Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Fought The Trains, The Trains Won

Ever been to Barnes? Me neither, until today that is. Up until now I thought it was famous (and famous only to me at that) only for being a former home of the ever delightful MT. But no it’s much nicer than that. How do I know? Because Barnes was a stop on today’s wonderful adventure which is now known as “Jae’s Tube Strike Odyssey”, a quest to get to work.

It all started sedately enough, catching a slightly earlier train to help avoid too much trouble, with a busy train into London from Greenwich. Everyone else obviously had the same idea as me.

At Waterloo East I put Emergency Commute Plan A into place and headed over to Waterloo station. It got me all nostalgic for my old commute to Vauxhall, and I even got my old “usual” train. Smiled as we chugged past the old offices. But my destination was Clapham Junction this time, as I had a fiendish plan to catch the London Overground service from there to Kensington Olympia from where I could then do a hop, skip and jump and be at my work place in Hammersmith.

Upon getting to Clapham Junction I joined the thronging crowds and upon being redirect to platform 2 via platform 3 I had a little mishap. Well with me no mishap is little, as I fell up the stairs to platform 3 in a dramatic, slow motion style. It started with stumble, which I thought I could recover from, then a fall onto my hands I thought I could recover from and ended with my chin hitting a step and me going into Embarassment Minimisation Mode, bouncing up and continuing on almost seamlessly, only noticing when I’d got to the top of the stairs that my hand was bleeding. Mmm. It certainly was a wonderful morning….

Finally I reached the link between platform 3 and 2 and discovered a large, unmoving crowd of people not being let onto the Overground services. I waited there for 15 minutes, with the crowd not moving an inch. Realising the futility of it all, I began implementation of Plan B and followed an old lady who was heading out of the crowd and parting it as she went.

I got a ticket and a train to Barnes, but stupidly had only memorised the directions from Barnes Bridge. Thus ensured a comic search for Hammersmith which lead me through a wet lands area, Barnes village (imagine Kent in London, very beautiful), followed a stupid cycle route that took me all round the residential areas and finally found my way to Hammersmith and work... 10 minutes late. Which was pretty good considering I had got off a train 2 miles south of the river.

Home trip was better, although not for everyone as Hammersmith was closed down as someone had been pulled under a lorry and the air ambulance was in attendance. No buses for those poor tubeless souls. Did mean I got sent home an hour earlier as I'm the person who lives 3rd furtherest away. Yay!

I instead skipped the 2 miles to Barnes thinking "I should have charged my iPod". Happy days.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist


  1. 10 mins late, not bad! I had to do a 2 hour journey which would have normally taken 25 minutes :(

  2. When I say ten minutes late, I mean officially later. It was a 2 and half hour journey and I arrived at work an hour and a quarter later than I normally would. :( I am always unfashionably early for everything as being late is against my own personal rules. :p

  3. Wow, I feel bad for you. Hope this gets over soon.

    I am amazed there are two people who live farther away from B'way than you do. Do they have French accents?

  4. Sounds like a horrible trip, but it's an entertaining blog post tho.

    I feel for you. Hope the hand is ok now.