Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rip off?

I am new to using the internet on my mobile. I have used it on my blackberry for ages, but I am very new to WAP which I have so far only used to check hotmail and train times.

Rocking up at the station this morning I saw I could make an earlier train and so nipped onto O2 Active (that's the mobile internet on my trusty Nokia) to check what impact it would have on the train I would catch from Paddington to Reading.

Having gone through the process of inputting the station names and times (twice actually because someone came on on the tannoy and made me jump) I pressed "yes" or "go for it" or something similiar, expecting the next screen to be my handy train-times-on-the-mobile.

However what came up instead was a PayForIt screen asking me to authorise 50p payment for a single day access to train info, of 1.50 for a month subscription.


- I think PayForIt is a great idea (I do a lot of work with my clients in the area)
- The screen was certainly clear on the charges so no child-didnt-realise-it-was-being-scammed scandals (I got a text too to confirm I had just accepted the cost)
- I do want to be able to pay for things on my mobile easily. I really believe its the way forward

But one thing riled me about it...

I have used this service before when it was free (a month or so ago, and obviously free if you exclude the data charges) and I can't help thinking that the note to say it was now a premium service with a charge should have come up when I clicked on "timetable info" not after I had gone through the whole input process. Better still, O2 know I have used this service before so why not let me know about the change by text in advance? Why not tell me on last months bill in a pretty box out?

Also, just a note on pricing, I think the split is wrong. If anyone from 02 is reading, might I suggest 20p day rate and 2.00 monthly? I wouldn't think twice about using the service regularly at 20p a pop. 50p is a greater psychological barrier.

Here endeth the gripe.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gentle Arrest

As I emerged from the tube just now I followed a man who had a big burly policeman on each arm.

It wasn't in a Sunday stroll fashion, their firmly interlinked arms were obviously escorting him from the scene of his crime (whatever it was).

What amused me though was the third burly policeman behind them. Because he was very gently carrying a large potted orchid which I can only assume belonged to the offending man!

It made me smile.

Train blogger

I am considering a rebrand. If not explicitly *about* trains, my last load of posts have all at least been written *on* my train each day, using my blackberry (a girls best friend).

Apologies if its repetitive. January is a chronically busy month in the world of Mobile and Wireless and on most days the train is providing my only downtime between work and bed, bed and work :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I am currently sitting on the floor in the aisle on my late running train, but that's not the point of this post (this time!) its just a scene setter.

The lucky man who got the seat near me has got the thinnest ankles in the world! His jutting ankle bone is about the same depth as the whole ankle!

Its rather fascinating me. But then it is a dull journey when you can't see out of the windows.

"you know"

I am sitting on my train waiting to leave kings cross and overhearing a conversation that has left me a little at a loss.

Not the best thing to blog about you say? Oh possibly you are right but it can't go unremarked upon.

The woman two seats away has a very annoying voice and has just had a conversation down her phone that went a little like this:

"So I was just at my desk, you know. I wasn't expecting it, you know. I probably didn't, you know, react totally professionally to the email but, you know. It just basically said, you know, because I recommended that they didn't get put on the child protection register, and now, you know, he killed them. Like, you know. . Because, like, I didn't put them on the register means they don't get checked on so often. Yeah"

I phase out. Shocked at the lack of sensitivity and potential breach of confidentiality.

I phase back in again when I hear;

"because she had two still births. And that's kind of odd isn't it? You know? Maybe he actually was violent before? You know"

I have no idea who this woman is but I hope I never ever have to deal with her in a professional capacity. She has left me astounded about what job she does and how on earth she got it. I hope whatever the email was indicates she might not keep it for long.

Oh, and she ended the phone call "alright babe, see you soon".

I hate the word babe.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Aching BEFORE exercise

I ache. I think it is because I was a good girl and worked hard today.

I also tidied my desk, deciding that after 4 years I probably don't need my 2004 notes. They included my induction and notes on how to use the phone system!

And now I am going swimming with Hils in the hope that it will stretch my back and stop it aching.

Top tip

Phil Collins just told me to look up, so I did.

Down by my feet this morning its winter. Its damp, frosty and dark.

But if you look up you will see the sun is fighting out of its corner. Its shining off the tops of buildings and has cleared the sky of cloud.

Its beautiful up there so today I am going to live in the sky.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Today the world's a better place

And that's because I made it home for 8pm. Had a bath and was asleep in bed by 9.30.

Oh, and because today is a friday which means I got a seat on the train!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Capital disConnect

Last week I blogged about the train issues getting home, and how they made me have to go in via luton the next morning.

Over the last week (the third week since the new year hike in rail fare which now has me paying £386 a month) the trains have been a nightmare.

For days now there have been no seats, even in end carriages where you used to be able to get one.

And then last night there wasn't a single train leaving kings cross. No helpful announcements either.

I headed to St Pancras and jumped a train to luton (again, lucky me) and had to get a cab back. First capital connect paid for the cab, which could leave once it was full, but only to hitchin station (which I think the law of probabilities on that line would suggest isn't everyones destination). So I had to pay for a cab on to Letchworth.

By the time we got to hitchin (I had found my friend Andrew by this point) it was about 9.30 and I was starving. We got Chinese and I phoned for a cab home from his.

I got home at midnight.

I am exhausted and I think that may have been the last train mess I can bear in January without going postal on a member of first capital connect staff.

Seriously, sort it out.

Oh and if you are reading this, Mr Train Boss, keep an eye out for my letter of complaint. Better yet, as I have a season ticket and you know where I live why don't you save some time and write to me first. An apology and a refund would go down quite well...

Monday, January 14, 2008

The start of the family business

Pottery course started this evening. I think my sister and I are going to be the trouble makers :-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Attempts to be cheerful

I woke up early. I had my suit nicely ready. I even managed a small bowl of cereal...

But as I got to the station the nice young ticket man told me that my cut-throat efforts to get home last night on severely messed up trains were, in fact, counter productive. There are no trains this morning.

Who invented powerlines, and what silly mug decided to put them overhead? There, everything and gravity conspires to make me late.

So I have finally found a train to take me one stop. From there I need to find a bus to take me to luton (see? I knew when I heaved myself out of bed that the day could definitely be worse) and from there I have to convince a totally different rail company to let me travel free.

Ok, I am prepared to pay because I NEED to get to a meeting, but you know me, its worth a shot ;-)

Fret not Alex and Giles! I am still very much en route!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ballad balance

Having got my new laptop and new ipod (which in a sad twist of sods law both died at the same time) I spent the weekend uploading CDs.

My music is a good mix (whether its to your taste or not) and works perfectly on shuffle mode, switching evenly between the Stones, disco cheese and Bob Marley, and newer stuff like Amy MacDonald, Kate Nash and the Pigeon Detectives.

I stopped round my parents to lend my dad a couple of my new CDs in return for the likes of Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac (no ipod is complete...) and the new Athlete album. While there I spotted a three CD power ballad album, which I can only assume is proof that mums shouldn't peruse the CDs in Tesco.

Loving a bit of Starship' Nothing's Gonna Stop Us. However this morning's balance of music has made me realise it may have been one bonus CD too many. Urgh.

Thank god it's shuffled on to the Rolling Stones. Hey you get off of my cloud!

UPDATE.... Ah, the stone roses. That's better. Perhaps the new 'pod and I just need to get used to one another.

FURTHER UPDATE... Apologies for the spelling errors!! Early morning moBlogging is obviously not perfect!

Monday, January 07, 2008

New laptop

It has arrived. Mucho thanks to Os for his Sony discount.

And how beautiful?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Kite Runner

I just saw The Kite Runner at the cinema.


I read the book a couple of months back and can honestly say its in my top five books of all time. An awesome story told beautifully.

And the film? Well, put it this way... I often cry in films. The silent tear rolling down the cheek type crying. But watching this, I sobbed, actual chest heaving sobs. A fabulous adaptation of the book for the screen.

Pondering on why it is so sad I have decided its because its not a historic film. Its contemporary. And the extras are probably portraying themselves. "One legged child living in squalor in orphanage"...

But don't be put off by my teary reaction. Its still a fabulous story and I would see and read it again in a flash.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to 2008. Year of Dreams.

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