Design Patterns for Modern Life

Optimal strategies for a better life


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

London Waterloo to Winchester in the morning

If you need to be in Winchester for 09:00, the best train to take from London is the 07:35 Weymouth train from Waterloo. This is a remarkably reliable service (both in terms of its punctuality and its spooky preference for leaving from platform 11 - some brave souls board it and fall asleep before the platform has even been announced...).

The first problem is that is stops at Woking. I am sure Woking is a thoroughly pleasant place. I just wish fewer of its inhabitants would insist on taking the same train as me and making me feel guilty for being slow to offer up the seat next to me.

The second problem is that there are never enough taxis at Winchester station. It is this second problem, you will not be surprised to learn, that I will teach you how to solve. In short, you must be the first person out of the station. Thay way, even if there is only one taxi waiting, you are guaranteed to get it. How do you do it? Easy. You need to sit in the rearmost carriage (or the one next to it if you travel in cattle class, like I do). Furthermore, you must leave through the frontmost door of the rearmost first class carriage. (Got that)?

Once off, walk fast. Faster than everybody else. It's not difficult; it's morning and you're in Hampshire. Follow these simple steps and you'll only have me to beat. I trust, as a matter of common courtesy, you would yield :-)

7 Comments:

At 7:40 am, Blogger Andy Piper said...

I think what amazes me most about Woking is that there never seems to be any shortage of commuters waiting to get on to any train between about 6 and 9 in the morning. Where do they all come from? Surely the entire population of Woking commutes, leaving no-one to run the town on a weekday. I travel in the opposite direction on most mornings, and it takes me ages.

Incidentally, you could have asked me to pick you up from Winchester station, I'm in Hursley most of this week. But then you wouldn't have had time to devise this cunning new Design Pattern...

 
At 7:41 am, Blogger Andy Piper said...

...it takes me ages...
No idea why I said that, it must be early morning lack of brain connections. What I meant to say was, it always gets packed at Woking.

 
At 9:04 am, Blogger Richard Brown said...

"that there never seems to be any shortage of commuters waiting to get on to any train between about 6 and 9 in the morning. Where do they all come from?"

I'm coming to the conclusion that a small, but significant, propotion of Woking's residents wake up each day and realise that they can take it no longer. They just have to get out. Any train will do. Any destination.

It's the only theory that also accounts for the fact that I never see anybody getting *off* the train in Woking.

 
At 9:29 am, Blogger Richard Brown said...

"Incidentally, you could have asked me to pick you up from Winchester station"

Thanks for that; I'll remember for next time :-)

 
At 4:49 pm, Anonymous Ben Thompson said...

Wow ... this is the blog I've been waiting for Mr RB ... In the spirit of the Piper query, and in a vague effort to turn this brilliant blog into a design pattern advice forum, I have a social quandary for you. Whilst here on a customer project, I wish to visit the fantastic San Luca sanctuary (http://www.italianinitaly.net/en/BolognaSanLuca.htm) for a splendid view of Bologna city ... I know the walk is approx 3.6 km plus a 10 minute taxi ride from my hotel on the other side of town. Given that sunrise is approx 7am, and I am not required to be back at my hotel until 9am for a pick up to go to work, is it socially acceptable for me to go for an early morning excursion to enjoy the cultural delights of the city. As I see it the only risks here are 1. Upsetting my customer due to unforseen tardiness (lets face it if this were to happen they'd probly just shrug their shoulders and light another fag) and 2. I might tire myself thus rendering my capability at debugging IBM's XMS client for .Net less than optimal. What dya reckon - worth the risk ? Can Design Patterns for Modern Life help me in this quandary ?

 
At 6:49 pm, Blogger Richard Brown said...

"Given that sunrise is approx 7am, and I am not required to be back at my hotel until 9am for a pick up to go to work, is it socially acceptable for me to go for an early morning excursion to enjoy the cultural delights of the city. As I see it the only risks here are 1. Upsetting my customer due to unforseen tardiness (lets face it if this were to happen they'd probly just shrug their shoulders and light another fag) and 2. I might tire myself thus rendering my capability at debugging IBM's XMS client for .Net less than optimal. What dya reckon - worth the risk ? Can Design Patterns for Modern Life help me in this quandary ?"

Yes, Ben. Yes it can. You have come to the right place.

Now, the most obvious answer is that you should, of course, plan to make the trip. You and I both know that you will choose the extra hour in bed over a freezing walk across town but will get a secret thrill for having *considered* doing it.

However, the correct answer is also really to do it. And really to do it. It is easy to grow tired of our work and it's little things like this that we will reflect back on when we're slowly rotting to death in hospital in our nineties.

So do it. Aim to be back in time. Indeed, aim to be back in time to upload the photos to your laptop and have them ostentatiously showing as your screensaver (with those garish yellow timestamps at the edge) when the client walks into the office puffing on a cigarette.

The sense of smug satisfaction will see you through any momentary XMS-induced tiredness.

DO IT!

 
At 6:40 am, Blogger marry said...

Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!
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