Hi everyone and thanks for reading this blog. I said at the end of last weeks blog that I was off out to see some standup comedy that night. The two acts that were on were Chris Martin and Alun Cochrane. They were both doing preview work for their tours/Edinburgh Festival. I had not heard of Chris Martin before (well the singer yes but not the comedian) and I really enjoyed him, he is certainly one to see if you get the chance. Alun Cochrane though is one I have heard of and seen on TV before. I like his dry and grumpy sense of humour and is certainly one I would recommend you to see if you can. It was a really enjoyable evening and it has been a while since  I have been to some standup. It makes me want to go to the Edinburgh Festival again, it sadly won’t be this year but quite possibly next year.

I was back at work this work this week after a week off which meant the return of the commute on the train. Now usually I get a monthly pass for the train but with me having some holiday it worked out cheaper to buy a cheap day return each day. Although this is cheaper the downside is having to get a ticket on the day. On Monday I went and got my ticket from the ticket machine and waited for my change. And I certainly got change. In fact £5’s worth in 10ps. It looked and sounded like I had the jackpot on a slot machine. At least I got my change but part of me thinks it would have been better if it hadn’t given any at all.  However the more I thought about it I decided that somebody must have put that amount of 10ps in the machine to get a ticket. I’m glad I wasn’t behind them if they did do this as there would have been a lot of tutting going on.

Having commuted for so long on trains I have a love/hate relationship with train travel. Sometimes it can be horrible this is usally because of one of the following reasons:

1)Overcrowding: I know it is selfish but I like a bit of space on the train in a morning. However this is not always possible and often you are left standing usually next to the toilet whilst trying to drink my coffee. Or if I do get a seat I do hope that no one sits next to me. We must have all had that feeling and done a glare and tried to use Jedi mind control by saying in your head “this is not the seat you are looking for”. Sometimes the force is not strong with me and I find myself squashed against the window while the other person takes over all the space. I have decided when in such close proximity to another person who is a stranger I firmly believe their certain foods that should not be eaten. These include porridge, burgers, and Subway sandwiches. This is either because of smell or in the case of porridge it is not a practical food to eat whilst commuting. If you have the time on a morning to make porridge then you have the time to eat it at home. Other techniques I have used to deter people include, pretending to be ill by coughing or blowing my nose, and also turning my iPod up. I know this all sounds bad but most regular train travellers do this (if they say they don ‘t then they are lying).

2)Businessmen/women: I firmly believe that there should be separate trains for business people. This might sound harsh and I do apologise to those business people who are fine on trains. However some decide that the train or seat is their personal office and seem to enjoy talking really loudly on their phone about an important deal they have just made. I don’t care I just want to get to work and enjoy a bit of relaxation time for 15 minutes. Is that too much to ask for? I know it might sound hypocritical where I don’t want people to sit next to me but complain when business people do similar. In my defence I would never refuse someone to sit next to me no matter how much I don’t want them there. Business people however will say ‘no’ and make you go elsewhere, which makes me want to sit there even more just to annoy them.

3)The occasional train traveller: These are people who are usually going on holiday and probably haven’t been on a train since the age of steam. The reason they are annoying is because they either never look to see if a seat is booked they just sit in the seat and then have an argument when the person who has booked the seat gets on, or they go the other way and do look at the booking but cant work out on a south bound train if York is further south than Birmingham. These people should not be allowed on trains if there geography is so bad.

4)Delays: There is nothing worse than having delays. Especially if it is your journey home. To be fair the number of delays is very small and usually worse with bad weather. However it is annoying especially when it is because of vandalism. I don’t know what goes in Doncaster but it always seems to be that someone has stolen the wire from the signals in the Doncaster area.

Ok thats the bad bits over with. The points are:

1)Having some ‘me time’: It is just nice to grab some time where I can just switch off and relax with a cup of coffee whilst listening to my iPod and maybe doing some reading. It might seem like a simple thing but if I can do this on a morning then it usually means I start the day well.

2)Other people: As a regular train traveller you get see the same people on the train. As I have discussed in a previous blog interaction is not usually accepted by other people with the exception of the odd acknowledging nod or ‘morning’. The time I did break this rule it led to the person ignoring me totally – well next time he can get wet in the rain.

While on the subject of trains, this week on the train I saw someone who was an authentic anorak.He was wearing hiking boots, socks, shorts, short thick lensed glasses and had a pair of binoculars around his neck. Although this is a major fashion crime I can understand this however when we pulled into the station he got very excited when he saw another train and was using the binoculars while on the train to get the number of the train in the other platform. Is this extreme train spotting? or is it just normal train spotting behaviour? Please do let me know.

Maybe its all this commuting I don’t know but this week I have been seriously thinking about getting my own place. Those of you who know me will I have talked about this before. However it is a real priority for me now. I do just need my own space, and I think at the age of 30 it is time to do this. As I have said before turning 30 really does make you grow up very quickly. Sadly buying my own place is out of the question so it will have to be renting. It would also make sense to find somewhere in the Durham area as well. So I had better get saving fore deposit/bond and keep an eye out for places. There is no real rush to get my own place but it is now my main priority. I know it is a serious though because I thought about what it would like having my on place and its made me quite excited. Well hopefully one day I will make it happen.

So until next week bye for now.

Top TV programme of the week : Torchwood: Miracle Day

Top song of the week: Wilson Phillips – Hold On

Book I am currently reading: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (yeah I am back reading it)

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