Well, my goodness Windsor is clean at the moment. It's normally pretty tidy, one of the advantages of having the Queen as a neighbour, but at the moment it's absolutely spotless. I have also seen more policepeople on the town's streets in the past two days than in the entire six months I've lived there. A state visit is all rather exciting. Unfortunately, I've missed the whole thing because I've been at work, so as a commuter have only witnessed the imminent closing of roads and police dogs sniffing around in bushes, but I enjoyed the hustle and bustle and sense of expectation all the same.
Since I last wrote, I've been dutifully sending out badges, which it seems are still in big demand (thank goodness, since I ordered quite a lot of them, so don't be afraid to ask!) and avoiding the FGW issue altogether by travelling on South West Trains. Unfortunately the honeymoon appears to be over, because the train drivers' union ASLEF has announced four days of strike action, which will hit SWT on the 31st of March. Notice how they've now become abbreviated to SWT because they're in my bad books - that'll show them!
So, it's back to First Great Western next week, and back to Paddington Station. I have to admit to being quite a fan of Waterloo. The platforms seem to be announced with at least ten minutes to spare. The trains are always at least eight, and sometimes twelve carriages long, and they mostly appear to be clean, warm and on-time. I'll be sad to revert to the stress of running between platforms, waiting on cold stations and missing my connections.
Perhaps if we could get the Queen using a bit more public transport, the system could be smartened up a bit. There's no way they'd let her stand on the station at Slough on a freezing March morning, or sit in a carriage that smells of sick from the previous evening's drunken idiots. At least you'd like to think not anyway.