Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Another Collection of "Stuff" (1)

A Book Review
This delightful little volume will hit bookshops and station news stands in a week or so. fbb received an extract together with the cover artwork and was invited to pen a brief review.

Here is the publisher's submitted extract. It lists the work that Janet and John will be doing as part of the improvements to this busy Notwork Rail station.

Installing 79 sets of points
(which allow trains to switch between different tracks)
Installing 55 new signals
(the railway's version of traffic lights)
Installing nine new gantries
(large overhead structures to hold signals and cables)
Laying 150,000 tonnes of ballast
(the loose stone which the tracks sit on)

Fortunately fbb has been able to obtain the full text of this particular chapter in the book.

Thank you Janet and John; seen here ...
... looking at the plans.

Between 22 July and 7 October
(names of the parts of each year)
Network Rail will be working in partnership
(like playing with your friends)
with East Midlands Trains and CrossCountry
(mysterious names of people who run the trains)
rebuild the track
(the thing which the trains' wheels run on)
and signalling
(like the flags you played with in cubs and brownies)
in and around Derby railway station
(a place where trains stop for people to get on and off)

The story concludes (that means stops)
after these words

Although every effort
(like trying very very hard)
is made to reduce
(that means make things smaller)
the impact
(when things bang together)
to passengers
(people who ride on trains)
there will be temporary
(that means lasting a long time)
changes to both
East Midlands Trains and Cross Country services
during this time
(how long the earth takes to run round the sun)
The impact on your journey
(what happens between getting on and getting off)
does vary
(you will not know what is happening)
however, depending on when and where you
are travelling from.
(and neither will we)

Here is the expurgated adult version!
In a blog-based debate about bus information, fbb did suggest things needed to be much simpler - but maybe not quite as patronising as some of the above!

Next on the list for an fbb review:-

Will there be any passengers?
(people who ride on buses; you don't often see them)

Big News From Buses For Sheffield

Some three weeks after the big announcement in the press about a brave new world for Sheffield's bus services (actually no different from the useless old world of the Sheffield Bus Partnership), comes the first poster.

Now, dear reader, prepare yourself for a shock. Not only is this the first Buses for Sheffield poster, but it is posted on an illuminated panel in a shelter. (Readers swoon in their droves - just too much excitement for one blog)

Regular readers may need to go for a lie down!
It doesn't actually do anything much for Buses for Sheffield - it invites passengers to buy the Citybus (expensive) multi operator day ticket. Of course it doesn't quote a price.

Sheffield (population 580,000) day ticket £4.50
NOT valid on Trams

Edinburgh (population 500,000) day ticket £4.00
VALID on Trams (except the last few yards to the airport)

The poster does invite you to click on
which ought to be the promised "new web site".

But it isn't.

It links to the same old same old PTE guff that used to be headed Sheffield Bus Partnership.

Sheffield Bus Branding Latest
A correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous (maybe he works for Stagecoach???) send this little piccy of a First Bus resplendent in Buses for Sheffield sticky labels.
Actually NOT resplendent in NOT sticky labels.
Exceptional? Maybe, but fbb's corespondent spotted another exfoliated bus (a different bus!) just five minutes later.

All round, Buses for Sheffield is going jolly well.  fbb's correspondent writes thus:-
And, picking up the possible interpretations of the phrase "one city one service", he continues:-
Amen to that, bus watching brother.

As young Mr Grace was wont to say:-

More Porlock Prognostications tomorrow, amongst other stuff.

 Next updates blog : Thursday 29th March 
Mark records a weird incident in his Gospel; happening the day after Jesus rode victoriously on his donkey into Jerusalem on what became Palm Sunday. He was returning a day later to duff up the temple rip-off merchants as per yesterday's blog.

The next day, as they were coming back from Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He saw in the distance a fig tree covered with leaves, so he went to see if he could find any figs on it. But when he came to it, he found only leaves, because it was not the right time for figs. Jesus said to the fig tree, “No one shall ever eat figs from you again!”

It all seem a bit weird - Jesus taking a pop at the tree for not bearing figs despite the fact that it was not the figgy season.
But, the day after that ...

Early next morning, as they walked along the road, they saw the fig tree. It was dead all the way down to its roots. Peter remembered what had happened and said to Jesus, “Look, Teacher, the fig tree you cursed has died!”

"Cursed" might well be too strong a term - but it is still a puzzling incident!
But once the symbolism is clear, it begins to make sense. Whenever fruit trees (figs or vines) are mentioned they usually refer figuratively to the Jewish nation. From a spiritual point of view the religion of the day was so worn out and ineffective that it was dead all the way down to its roots.

A second provocation for "the authorities"! Looks as if Jesus was sending himself to the cross.
One more telling tale to be told.

A sombre thought, maybe. How are our spiritual roots today? Does it matter?


  1. Those of us with experience know that vinyls don't stick to glass in the same way as they do to painted metal panels. I bet the PTE didn't!

  2. For a mere extra 30p there appears to be a bus and tram version.