Brace yourself to think less of me, but I haven't been watching The Railway on BBC2. I have recorded all of them, and they're stacked up on my Sky box, but I'm just never in the mood. The problem is I've been with the BF for 16 years and he is utterly obsessed by docusoaps and fly on the wall documentaries. Real Rescues, Motorway Cops, Airline, Airport, 24 Hours in A&E, Sun Sea and A&E, that one with that bloke who used to be a drug dealer in Corrie going "sorted" a lot - he watches them all. He even watches foreign ones, ones with lifeguards on Bondi Beach or Auckland customs officials where it's all "I'm rilly sorry bit yi cin't bring binanas into Niew Ziland" and then they chuck someone's lunchbox in a bin and mark it Biological Hazard. I try to ignore it but it all seeps in; I strongly suspect I would know what the correct procedure is to stabilise a young girl who's been thrown off her horse in North Yorkshire (young girls are always getting thrown off their horses in North Yorkshire; someone should start a petition against it). I'm all fly-all-the-walled out.
I understand it's very good, anyway. I understand it's been a fascinating and insightful glimpse beneath the surface of a valuable public service. The main reason I'm mentioning it in this blog though is last night's episode followed the folk of Merseyrail, and it featured a cameo by friend of the blog Chris Bowden-Smith. Those were his dulcet tones telling the ladies in their eight inch high heels to mind their step, and asking the passengers to drop the Heineken cans before they got on board; they were his eyes physically assaulting the young men in morning suits as they disembarked. Well done Chris. (Obviously I haven't seen the episode, but I did skim through the first few minutes to make sure he was in it. Luckily he was right at the start). You can watch it yourself here.
At the same time, at the other end of the country, another friend of the blog has made it into print. Ian's marvelous, universally adored 150 Great Things About The Underground caught the attention of the people at Creative Review, and they asked him to pen a feature for them, including his own photos. His spread can be found in the current issue, available from all good newsagents. It's a great magazine on top of Ian's bit; a London Underground special, with some fascinating pieces about the evolution of the network's design.
So all in all, a great time for my friends to become famous. I, meanwhile, am slogging my way across the north of England at six in the morning with no reward whatsoever. Where's my book deal? Where are my magazine pieces? Where is the six part tv series chronicling my travels, eh? I don't ask much - BBC Four would be fine or, at a pinch, one of the better Discovery channels. I'm far more photogenic than that ugly pair after all.
No, I don't mean it. I am totally pleased for Chris and Ian. Now I'm off to strangle a kitten.
Is "strangle a kitten" a similar euphemism to "choking the chicken"?
Chris's appearance was wonderful, but it's probably just as well you didn't stick around for the rest. From hideous scallies at Ellesmere Port to the Orange Order marchers at Southport, it didn't show Merseyrail or the region in general in a particularly good light.
'Strangling a kitten' is probably an attempt to flush out any of Diamond Geezer's readers who might have stuck around.
"From hideous scallies at Ellesmere Port to the Orange Order marchers at Southport, it didn't show Merseyrail or the region in general in a particularly good light."
It did make me wonder what had happened to the city (and the friendly if slightly badly-run little railway) I left behind some years ago.
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