Friday, 6 August 2010


Nearly there..
It's a rather sorry indictment of my work ethic that I happen to be at "work" this very minute, and only now do I progress further with my meme. Oh well.

I could say I like it when I'm not at work, but that would be dull and stating the obvious. I think there are few people who would choose work over play, but I suppose it is only through working one can appreciate the free time. Why is it that I sound more and more like my mother with every passing day?

Right, so something I do quite like is a train. Trains are lovely! A childhood of reading (apologies to Mrs Trefusis) Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie and even J. K. Rowling left me with a distinctively glamorous view of trains. Be they the vehicle for a picnic followed by the inevitable adventure, the scene of a crime, or the means to reach a secret school of magic; there is a definitive style of transportation unparalleled. Now I love flying, and I do even enjoy driving, occasionally. Although motoring laws in this country are so boring, at 30mph I feel as though I might as well just walk. But there is something somehow romantic about trains. It feels so much more communal. Buses I abhor. In London, they're quite charming, but here the very opposite. They are loathsome, space-polluting, noise-polluting travesties which should be done away with. Although my judgement is very much skewed by recent terrible experiences. I do my best to be a good citizen of the world, and not to drive when it is possible to not do so. Well, my goodness is it obvious why people avoid buses. And they almost always smell terrible. But this is not supposed to be a post on what I dislike, is it?

Trains: The shared glances with fellow commuters when the peace is disturbed by some unsavoury type, well it's quite fun, isn't it?! It is a very delicate, dignified way to travel. None of that stop-starting, but graceful gliding into stations, an elegant annonceur informing passengers of their next stop, and an over-whelming sense of being above the internal-squabblings of the road-user world outside. I have found trains to be infinitely more reliable. A train schedule is somehow much more set in stone, and very rare will circumstances affect it. Buses, as the old adage goes, are nowhere to be seen for an hour then suddenly up turn three. Now, I am aware of a great many shortcomings in the locomotive department. The wrong leaves, the wrong snow, the mere existence of snow - all have dented its credibility. But I argue none of the fun of train travel has been extinguished. I'm blessed to have a lovely commute. I walk ten minutes through Karrakatta Cemetery, then am privy to fifteen minutes of very attractive scenery. Half of the journey follows the coast, before reaching the port of Fremantle. It's lovely to start the day overlooking the waves undulating towards the sandy beaches. And then Fremantle itself is lovely, one of the few places in this country to have successfully preserved its heritage. Some of it may be crumbly, but overwhelmingly, it is so gorgeously English. perhaps that's why I like it?
I keep reading of ideas to improve our rail system, of introducing light rail networks to deal with urban sprawl so as to keep apace with population growth. Well I do hope there is some substance behind all the good intentions. A world of more rail is to me, very appealing.


  1. When I saw that you liked trains, I thought, Oh yes, an Englishman that likes trains, of course! :-D I enjoyed the whole post and agree about buses.

  2. I love trains too- well not nasty packed commuter ones but defintely inter- city ones- and sleepers! It is a long held ambition and want to go on the Orient Express. It would be so grand and fun!

  3. Yes, trains. I'm all for them, but can't help thinking of Hitchcock's "Stranger on a Train."

    Yours for smart travel!

  4. Oh I'd also love to try the Orient Express. The Station at Istanbul is very impressive. I imagined I saw David Suchet waddling about at every corner!

  5. luv tranes lol