Thoughts

A commuter's life

So there are a couple of reasons I wanted to write this short post after just 1 week of commuting. The first is just to comment on the things that I've already noticed. However, the second reason was to actually write this whilst commuting.

So far whilst commuting I've been powering through podcasts. I find this a pretty good way to keep me entertained whilst on my travels. I subscribe to a couple of technology news podcasts, a couple of science based ones, some 'stuff you didn't know' podcasts and NSFW which is kind of hard to describe, but is entertaining. Whilst listening to these I normally do nothing else. Except perhaps complete some angry birds levels.

Prior to beginning my commute I told myself I could use the time for other things, such as writing my blog posts, or writing code, or even doing work. So today I thought I'd try and actually do one of those things whilst commuting just to see how I get on. Eg does it make me travel sick to type whilst on a moving train. The first thing I'm noticing is that my netbook is find for sitting on one of those flap down tables on the back of the average chair, however a larger laptop might struggle to have space.

The commute isn't that bad, in the sense that I'm able to get up at the required time and keep myself fairly entertained along the way. the thing that is hard is just the fact of having less time at home in the evening. This week I have a few things planned in the evening in London, so we'll see how that goes, with basically doing evening social stuff, then the commute home and straight to bed.

Ultimately we will move closer, the only question is how soon we do so. Moving is a very expensive process, never mind the cost of the house itself, estate agent fees for selling, energy report, conveyancers, surveyors, removal men and of course stamp duty. The longer I stick with the long commute, the more time we have to save to get a better place. In generally I'd say if you can do it for a week, then you can do it forever, but I'm sure it will wear me down.

Already I've noticed a slightly rebellious desire to refuse to show my ticket if I haven't got a seat. If they can't provide sufficient capacity for everyone to sit, then you should get some kind of a refund, perhaps some percentage of your fee back for every mile of the journey you have to spend standing.

The other things that make it harder than it could be, are no power (at least on the trains I get) and no reliable data connection. It is quite infuriating that on a major commuter route the signal I get via Vodafone is flaky at best. As I understand it none of the providers is any better. The absence of a reliable phone signal/data connection on a 2 hour commute is a waste. I am basically writing this offline, knowing I'll likely have to actually post it when I get home tonight. Once I have a work laptop it will make it harder to work if I can't reliably have a data connection. It seems that many many people would benefit from being able to do reasonable work to and from London, with ubiquitous power and wifi, even at some nominal charge per month.

Anyway, it seems that I can write, for a while at least, without feeling travel sick. I guess the next thing to see if whether I can write code. Not sure what though.