Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I Don't Get to Kiss My Girl Goodnight'; Commuter Watch

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'I Don't Get to Kiss My Girl Goodnight'; Commuter Watch

Article excerpt


Reading to Paddington

JAMES CALDER, 30, is an account manager for an internet company at St Katherine's Dock. He lives with his wife Michelle and two-year-old daughter Emily in Lower Earley, five miles outside Reading. He catches a train into Reading, then a First Great Western train to Paddington, then a Circle line Tube to Tower Hill.


Journey in: the door of the train at Lower Earley closes on my foot, knocking my shoe onto the tracks.

Everyone stares daggers as the driver kindly retrieves it. My London train pulls away as I arrive at Reading the next one is due in 10 minutes. I arrive to find the Tube barriers closed because of congestion.

Journey home: on the 6.33pm I sit opposite a woman in her twenties who slaps her forehead and swears every time the conductor reads out the stations. I assume she's caught the wrong train and isn't just doing it for fun.


Journey in: arrive at Reading at 7.15am, just as the fast train pulls away.

The 7.21 train is 15 minutes late.

Journey home: it takes 50 minutes to get from Tower Hill to Paddington. I catch the 6.45pm - but the train ahead breaks down for 20 minutes, so I miss my connection at Reading and wait 20 minutes for the next one. When I get home at 8.40 Emily is asleep. Railtrack owes me about three goodnight kisses from my daughter every week.


Journey in: I get a seat on the 7.19am to Paddington. The Tube is running well and I even get a seat. Get to work early at 8.40.

Journey home: Tube is packed but I manage to get a seat after King's Cross ... next to a bloke who stinks. The 6.33pm to Reading is late so I have a pint while I wait for the 7.24. This too is late and I get home at 8.15.


Journey in: catch the 7.49am and get a seat next to mobile phone man.

Arrive in Paddington at 8.32 and get to work late at 9.15.

Journey home: Tube is packed, it has been raining and the people smell like labradors. …

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