advice for those intending to commute in the UK

Well, I’m back in Blighty, albeit for not too long if I can help it.  I’d forgotten how poor the British infrastructure is.  My tips for being a commuter travelling into London.

  1. Get the earlier train.  It’s less packed than if you plan to arrive for 09:00 in London.  It helps you avoid the almost-guaranteed delays caused by signalling problems in the Southall area.
  2. Visit your local bookshop.  Get some good paperbacks.  Presently I’m reading a book on the downfall of the Soviet empire, leading up to 1989.  It helps you cope with the almost-guaranteed delays caused by signalling problems in the Southall area.
  3. Bring an mp3 player or iPod along.  The more memory, the better.  I recommend at least fifty albums on it, to give you variety of music to listen to during your journey.  It helps you cope with the almost-guaranteed delays caused by signalling problems in the Southall area.
  4. Buy yourself a Kindle (or have your Schatz give you one for Christmas) and use First Great Western’s free wifi.  It enables you to write Facebook statuses so that everyone knows your train is sitting in some commuter station.  It also means you can look up Wikipedia articles on random topics.  So far I have looked up, to name but a few, articles on:
    1. Times Roman font
    2. Helvetica font
    3. Seven million politicians’ biographies
    4. Operation Motorman
    5. Pitcairn Island
    6. The history of tattoos
    7. Slavonic grammar
    8. Crop rotation in the fourteenth century
    9. Railway signalling in the Southall area
  5. Pack your diary in your daysack.  You’ll have ample time to write tomes a la Samuel Pepys.
  6. Catch up on sleep that you’ve lost by deciding to get the earlier train.
  7. Work from home as many days in the week that you can.

Have a punctual day, won’t you!

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