London, Musings, Photography, Picture of the day, Railways, Travel
You know it’s going to be one of those days when you start the day with an optimistic frame of mind and technology decides it has other plans for you. Today was one of those days. Having bounced out of bed, made coffee and sat in the office ready to start the day I booted up the laptop.
Only it didn’t. It absolutely refused to be woken from its slumber. The expression ‘Oh, sh*t’ was one of several that passed my lips as I realised my plans for the day were well and truly out of the window. Fortunately, I have an old machine gathering dust on a shelf so dug that out. But because it hadn’t been used since August last year it took me quite a while to get everything set up and (mostly) reconnected. You forget just how interlinked systems are nowadays so when passwords and other gubbins are updated, old machines don’t always ‘get it’. Finally, after a few hours of cursing and shouts of ‘I don’t believe’ it I was operational again. Ish. Apart from all the pictures and files I’d not had chance to copy of my main machine or back-up to the Cloud. I few emails to Dell later and a several missed phone calls and I’d arranged to get tech support in the morning that will hopefully coax my recalcitrant machine back to life (fingers crossed).
Needless to say, this ate up much of my day which was doubly-frustrating as the weather was gorgeous and the trips I had planned were canned, so all I could do was admire the view over the valley as I fought with various systems. Thankfully everything was up and running enough for me to be able to respond to a picture request from RAIL magazine without any more blood sweat and tears although I did rediscover another idiosyncrasy of laptops that I’d forgotten about. The wifi on my old Dell couldn’t blow the skin off a rice pudding! It doesn’t like working from the office as the signal is really weak and frequently drops out – not good when you’re sending hundreds of Mb of data, so most of my working day’s been spent sat on the bed as that room’s directly above the router! On the bright side, I was thankful that I’d worked over the weekend to get all the pictures from last weeks Community Rail Awards edited and sent out, otherwise my computer problems could have been ‘fun’ to say the least.
I’m being optimistic and hoping the the tech wizards at Dell can sort things out for me tomorrow and that the issues are software not hardware related. Frankly, I can do without the expense this close to Christmas and having had to have a camera rebuilt recently.
Sadly, all the new slides I’ve been scanning recently are sat on the other machine, so today’s picture is going to have to come from the archives. But what to choose? Oh, I know…
Here’s a change from the recent exotic travel shots I’ve been feeding you. Clapham Junction may be a lot of things but exotic isn’t a word that springs to mind. This unusual shot was taken on the 7th December this year. It’s a view of the station few people see because it’s taken from the apartment block where an old friend whom I was staying with has a flat.
The trains in the foreground are a pair of Southwestern Railway Class 707s which will soon be displaced and cascaded to Southeastern trains as (despite the fact they’re only a few years old) SWR have planned to replace them with an even newer fleet of 10 car Class 701s built by Bombardier in Derby. Only the 701s are very (very) late and riddled with faults which is causing more than a few headaches all round. So, this is a sight that will eventually pass into history.
I’ve a favour to ask…
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From around 1990 to 2010, I used to make regular (if only three or four times a year) visits to the office block in the background of this picture, headquarters of the civil service trade union PCS. I had to resist the temptation to put the camera in my case every time, since I was there for other purposes!