50 People Who Buggered Up Britain, by Quentin Letts

. 739 words; about 4 minutes.

This book was picked semi-randomly out of a second hand shop's three quid pile when in a rush to catch a train. The provocative title sounded interesting, and the author's name was vaguely familiar from Radio 4, so I was expecting something moderately entertaining and/or thought-provoking like Radio 4 output often is.

There is a saying that assumption is the mother of all cock-ups. Well, I really dropped a bollock here.

Railtrack and Other Letters, by John Hein

. 1041 words; about 6 minutes.

I knew John Hein through some rather entertaining Usenet posts over the years. I'd formed an image of a large red-haired Scotsman who lived in a Glasgow tenement and had a bizarre fasciation with trains and telephone systems. As it turns out, I was wrong: he lives in Edinburgh.