The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “train”

Reflections on Essen – a small town in Germany

Essen seems a pleasant enough town with a nice shopping centre and nice cafes. The striking thing about my visit related to the trains and the people on them. So maybe a photographic treatise here is better than so many words. But two questions. Firstly, how common is it to not wear any shoes on a train especially in the rain? Secondly, what wonderful graffiti both on the train and around the station. Far from imagining this as a negative thing I became convinced that it is a positive thing and added value to both the train and the station. Not everyone’s thoughts maybe.

Essen is the 9th largest city in Germany with a population just under 0.6 million. Although it is the (in total) most indebted city in Germany,  Essen continues to pursue its redevelopment plans. Notable accomplishments in recent years include the title of European Capital of Culture on behalf of the whole Ruhr area in 2010 and the selection as the European Green Capital for 2017.

The train station is an important hub.Of the Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahn net’s 13 lines, 5 lines lead through Essen territory and meet at the Essen Hauptbahnhof main station, which also serves as the connection to the Regional-Express and Intercity-Express network of regional and nationwide high-speed trains.

Essen it can be said is not an obvious mecca for high quality football.The biggest association football clubs in Essen are Rot-Weiss Essen (Red-White Essen) and Schwarz-Weiß Essen (Black-White Essen). Rot-Weiss Essen is playing in the fourth tier of the German football league system, Regionalliga West, and Schwarz-Weiß Essen in the fifth tier, Oberliga Nordrhein-Westfalen. Other football clubs are BV Altenessen, TuS Helene Altenessen, SG Essen-Schönebeck.

Tourism is not such a large aspect to the city but commerce certainly is. At international trade fairs and public shows and exhibitions, Essen international trade Fairs welcomes over 14,000 exhibitors and up to 2 million visitors each year.

There are however some interesting things to see, presumably for those shoe wearing denizens of Essen. The Soul of Africa museum is one such place.

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A Day in Wimbledon

Just a day out really but things that catch your attention.

  1. Empty trains at midday. Why cannot train companies like Southwest Trains look at operating far more a supply and demand service? It is crazy to have completely empty carriages.
  2. The weather in UK can vary from blazing sunshine to rain in only a few minutes. I Phone weather forecasts sadly are the worst source of information. Just open your eyes and look.
  3. How nice to take time and relax and sit peacefully and drink a coffee watching the world go by. No computer and no work
  4. Very little evidence of adult adhd
Variable UK weather

Variable UK weather

Empty South west Trains service

Empty South west Trains service

Wimbledon Train Station

Wimbledon Train Station



Rain in wimbledon

Rain in wimbledon

Does Anyone Own This Bear?

The photo speaks for itself really. Lovely attempt to find the owner of this toy bear. Reminds me a bit of Paddington. The reply address is a Twitter acoount and what a great nice thing to do. Please share this!


Royal Academy of Art London

A place that I have never before been to but will return. One of our friends is a painter and hence we accompanied them to an exhibition there. All new to me. What did I learn?

  • They sell good ice creams and nice to sit in the courtyard
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry is right next door as in the same courtyard
  • Paintings that are good to one person are not necessarily to another
  • Some paintings looked incredible and others looked like they done in pre-school

All in all a great day out and I might even chance my luck to get some of my photographs accepted for the exhibition. Prices for the paintings and most were for sale, ranged from £100- £100,000. We were with a great UK painter, Ann Wildgust.

Entrance to the Royal Academy

Entrance to the Royal Academy

The New Toilet at Motspur Park Station. Time for CCTWee?

We all want better sanitary conditions. Most of us want toilets on stations. None of us want the station waiting room to be used as that toilet. Sadly this is what South West trains tell us has happened at Motspur Park station, a leafy suburb ( well sort of ) on the edge of Surrey and london. The result of this behaviour is that the waiting room has been closed. Now a few questions come to mind. Do the citizens of  Motspur Park have more sociopathic personality attributes than most? Do they have more troublesome bladders ? Why this station? Maybe some of my online readers can make their own suggestions as I have no idea. Motspur Park is not exactly ablaze with night life unless you fancy a night out in the Earl Beatty pub next to the station, where one now has to pay for parking, followed by a sumptuous supper in the Kebab house or maybe any one of the 3 restaurants that light up the high street. Not a nightclub in sight. Indeed the only real trouble in this area over the last 10 years has been graffiti, and even that seems to have died a death this last few years.

No, this is a situation that requires Sherlock Holmes to come forth.  The solution? Well there are many pharmacuetical companies out there that manufacture medicines for those with bladder hyperactivity and the suchlike. This is an excellent opportunity for them to undertake some remedial behaviours in  the local folks and sponsor the re-opening of the waiting room. Could we maybe have CCTWee? A live webcam perhaps?

Hmm. Better stop there.

Toilet at Motspur Park Station

Toilet at Motspur Park Station


It is not often that one gets to see a real audition for a number of TV programmes live on a train, and rarely if that train is travelling from Pisa Centrale to Florence on a sunday. This however is a game so you need to spot the famous people yourself.

  1. Who is auditioning for Phoebe
  2. Who has claimed the lead role in Absolutely Fabulous ( and not only that but been to the car boot sale, been the last to arrive, bought all clothes left and put them on )
  3. Who would like to be in Father Ted

Is Joanna Lumley about to be usurped?


Train to Bournemouth

a really grey drizzly day and a packed sweaty train to London. How do people commute? Packed like sardines paying exorbitant prices for train travel. People queueing to get on at Clapham trying to fit into a tiny space in the train. most had to wait for the next train. Horrific. Cup of tea, thats one tea bag and a few molecules of milk, £1.60.
anyway a good days work in bournemouth, a nice snadwich made for my lunch in a house that is as near perfect as one could get. will be first in line to buy when up for sale.
fun in the evening with the hedgehog let loose to roam around the bathroom, a room of no escape!!

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