Friday, February 10, 2006

Fri 10 February - Not in today...

I have a final check-up today following the pneumonia at the end of last year. With a few things to get done without interruptions, it'll be easier to work from home today.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thu 9 February - Soothing music...

According to William Congreve, music has charms to soothe a savage breast. I'm putting this theory to the test now as I have a workable MP3 solution again. Yesterday evening I had the Sex Pistols at an unadvisedly high volume during the train splitting fiasco. The train was pretty crowded and I did find it a bit easier to deal with, so far so good.

This morning the 07:14 is on time, so we can't tell if Midnight Oil soothe or not. I'm sure it won’t be long before I get the chance to test that!

As the 18:01 is on time and not too crowded I still don't get to test the theory - but the Oils are good anyway!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wed 8 February - Not OK...

So far so good... the 07:14 is on time.

But home time is another example of how utterly hopeless Connex can be. Arrive on the platform at about 18:20 - there's a train on platform 8 and one on platform 9. The monitors on 9 are blank, on 8 they're advising the 18:18 is not taking passengers. They're trying to seperate the platform 8 train into two so the Williamstown commuters can have a half train to get home on. There's a bloke in a Connex vest holding a walkie-talkie who's frowning in consternation at the coupling between the two halves, somehow willing them to come apart. "You could just run a full-length train", I helpfully suggest. He scowls at me.

Meanwhile there's a small mob of us crowding around asking about the 18:24 Sandy train, since it's now just gone 18:24. He has a quick chat to somebody over the radio who then announces it'll be seven minutes late. Of course... it's over 30°C!

The train on platform 9 slides out unnoticed but empty. Why didn't they just give us that one?

Anyway, the 18:24 comes in, we shoehorn oursleves into it and eventually we depart. We have a very friendly and courteous driver who announces over the loudspeaker system that there had indeed been a defective train at Flinders Street and he apologises for the inconvenience. Given that it's out of his control, he should not need to apologise. But I'm sure we all felt a little less annoyed after he did. We hit Ripponlea about eight minutes later than scheduled.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tue 7 February - A bit crowded...

Not sure what the story is, but the 07:14 is pretty full compared to usual. I'm not aware that there was a problem with the 06:59 and we're pretty much on time, so there's no obvious reason. Maybe I've just got used to the lighter load over the holiday period?

The line's most unreliable service, the 07:59, was cancelled yesterday and again this morning. Good reason to stay away from travelling at that time of day.

Conversely the 17:38 doesn't seem as crowded as normal. Who knows why? Anyway it's pretty much on time.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Mon 6 February - How do they know...?

I'm starting late again today as it's my son's first day at 4yo kinder. The last few times I've had something to do before work, I've just missed one train that managed to be one if the few that departs bang on time. Then the following train has been some minutes late... it's like a punishment for not making enough effort to catch the earlier train!

So this morning I decide that I might as well go for the 08:49, since I have about seven minutes after leaving the kinder. With the dunces on the road, I end up cutting it a lot finer than anticipated, but knowing that if I don't make the effort I would be penalised, I pull out all stops. I get to the platform at 08:48... Phew!

A few seconds later there's an announcement that it's been delayed by five minutes. There's no chance that would've happened had I not raced to get there on time. I'm sure it's not a conspiracy, but...

We pull in about seven minutes late.

Home on the 17:49, about three minutes late at Ripponlea. Get to the car and I've got a ticket. That's the extra bit of punishment for rushing this morning - I should've twigged that there were too many vacant spots, but I was in a hurry and thought the train's arrival was more imminent than it actually was. I wonder when it changed from all day to two hour parking - the sign looks very new.