Another ostensibly minor thing to cross off the list, but my friend Alex Ingram (@nuttyxander on Twitter) and I have been saying for months that we need to visit the Metropolitan line before the 50 year old trains get withdrawn. So last Saturday we met up at Baker Street for the long journey north. First catch came when every train in sight was formed of the new S stock - were we too late? Undeterred, we boarded a Chesham train and headed out of town. Within a couple of minutes Alex had dropped the bombshell that he was leaving Waterstones for pastures new. This is A Bad Thing for Waterstones - Alex knows a hell of a lot about a hell of a lot - not least about half of the systems we use every day.
Excitingly (and I appreciate I'm playing fast and loose with that particular word) we soon saw a procession of old A stock trains heading in the opposite direction, so we decided to get off at Harrow-on-the-Hill and wait. Sure enough, an Uxbridge turned up and we bounced happily off. Quick visit to Waterstones in Uxbridge (very pleasant and VERY ex-Books Etc), a couple of sausage rolls from Greggs and a hot chocolate from the excellent station buffet and then back on a train to Harrow. Mad dash over the footbridge to leap on to an A stock to Amersham. Amersham Waterstones very ex-Ottakars, very tiny but perfectly formed.
Back to the station and off-piste for the Met Line as we took a Chiltern Trains service one stop to Chalfont & Latimer, to connect with a train out to Chesham. Lovely station at Chesham but by that time we were frozen solid (unbelievably cold day with not much heating on the trains) so we just sat tight and waited for it to head back. One last branch to see so we got off at Moor Park and leapt on a service for Watford - that station's nowhere near the town so again, we just sat and waited for the train to leave for Baker Street. A freezing but a brilliant day - TfL want to see the back of the A stock trains for the Olympics, if possible (not great having 50 year old trains taking people to Wembley) so we did this just in time.
Congratulations if you've got to the end of this and still want to be my friend - I fear this year might be peppered with this kind of geekness.