Now that it’s 2020, I felt it was time to cut back a bit on social media, which has recently become so Marmite-ish that everything tastes bitter and salty. So much anger. So much aggression. It’s all become very toxic.

So I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to cut back on Twitter. I’m kind of scaling back on Instagram too, though mainly cutting back on the number of people and things that I’m following. The biggest problem with social media is that the more people you follow, the longer it takes to read everything, the noisier it gets, and it then ultimately exposes you to the knuckle-dragging Bad PeopleĀ®, and that makes you wonder why you bothered in the first place.

So, I’ve abandoned my 409-odd followers and the 600-odd people/things I were following and started again from scratch – retaining a follow a select few fellow twitterers whose tweets don’t make me want to go out and get a lobotomy.

My new account (@MartynDrake76) is going to be permanently set to private, and I’m resisting the urge to post anything to anybody who chooses to follow me. It’s more of a lurking/read-only account. Useful for checking the latest train info, or news updates.

Bring back the days of computing where nothing was interconnected. Where you had to wait 10 minutes for a computer game to load from tape, and if the system subsequently crashed just after loading the game, you’d do the same thing again. It taught us patience (well, maybe some of us – definitely not me).

Don’t get me started on Facebook. It has its uses (mainly family and close friends), but even then it’s not something I actively engage with much. Facebook’s Instant Messanger and WhatsApp apps are extremely useful – but that’s really the only things that get any kind of decent workout. The site itself I only glance at a few times a week at most – and for a minute or two.

No, the polling station wasn’t in the Red Light district

Very interesting turn of events with the December 2019 General Election. It reinforces that Labour and Lib Dems were utterly useless (but Labour spectacularly so). I tried to vote tactically (Labour), but I just couldn’t believe how bad they did. For a former mining community to turn to the Tories is nothing short of shocking – indeed, the entire North went Blue.

The biggest problem with the opposition was that they just were not willing to work together. There were insults traded between them and all manner of stupidity mixed in with that. Consequently, it’s the lack of co-operation what killed the Remain vote. They couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery. Maybe now Corbyn will be replaced with somebody who can actually lead a decent opposition (along with the break-up/closure of Movement).

Similarly for Lib Dems – for whom I was a member until Jo Swinson (for whom I voted for in the party election) made the biggest mistake ever. I won’t say what that is as it is an extremely polar view, but it was a major policy which – without discussion – would have had major repercussions. So I cancelled my membership straight away. I had to think long and hard about voting for them, which ultimately I didn’t. It would have made no difference whatsoever if I had.

Oh well. It’s not the end of the world (yet).

For this poor, unfortunate soul – absolutely nothing. I spotted the fox from my train which was just about to enter Wimbledon station. I’ve reported it to Network Rail so they could clear the corpse from the track.

If only the fox decided to cross the railway lines during the upcoming strike action by RMT against South Western Railway (2nd December through to the 20th), he or she would have probably been safe because of so few operating trains. And even fewer trains are likely to be available if there are any signal, track or train defects which has been plaguing the SWR network like mad for the past two years.

If I were the UK government, I’d be looking to withdraw SWR’s franchise as early as possible if the deadlock isn’t resolved…

.. this is the closest to being so. I think numbers were mixed up as to which razor size was going to be used, and it was a bit too late.. though you never argue with a man with a cut-throat razor!


Shades of Walter White going on there (or in case Sony Pictures is reading this, to avoid trademark infringement – generic evil man).

Oh well. At least it’ll grow back. But the one good thing is that it shows off that I was once blonde. The amount of grey and almost white hair chopped off was alarming.

Doin’ the (coo, coo) pigeon..

Sometime on Tuesday afternoon, working from home, I noticed that soot and pebbles were increasingly falling down the chimney into my empty fireplace. I was wondering if the neighbours were doing something, or if the chimney pot was coming loose, or maybe Santa Claus was making an early appearance. To my surprise, I heard a flop and something caught my eye.

Alas, it wasn’t Santa. There were no presents or any “ho-ho-hos”.

It was a pigeon. And it was sitting in my fireplace looking rather surprised to be there. But it wasn’t as surprised as I was. It wasn’t a big pigeon – maybe a teenager – and was speckled brown with white wings.

I grabbed a towel, opened the front door, slowly moved towards the pigeon and covered it with the towel – gently. There was a bit of flapping at first – but the pigeon was very gracious in letting me wrap it up and take it outside where it waddled off somewhere. I don’t know whether it flew away, was eaten by a cat, or knocked down by a car – but if it was a teenager, I figured that if the family was nearby, they’d come for it.

Thank goodness I was home at the time because that pigeon could have done some serious damage to the house.

And remember: KNOW WHERE YOUR TOWEL IS. Be a hoopy frood.(*)

Meanwhile, I think I’ve earned the right to be in Pigeon Street. I bet they never did a story where a pigeon comes down a chimney. Cue those electro tom-toms (which, whenever I listen to disco music which features them heavily, I always think of pigeons – those talented drum players which nobody has ever given them credit for).

Doo doo, doo doo, etc. repeat 30 million times

(*) Thank you, Douglas Adams.