Curmudgeon - moi?

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661-Pete
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Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby 661-Pete » 15 Jun 2018, 8:47pm

Well - perhaps. I'm not alone amongst this set of forummers, methinks... Perhaps I should wear my 'grumpiness' cachet as a badge of honour? 8)

There I am, sitting on the train a few days ago (short hop, luckily), and musing about how much quieter trains have become, than when I was a kid (due mainly to the practice of welding the rails together rather than joining them with fishplates).

Not this time, unfortunately. Courtesy of Ms Chatterbox sitting across the carriage from me, yakking interminably and at high volume into her mobile phone (n.b. we on Southern Region don't get 'quiet' coaches). Yes I know it's not regarded as anti-social - perhaps it's just me in the mood to get grumpy and worked up about it... Needless to say, my odd withering glance in her direction goes completely unnoticed.

But I have a trump card awaiting! I know that just before the next station (my destination) the train will plunge into a short tunnel. So I wait - and the expected result! Halfway through the tunnel, she's still chatting away - then - "Hello? .... hello?! ...." She glowers at the phone for a moment and then starts furiously stabbing away at it.

She's still stabbing as the train draws into the platform. As I pass her on my way to the door, I mutter, quietly and to no-one in particular, "Thank god for tunnels."

Did she hear me? Whether she did or not, I'm content to have a good feeling about this!

Anyone else like tunnels? :?
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

rjb
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Re: Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby rjb » 15 Jun 2018, 8:58pm

Pity they don't have those sliding up down windows with the leather strop to hold it. You could have then waited until in the tunnel then dropped it. The resultant scream would have woken everyone up. :lol:
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, 2 Dawes Kingpins, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, On One Pompino, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

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661-Pete
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Re: Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby 661-Pete » 16 Jun 2018, 9:14am

I remember those windows with the leather strap! Not so common even back in my days, they were mostly found on steam trains, I think. More common was the lever with the two positions marked SECURE and FREE (the plaques were often surreptitiously interchanged by some wag or other :oops: , sowing confusion! ).

I also remember the injunction "CAUTION: DO NOT LEAN OUT OF THE WINDOW" (often altered to read, "CAUTION: DO NOT CLEAN SOOT OFF THE WINDOW"). This was a rule, reinforced by warnings from my parents, that I did indeed use to obey. Well - almost obey: I didn't lean too far out and took care to be on the lookout for approaching trains, tunnels, bridges etc.

And then there was the instruction from my mother: don't open the window when going through the tunnel - it might be full of smoke. I (knowing, of course, at the tender age of seven or eight, everthing there was to know about trains :roll: ) was able to reassure her that even then steam trains were on the way out, at least on our mostly-electrified Southern Region. I should also explain at this point that it was quite the norm for me, even at that age, to travel on the trains completely on my own. There was one train I used to regularly catch which immediately followed after a steam train going through the same tunnel. Then, I used to throw open the window and savour the delightful scent of coal dust, smoke and steam, pervading the carriage.

Perhaps a mistake..... :?

These days, needless to say, you can't even open a train window - let alone lean out of it...
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

brooksby
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Re: Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby brooksby » 18 Jun 2018, 10:09am

661-Pete wrote:
Not this time, unfortunately. Courtesy of Ms Chatterbox sitting across the carriage from me, yakking interminably and at high volume into her mobile phone (n.b. we on Southern Region don't get 'quiet' coaches). Yes I know it's not regarded as anti-social - perhaps it's just me in the mood to get grumpy and worked up about it... Needless to say, my odd withering glance in her direction goes completely unnoticed.




You could have just joined in with her conversation! :D After all, if she's not lowering her voice at all then she's happy for the conversation to be public.

tatanab
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Re: Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby tatanab » 18 Jun 2018, 10:20am

I'd like to go back to days of yore (1970's at least) when people barely spoke at all on trains. It was regarded as somewhat rude. I recall a friend of mine who made a point of talking to a stranger on his usual 30 mile journey. What a rebel!

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661-Pete
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Re: Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby 661-Pete » 18 Jun 2018, 1:33pm

tatanab wrote:I'd like to go back to days of yore (1970's at least) when people barely spoke at all on trains. It was regarded as somewhat rude. I recall a friend of mine who made a point of talking to a stranger on his usual 30 mile journey. What a rebel!

True. But, as a schoolboy (and this was back in the days of separate compartments - no corridor even), I do recall two middle-aged gentlemen who used to board the train one stop after I did, and nearly always made for the compartment that I and my schoolmates were sitting (or standing) in. Since there were never any seats left by the time they got on, they'd have to stand. They always used to strike up a friendly conversation with us lads. We even endowed them with nicknames, I recall: "Mackintosh" and "Shifty" (this may have been something to do with the clothes they wore).

Nowadays, I suppose, if word of this had ever got round to parents, those guys would have been seized and locked up as suspected paedos.... It was all so much more innocent back in those days.... :wink:
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

brynpoeth
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Re: Curmudgeon - moi?

Postby brynpoeth » 19 Jun 2018, 5:54pm

tatanab wrote:I'd like to go back to days of yore (1970's at least) when people barely spoke at all on trains. It was regarded as somewhat rude. I recall a friend of mine who made a point of talking to a stranger on his usual 30 mile journey. What a rebel!

When one wanted solitude in a compartment it was recommended to beckon joining passengers into the compartment
With luck they would think "he is a bit crazy!" and seek another place to sit

Many older ICEs still in service in Germany have compartments, +6
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome