Some blogs I know

  • Freckles and Doubt
    Considering her mastery of narrative structure etc. (insert narrative structure here.....)
  • Trailer Park Refugee | just three shots of tequila away from a bar fight….
    Just three shots of tequila away from a bar fight...
  • Exile on Pain Street | Straddling the Hudson River. One foot in NYC, the other in suburban New Jersey.
    One man's story, etc.....
  • Fat Man on a Keyboard
    'At first they came for the smokers but I did not speak out as I did not smoke. Then they came for the binge drinkers but I said nothing as I did not binge. Now they have an obesity strategy...'
  • New York Bike Blog
  • Belgian Waffle
    Prolific? Bien sur. Waffle? Not a bit of it. The best thing to come out of Belgium since Leffe Blonde, and that is saying something.
  • Non-working monkey
    'Why taking work seriously turns you into a cock', among other lifesavingly important career advice.
  • Razorblade of life
    'Not so much cutting-edge as half-cut and still sliding'...
  • blue cat
    This blue cat fellow (he writes for the telly you know) issues forth an apparently effortless stream of grade-A funniness that has me overcome in turns by helpless laughter and shameful, powerful envy. There I've said it.
  • Joella
    Joella in Oxfordshire. Working for The Man while training to be a plumber (I think!). Loves gherkins, hates aubergines... and Fascists.
  • Bushra
    Bushra's blog/ homepage/ call it what you want
  • Dubsteps (formerly Hobo Tread)
    Thoughts of Skif, a Havant and Waterlooville fan exiled in Liverpool- possibly the most engaging non-league football writing to be found on the web- and with a little bit of politics, and plenty more beside!
  • Tired Dad
    The Man Who Very Nearly Fell Asleep
  • troubled diva.
    Mike, the self-styled 'Fairy Godmother of British Blogging'. He got us all published in a book, you know...
  • Private Secret Diary
    Dispatches from deepest Norfolk. Not that private and not that secret. Just consistently hilarious.
  • The man who fell asleep; Sadness and ecstasy in unequal measures
    The book inspired by this veteran site (A Year in the life of The Man Who Fell Asleep) features the 'sarcastic polar bears of north London' among other oddities that the author manages somehow to render absolutely plausible.
  • Pete Ashton's Internet Presence
    Birmingham's finest. Writing with enviable clarity on every subject under the sun since 2000 (a very long time indeed!). Now with added nice pictures of canals and stuff...
  • Looby
    'An awkward, clumsy fellow; a lubber; a novice'....a venerated (if refreshingly irreverent) blogging institution. Lancaster's very finest!
  • RichardHerring.com
    The comedian Richard Herring's kind of online diary thing. Always worth a visit.

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March 16, 2005



Well, at least your surly tormentor introduced the word "periscope" to the conversation. The word "periscope" should be used more frequently. Like the words "serendipity" and "tomfoolery".


//our adventures in extreme commuting//

There's a reality-TV show somewhere in there just dying to get out.


Ah! the joys of public transport.
I could regale you for hours with many a tale about the woeful service suffered on the metrolink. They have now come up with the following new way of saying there are delays.Delivered as always in a serious deadpan monotone.
'Whilst most trams are operating normally some services are subject to delays'

What does that mean. How does that announcement help anybody.

p.s. i once got the last tram to Bury from Victoria Station after a friday night session and rang Nicola to tell her i would be home soon. I then fell asleep only to wake to find the tram had been all the way to Bury and was now pulling back into Victoria station. I had to pay £35 to get a taxi home.


Those are lovely words Ben. I look forward to seeing all of them given a well-deserved run out on SWSL some time soon. If you can get 'quotidian' in there as well, then the very best of fair play to you.

Iain- you have clearly been out of the country too long. 'Extreme Commuting- Uncut!' is now in its second season on prime-time BBC2, just after 'Jazz Up Your Photocopier', but before the post-watershed 'When Postmen Go Postal'. Don't worry, I'm just kidding. I think.

And Mr John- well the best thing we can say about you, young man, is at least you made it back to first base. I can tut-tut at you like this because by some miracle, depsite a lifetime largely dedicated to drinking and travelling about on public transport, I have yet to wake up in the sidings, anywhere. Maybe in the odd skip, but that's another story.

You are not alone, however. As you may know, the gentleman known on these pages as 'indecisive Declan' once fell asleep on the tram and woke up in a town that 'might have been Altrincham'. It was only after he told me this story that I realised the place Declan actually does live in doesn't even have a tram line. Perhaps he thought if he fell asleep for long enough that nice Mr Prescott might build him one!

Concerned Citizen

Well, through a serendipitous act of tomfoolery, I was just out on the quotidian the other day barbecuing up me some nice juicy periscopes, if you know what I mean, and personally I don't. However, what always puts a sardonic smile on my face (nice word that, sardonic) is them hand-written signs on the London tube that say "good service" or, less frequently, "delays" (just to make it seem like they weren't scrawled on there seven years ago and haven't been touched since). Anyhoo I hope your ankle is feeling much better and that nobody stole the spokes off your bike.


Ah, this bit of writing has just made my Monday morning less horrible. I think Kurt Vonnegut once said somthing about the trick being to enjoy this sort of thing. He said he would dedicate a whole day to going to the post office.

And I can't believe you've knackered your ankle again!


Off-topic, but I really had to say this somewhere on your site - thanks for making me a member of Pie Club. I'm honoured. And of course I promise not to talk about Pie Club under any circumstances.


How bizarre. I also commute daily from Levenshulme station, yet I found my way to your blog by a completely different route. (There's comic mileage in that sentence but I'm too tired right now to exploit it. What I mean is that I wasn't searching for Levenshulme commuters but in fact for something completely different, and irrelevant.)

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and am now glad that I simply give the ticket office staff there a vague nod as I lug my bike past them, rather than ever attempting to extract any kind of service from them. I travel on the "OH-seven-THIRTY-three NORTHERN service TO Macclesfield", which is frequently being announced just as the slightly tardy 07:28 to Hazel Grove pulls in. Fortunately, we Platform 1 types are pretty savvy folk and very few of us get on the wrong train each time. I guess they make it easier for us by usually sending a crappy tin can of a train on the Hazel Grove and a purple train with more comfy seats but sillier sound effects on the Macclesfield service. Usually. I have never ended up in Hazel Grove yet.

Anyway, I enjoyed your writing style so much I think I will return again and see what else you have written about. Greetings from Longsight!


Thank you and welcome to Crinklybee Martin- if I am ever at Levenshulme station at such an unholy hour of the morning (which is unlikely) I will watch out for you and your bike and give you a nod and a wink from Platform 2.

In reply to other recent commenters (on various posts)..

Abby- technical prowess? Well, the good people at Typepad make it easy for me to appear proficient by pointing and clicking in the right places. A more realistic picture of my html abilities may be gained from the way that whenever I cut and paste a post from Word (such as the life story that started out as a WSC article) random parts of the text appear on the site in fourteen-foot high letters, and there is bugger all I can do about it.

And I can't offer you a life story in broken subbbuteo players (at least not right now) but I have done a new one about an Osvaldo Ardiles World Cup sticker, which I am sure you will agree more or less amounts to the same thing- there is even passing reference to an Aston Villa subbuteo team near the end, just for you.

Finally, 'Nexus John'- I will await the much-trumpeted Ebay item with bated breath. If it is anything like your last online purchase, the luminous yellow circa-1991 Manchester City goalies jersey, then I am really in for a treat... meanwhile, go and have a look at the Osvaldo Ardiles story, because it is your story as well...

Martin Q

I just read all of the "my life story" entries - what a brilliant way to tell your life. And weep-inducingly funny as well. That's a real talent. Do people find you funny when you talk as well or is this a new-found comic ability?

Having established the Levenshulme Station link, today I discover I am following in your footsteps in another way too - my brief career in secondary school teaching (modern languages no less) is about to come to an end. Can't help wondering which school you were at when you did yours. I am at Cheadle Hulme, although not for much longer.


Thank you again Martin! You have me blushing here now. People have said I write how I speak, which I take as a compliment, although given the multiple re-edits occasionally involved in coming up with these stories you can imagine the original spoken versions would be garbled, lengthy affairs indeed (and delivered in an occasionally inpenetrable north-eastern accent)...

The life stories are something that have developed as I have gone along, really. Once I had done a couple I realised you could tell the same life story from all these angles- the more unusual the better- and if you do it right then they should build up to provide quite a detailed picture. I will keep coming up with them as long as I can think of more angles...

As for my far-off secondary school career (as featured in the spectacles story) , I did my practice at the absolutely terrifying Spurley Hey (now called something else, although I am sure it is still terrifying) at Gorton, then supply taught for a year in a couple of places in Oldham, which were nicer but still occasionally quite scary. People do occasionally ask me if I have any plans to go back to the 'chalkface'- now that really is funny....

Good luck with the rest of your own stint in Cheadle Hulme- I hope you have something else sorted out... I can recommend the world of offices as a comparitively relaxing alternative, most of the time...

Martin Q

Still enjoying your blog immensely, Jonathan. Just about the only blog I keep coming back to. Always cheers me up, if for no other reason than the perfect grammar and immaculate metaphors.

Anyway, further to our earlier comments on this story, for the next couple of months I will be travelling from Levenshulme southwards on either the 08:08 or whatever train comes after it (08:56 I think) so you may yet see me. I think I'm pretty easy to identify. I always have a silver bike with me, with a panier bag on the back, and if it is even slightly cool I'm usually wearing a dark coloured bomber jacket or a light grey parka with a big furry hood. I have been staring at various platform 2 people over the past week as I travel, but none of them looks like a Geordie from where I'm stood...


... hiya Martin, I have just emailed you a reply (which of course you probably know already but I am putting this comment here just so everyone knows I am not just being rude...)

Martin Q

Well in that case...

I would just like to put it on record that Jonathan is the least rude person I have ever not yet met.

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