First Great Western have been one of the main sources of my rage these past few months. Let me list a few reasons why. They run a truly abysmal service. Trains are frequently late, and I don’t mean just by 2 minutes or so, I mean by 10 minutes or more. Seeing as I use the trains mostly to get to college, and have to catch a connecting train, a mere 3 minute delay to my first train can then fuck up my whole day and make me 45 minutes late for college. [Which then in turn, affects my EMA. If I’m late, I don’t get any. How am I then supposed to afford the extortionate train ticket prices? I have asked this question lots of times and have never received an answer. Also, thanks to Cameron cutting EMA from £30 to £20 a week for the poorest students, because they apparently squander it, “you want to travel to college? how dare you waste your money in such a manner!” I will now have no money left over for college materials, as the whole £20 a week will go on train tickets. But that’s an angered rant for another time.] FGW never apologise for these ridiculous delays. Of course you get that automated female voice across the grainy tannoy “We’re sorry for the delay” but that means nothing to no-one. FGW never make any effort to make it seem like they are truly sorry. There’s never a “Oh, man, we screwed up, here’s a days complimentary travel” or, “We are truly sorry for ruining the days of everyone who uses our service, here’s an on-time train to prove we’ve seen the error in our ways” That’ll be the day, huh? The issue of horrendous delays then leads me onto the ticket price. To get to college, I need two stops. Two. The journey overall takes about half an hour, just because I have to wait for the connection. If the trains were one after the other, it would take 15 minutes. But I have to pay the best part of £4 for this journey. This delayed journey. This two stop long journey. £4. I’m using these trains to get to my place of education, but of course, I can afford to waste £4 daily on a crap service. Of course. It’s my pleasure. If I wanted to get to Reading from my local station, that itself is the best part of £8. That’s a 20 minute long journey. And it would cost me £8. Am I the only one who’s starting to think these prices in no way match the service that FGW provides? And the BEST bit of it all? They want to raise the prices further! Yes! Rob more money from the public in exchange for a shoddy service! Steal ALL the paychecks! That seems to be the FGW way of thinking. £761.2m worth of profits in 2010 obviously is no-where near enough. The other thing that really pisses me off about FGW, is their staff. They are all rude. All of them. The only nice FGW staff I have ever come across is the cleaners on the trains. All the ticket attendants - especially the one at my local station - are grumpy and rude. They offer you no help when you need it, but are quick enough to humiliate you if there’s a problem with your ticket. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m on a high horse here, I’m not one of those people who believes that the “customer is always right” because the majority of the time the customer is in-fact a moron, but I am using your service and the least you could do for me is keep a civil tongue in your head. I’m a young girl, usually travelling on my own. I don’t need to be mocked by men who’ve let the power of being able to kick people off the train go to their head. I don’t need to be talked down to. I don’t need to be scowled at. I’ll treat you with respect, so you can do the same for me. I’m going to start taking the names of the people I run into, and start reporting them. I once had a gang of ten men surround me because I couldn’t produce my ticket within the first ten seconds, as it was at the bottom of my bag. They were like vultures, it was a sickening sight. It needed one man to deal with it. I wasn’t making a fuss. I wasn’t kicking off. I was just looking for my ticket. I don’t need ten men surrounding and staring, thanks. The thing about FGW is that when you write to them about these problems, do you know what you get? An impersonal letter that basically says “Thanks for writing, but erm, there’s nothing we can do, so put up with it.” Well do you know what, FGW? I’m fucking sick of putting up with it. You try to take advantage of me again, and you will fucking hear about it. Something needs to be done about this. The trains should never have been privatised, as it’s now treated more like a business rather than a service for the people, which is entirely wrong. But I guess we have Thatcher to thank for that. Well done, Tories, it’s another winner.
Jessica looked up at the building with a faint nod, gloves pressed together as her hands were steepled against the cold. A fur coat lay across her shoulders and her heels left indents in the snow as the sign, curving beautifully in the midmorning light reflected off the sun shining down and the icicles melting away.
La maison du Lapin.
She wondered for a fleeting moment if Hades had intended to name it himself, but, since she had never received formal word, she had filled in the request with a name of her own. Not exactly subtle in hiding her origin, but here, no one would care. The exterior was a soft pale yellow brick, drawing from the already faintly dated Art Nouveau designs she’d been so fond of on her travels. The curving windows were set in deep wood and glass, curtains obscuring the inside with shaded travel boxes depicting floral scenes and signs in red paint asking visitation or appointments. Hours were displayed gently on black velvet, and had anyone been pressed to venture aloud what sort of venue this may have been, guesses could have ranged from boutique to floral salon…
Were it not, naturally, for the sitting chair and sewing circle in the rightmost window, with a pair of heels discreetly against the chair's undercarriage and the stockings loped, although lovingly, alongside a fur trim on the side table. Books also occupied the space, leading one to ponder the occupants…
She shrugged- She could always change it up later, after all. Give them something to really look for.
She opened the doors carefully, and was glad to see the interior as she requested. Dark wood, red curtains, low lighting. Gas lamps lent the place a dim, enchanting view, though the flames were not..Earthy. Pale gold, God’s flames, borrowed from her..Benefactor’s fires.
A desk was foremost and center, circular in nature, taking up the space before leading into a very plush, exceptionally lavish sitting room behind beaded curtains. Books lined the shelves- real books, she had insisted, on love and war, on fighting, drinking, gentlemanly pursuits. Some scattered romances, as well, for the girls to peruse. A portrait or two around the room later would bring it to further completion, perhaps some rugs or animal hides..
Curtained rooms lead off to hallways with locked doors. One such curtain lead to a locked door itself, and beyond that, a staircase upwards to the private living quarters. Those had yet to be furnished; even her own room was empty, except for her suitcase and bed, barren of sheets. Jess was residing in a more local domicile until she could order what she pleased.
She smiled quietly, and nodded. Yes— This would be quite the place once she finished it, hired workers.. Perhaps even to smuggle in some alcohol! She exhaled and pressed her hand to her heart, but paused. The faintest flickering in her mind wondered if this was worth all her trouble, her pain, her life back home?
She shut her eyes briefly, and shook her head. There was no reason to think like that; Not now.
Jessica paused, catching sight of the woman from the corner of her eye. Shapely little thing, wasn’t she? And a dangle of gold across her neck to die for. She raised a brow and adjusted her coat to avoid the rain, and offered a kind smile as she approached,
“Hello, darling- Yours is a face I’ve not seen yet. Of course, I’m new here, so that may be why-” She chuckled, and extended a hand,
“Still, always a pleasure to meet new fellows. I’m Jessica Rabbit- Whom might you be?”