Saturday, 2 December 2017

Saturday Ramblings

Bed Bus for over-Bevvied Blokes
This is a map of the end of the "Chuo Rapid" Line from Tokyo.
Trains on this particular service terminate at Takao Station.
The problem is "bonenkai", which is a polite Japanese way of describing end of year drinking parties favoured by dedicated Japanese businessmen. Popular dates are Friday 8th, 15th and 22nd December.
Well lubricated, they either catch the last train home, stay in cheap hotels or while away their recovery in an all-night restaurant.

Some catch the last train towards Takao.
Some fall into a deep sleep and miss their stop.

So at 0105 on December 9, 16, and 23, the Oversleeping Rescue Bus will leave from Takao Stations exit, serving as the final salvation for those who fell asleep on the last express train of the night, which leaves Tokyo Station at midnight and pulls into Takao at 0055.
For 880 yen (US$7.85), the bus will carry passengers back to Hachioji Station (located east of Takao), arriving at 1:32.
While Hachioji is still pretty far from downtown Tokyo, it’s the most developed neighborhood in the area, and has plenty of places where liquored up salarymen can find a bed, or a seat to loiter in, until morning.

Last year the bus carried 75 "oversleepers", 32 on its busiest journey.

Correspondent James, who provided this delightful item proffers some advice to UK bus operators.

"Here is something for First bus operators in Stagecoachland and Stagecoach bus operators in Firstland which could lead to some “hero” type headlines."

It's All On-line But Can Be Wrong
On Friday last fbb was reporting the red Routemaster owned by British Land that should, by rights, be green as it was a country bus. An on-line note reported that said bus operated on the 409 route between West Croydon and Uckfield.

Thanks to several correspondents who pointed out the error. The 409 ceased to run to Uckfield in 1933 a short while before Routemasters were introduced!
Until 1979 the route terminated at Forset Row Station (above) which had closed in 1967.
Forest Row was on the cross-country line from Three Bridges to Tunbridge Wells West via East Grinstead. The station site is now Forest Row business park.
Today's 409 runs from Selsdon to East Grinstead ...
... and is operated by Southdown PSV.

Oxford Makes Messerschmitt
The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter), was a three-wheeled bubble car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt from 1955 to 1964.

fbb last saw one on a recent visit to Bicton Park near Exeter.
Oxford Diecast ... 
... has, in the past, produced one for OO gauge (scale 1:76) and these tend to attract a slight premium if they are pristine and packaged. 
The company has recently announced a model scaled at 1/18.
At £29 it can hardly be called a toy, but it is probably cheaper than the real thing.

A possibility (the 12" to the foot version) for Stagecoach in Ashford or Arriva in Hemel Hempstead?

The Big fbb Switch-On
The first phase of the lavish Christmas decorations at fbb mansions was switched on without ceremony yesterday.
Regular readers may remember that this display is very similar to last year's lavish decorations - but, never fear, loyal followers of fbb life, further illumination is to follow.

Isaac Watts ...
... was a rebel! Because he was not a member of The Church of England (a non-conformist) he was dubbed a "Dissenter".

Watts was born in Southampton, England in 1674 and was brought up in the home of a committed religious Nonconformist; his father, also Isaac Watts, had been imprisoned twice for his views. Watts could not attend Oxford or Cambridge because these universities were restricted to Anglicans (as were government positions at the time).

He was a prolific hymn writer and, we are often told, his most popular Christmas Carol was/is "Joy to the World"


"Joy to The World" was not written for Christmas at all! Apart from just one line (the first one) it does not mention anything that might, even loosely, be associated with the Christmas festival.

Watts wrote it as an Advent hymn.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Like most parts of the "traditional" Christian Calendar, the origins of Advent are obscure.

From the Latin "ad" (meaning "to") and "venire" (meaning "come"), Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus. But the season, historically and traditionally, brings together THREE "comings"
In about 1000BC the prophet Nathan gave King David a good telling-off for his "dalliance" with the delectable Bathsheba. But he also reported, to a repentant David, the revelation he had received from God ...

You will always have descendants, and I will make your kingdom last forever. Your dynasty will never end.

Obviously the first "coming", at Christmas, was where it would all begin, but the message and its implications would go much, much further.
 Next Ramblings Blog : Sunday 3rd December 

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