Hickory has been in England for ten days or so. This shouldn't have prevented blogging but circumstances have conspired to prevent it. But service is now resumed.
Circumstances can be irritating little buggers. And so can British Rail, or whatever that incompetent bunch of worthless penpushers and moaning jobsworths call themselves these days. Spain, as a nation, has often been accused of lacking sophistication in one area or another, sometimes rightly. Certainly, their approach to running the railways is refreshingly unsophisticated, rustic even. The train leaves at the time printed on the timetable and arrives when it says it will. On the (very rare, in my experience) occasions when this doesn't happen, they give you your money back. A simple idea, I think, but British Rail wants no truck with such simplicity.
I hope there is a special circle of Hell reserved for those responsible for running trains in Britain; 'managers' and those blokes who appear on television saying how wonderful their service is will spend eternity waiting on the north-bound platform at Aberdeen, with an icy gale blowing through and the café, waiting room and toilets all locked, for a train which is always 'expected shortly', but never comes, which should take them to a meeting which may change their lives, but which they know, in the hopelessness of their burning souls, even if it were finally to turn up, when Heaven and Earth have passed away, would only dump them in Inverness.
The station staff and ticket inspectors will spend their days being forced to listen to junior devils with monotone speech droning on about how bad the hours are, how no one appreciates the difficulties of devilling and how you can't get proper, sharp pitchforks these days, before apologising for the inconvenience and laughing maniacally. All of this will take place in the old latrines at Euston Station, which for years were supposed to be good enough for the rest of us.
I mention this deep loathing of British Rail because, while over there these last few days, one of the highlights, the highlight in fact, should have been having a few beers with a couple of old friends, both of whom I had lost touch with for years, and one of whom I have still not actually seen since we got in contact again. The skunkfelching cojones-munchers at BR decided that this was a bit much to expect, and that I would just have to wait till next year. The details of how exactly they chose to mess me around can easily be imagined by anyone familiar with this Stalinist bunch of gropecunts, as can the precise degree of regret they felt about it, and of responsibility they accepted.
As someone once said, and he might well have meant BR, 'I wish they all had one neck, and I had my hands on it.
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