Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Trains - it's not all bad news

"Descanting on his own deformity", Richard III points out he was not shaped for sportive tricks. What I'm not shaped for is mass transport. At 6 ft 2 in. I'm at an immediate disadvantage but the real killer is the distance between my patella and my buttocks. Notably on Japanese Airlines where the relevant seating dimension is a Procrustean 29 in. (vs. 32 in. on the US airline United). A cheap JAL flight to Christchurch, NZ - broken humanely at Tokyo after a mere 11 hr - was paid for in much personal agony.

Buses in Britain are even worse but at least I only use them for short hops. British trains not only cramp my legs but offer minimal space for my feet. Size 10½, since you ask.

Or so I thought for trains have moved on. A perfectly acceptable twin-coach diesel recently took me from Hereford to Newport where a gleaming blue First Great Western monster wafted me painlessly to Paddington.

I commend the seat designer. The accommodation is dense but without menacing my kneecaps or my gluteus maximus. And the seats are cantilevered leaving dance-floor space for my feet. But what I wasn't prepared for were the three-pin sockets, proof that I haven't used a train for yonks.

For years I had noticed people using laptops on trains and assumed they were more confident about their batteries than I have ever been. And then I saw my neighbour's computer was plugged into an unobtrusive 13 A socket. Did he pay for the power? I asked. Oh no.

Just think, I'd be free to compose my blog offline interspersed with innumerable excursions into Solitaire and Columns (a simplified Tetris), both beyond me when I'm driving a car. I may in fact let the train take the strain.

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