Sunday, 17 June 2007

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery.

Oh, Tubewhore, look what you've done!

I love the Tubewhore (http://tubewhore.livejournal.com/379.html). I love her style, her grace, her wit. But most of all, I love her project. She is visiting every Tube station there is, despite the fact that she lives at the other end of the country, and she is taking pictures of herself doing it. And I love her for it.

Because I've been obsessed by the Tube since I was young. That's exactly the kind of thing I would have loved to have done, and she's doing it, right now. I'm jealous. I'm annoyed. I'm copying her.

I have a second obsession, you see. It may not be as glamorous as the Tube, but I love Merseyrail. It's the rail network for Liverpool and its surroundings, and, since I moved here 12 years ago, I've been obsessed with it. It's historic, and it's modern; it goes out into the countryside, and it shuttles underneath city streets. It has big yellow and grey trains that don't have enough seats, if you ask me.

So I am, shamelessly, going to try and be the Tubewhore of the North West. I am the Merseytart. I'm going to visit every Merseyrail station, by hell or high water - well, maybe not high water, because some of those trains go under the river, and that strikes me as dangerous - but I'm going to do it.

Here are the rules:

1) Every station on the Northern and Wirral lines must be visited. I'm leaving the City line, because, let's face it, that's not proper Merseyrail; it's the North London Line of Liverpool. The Northern and Wirral Lines are the two lines that are controlled by Serco, and they are also controlled by the Merseytravel; they are completely isolated from the rest of the National Rail network, and they're operated by the aforementioned yellow and grey trains. They are Merseyrail.

2) A photo must be taken of me (the Merseytart) with the station sign in the background. Unless I'm having a bad hair day.

3) If there is an Attractive Feature Board (more on these later), a picture is required.

4) Nothing except trains and my own little legs can be used to track the stations. I'm saying this because Merseyrail's not the biggest of networks, and, if you used a car, you could probably polish them off in a day. However, (i) I don't drive, and (ii) even if I did, driving to a train station is just wrong.

I may think of more rules as I go along, or I may withdraw one or more of these, but for the moment they'll do.

Right now, I am so excited about this. I have been excited about projects like this before, but I've never actually done much about them. I may lose interest after a week, or I may not. A big advantage is that I use the Wirral Line every day for work so, hopefully, I should get at least three of the stations under my belt (why three? Stay tuned, viewers).

God I hope she doesn't sue.

4 comments:

Sue Bamford said...

hey there...this is tubewhore - found you via technsommatorotherbloggy thing...anf just to say, "Steal, steal away my beauty" - you can't slap ownership on Art, and I'm utterly delighted that tubewhore has a Northern brother out there claiming the merseyrail.

We should do an intercity collaboration one day - visit each other's mad obsessions before we've bagged the lot. As for suing...nah, not in my nature...my given name is Sue though...so you can say you've been 'Sue-d' in that I've snuck in and infected your mind with a desire to take piccies of ourselves at railway stations...

psychonomy said...

...and I'm Sue's partner, responsible for a healthy proportion of the photos on tubewhore. I was just gonna suggest that one rule should be that you have to go through the ticket barriers, preferably leave the station. You may have that in mind anyway, but it makes all the difference, trust me.

Merseytart said...

Oh no! A visit from both Tubewhore and her partner! I was going to contact you to let you know I was shamelessly copying you, but I thought I'd make the place nice for you first - perhaps put some flowers out, or bake a cake.

But it's good to see you here, and thank you for the blessing! I am operating the go through the ticket barrier rule (though few stations round here actually have ticket barriers) - in fact, I'm planning to walk between some of the stations to do it properly.

A combined Merseytart/Tubewhore trip sounds like a winner. Perhaps we could meet in the middle and "do" the Birmingham tram network...? ;)

tubewhore said...

I'm in Brum in August to go to the quilts Festival at the NEC...does the tram go there?

I'm very excited about the shameless copying - I think it's brilliant. Off to read the rest of your posts now...and will link over from TW...