Week 39: flange grease

One of the things I forgot to mention last week was Fawlty at Large, about an episode of 1971’s Doctor at Large written by John Cleese and involving a hotel. I suppose it’s the sort of thing that could have been an asinine “buckle up” Twitter thread, but I’m so glad it isn’t – instead, it’s four posts on a beautifully typeset blog. Blogging isn’t dead.

Some super new trains have been being introduced here in East Anglia this year. Super though they are, such an introduction inevitably features some whooshing sounds as deadlines fly by – that trains have computers in them tells you all you need to know – although in this case, they weren’t introduced that late. But all is not well. The Eastern Daily Press reports:

Greater Anglia brought in the new Stadler trains, called Class 755s, earlier this year, but they have been hit with a barrage of problems and are nicknamed “Basils” by staff because they have so many faults.

Which is an amusingly poor misexplanation of the nickname.

The details of the latest problems are actually quite interesting, and it’s unfairly simplistic to say the trains are faulty. Maybe the new trains’ flange greasers are guilty of depositing grease on some track equipment, causing “signalling problems”. Maybe the trains’ unusually small wheels are a factor. Maybe the winter weather is too, which could explain why the problems weren’t detected during the extensive testing earlier.

I see Network Rail Kent & Sussex have been tweeting some terrific explanations of different problems in their neck of the woods. Somehow, having a good, unpatronising explanation makes the inconvenience of delays and cancellations more bearable.

The LONAP traffic graphs, which indicate the amount of internet traffic in the London area over time, can be interesting. I wondered if the democratic process on Thursday would have any visible effect – the answer is no. (I watched some of a Novara Media stream. Part of their studio has a shelf lined with tins of Tyskie and bottles of Club-Mate – cool.) However, a definite Premier League football on Amazon Prime Video spike on the evening of Wednesday last week.

Watched The Death of Stalin, which is worthwhile if only for the spectacle of the impressive cast of big beasts.

Finished watching Flowers, which has been described as deeply imaginative, and which is really something – I agree with Pete Sinclair.

Now Succession – one episode in, the highlight so far is the phrase “protein spill”, which I can believe really is a term of art in the the amusement park industry.