The weird things that happen on trains

Having an iPhone is revolutionising my life. I’ll probably (ok, inevitably) blog about that at some later date, but the fact that I even have one of these little beauties is crucial for the telling of this tale…

Yesterday, I had to travel from Bristol to Nottingham via Birmingham. I wasn’t overly enamoured with this fact, having had a rather intense day at a place of theological education and being en route to a work appointment for the research project that required the sacrifice of Saturday night and most of Sunday. To make me feel a little better about this journey, I stocked up on reading material – the weekend Guardian and a copy of Marie Claire (which I only ever buy when travelling with work – not that they pay for it, it’s just become a tradition) aware that I was unlikely to have a table seat, thus making DVD watching tricky.

As is my way, once on board, I multi-tasked by playing with my phone in between newspaper sections. Having not been on Twitter all day, there was a fair bit to catch up on. Plus, it’s uber addictive and tempting to refresh every few minutes. Checking my email somewhere around Cheltenham, I discovered that eight people had started following me since I’d boarded the train. Initially I thought they were robots (all too common), but then realised that they all knew each other too. Very bizarre.

Hours later I checked my @ mentions and discovered the following tweet:
@LizaClutterbuck i was sat behind you on the train from bristot temple meads to cheltenham spa. weird, eh.

‘Weird’ would possibly be an understatement! I couldn’t remember spotting the people behind me as I got on at Bristol. I do remember that the journey was rather lovely until we reached the ‘nam, owing to the quietness of the carriage, a lovely sunset and the wealth of literature I had to peruse. But I was slightly freaked out – how did he know who I was? Why was he now following me? I looked up the author – @earthtoryaan – and spotted something he’d retweeted earlier:

this woman in front of us on the train was tweeting so i got her username and now me and @earthtoryaan are now following her;)

Yes, I am ‘this woman’ – thanks @becsaysrawr. I’m amused by two things. Firstly,  that I’m a ‘woman’ – of course I realise I’m female, it’s more the fact that the youngsters clearly recognised my age and didn’t simply describe me as a girl. Secondly, that they’d come up with the idea of finding me on Twitter. To be honest, it’s not that weird and it’s not like it isn’t a public forum – I would be a lot more freaked out if it was a random guy using it to stalk me (though perhaps this means I should shield my phone better while on trains). 
It had clearly provided a humorous distraction for them for the rest of the evening. I ended up having brief tweet conversations with both of them and discovered that they had no idea how their friends had started following me too – it was just the two of them on the train. Given how randomly small this world is, it will probably turn out that they go to the school my sister teaches at, seeing as they apparently live in Cheltenham. 
I have to ask, how come I seem to be a magnet for such randomness? 


My new toy

I have succumbed.
After months and months of saying I was going to get one, not to mention three (divinely ordained) dreams in which I used one, I finally got on the phone to my network and ordered it on Saturday. 
Right now I’m far too busy trying to work out how to use the thing to blog properly – but I have a request, I need help…(don’t I always?) Can my lovely iPhone using readers recommend the best of the apps? 
In particular, I’m after:
– The best London-based apps (especially transport related ones)
– Ridiculous games that I’ll quickly become addicted to
– Pointless musical instruments
– Sound recording programmes
– Photo tools
– Cheesy musical related apps
– Churchy apps. (Despite vowing that I wouldn’t, I’ll probably end up downloading my employers’ app – it seems only fair given as I auditioned to be a voice on it last week…) 
Plus anything else that it seems sensible for me to add – I’m utterly open to suggestions. 
Now do excuse me, I must get back to re-editing my contacts list and trying to make a decision on which Cath Kidston iPhone cover to purchase tomorrow. 

Reasons why I should have an iPhone #74 & #75*

I’m still waiting for my third dream in which I use an iPhone before I actually cave and get one. (Having had two such dreams, I wondered whether God was trying to tell me something. My mother suggested that Biblically, three such dreams could be seen as a divine ordinance…)

In the mean time, more and more reasons for having one get chalked up on the ‘pros’ list. You’ll know most of them – Facebook on the go; mobile blogging; a handy little app to tell me what the tube’s doing & when my train will reach the platform; tweeting more effectively; the ability to instantly prove that I’m right courtesy of Wikipedia/Google; having something to do whilst waiting for friends to turn up in bars…y’know, all the things we think are pretty much ‘essential’ these days.

I’m well aware that there’s some serious dross available from the app store, but every so often I come across something that makes me wish I had the device of dreams…

Reason #74
‘Sleep cycle’. [I’ve just realised how many sleep references led up to this, totally unintentional!] This genius app helps monitor your sleep patterns, waking you up when you’re at the more awake end of the sleep spectrum rather than in deep sleep. (You set an alarm, it wakes you up within half an hour of it.) Not only should this mean you wake up more easily, but it also produces handy graphs to show how well you’ve slept.

The friend that introduced me to this helpfully sent along a couple of graphs to illustrate her different sleep patterns. The ones below show last Thursday versus the Friday before, which was a great night’s sleep given the amount of time spent at the ‘deep sleep’ end of the scale.

My last couple of month’s of sleep have been plagued with insomnia and general sleeplessness, so having a little gadget that measures my sleep quality would be rather intriguing…

Reason #75
The Dave Walker/Cartoon Church app. Dave Walker’s cartoons are genius & it links to the Dullest Blog in the World – what’s not to like?

*These are utterly made-up numbers. Just in case you were wondering whether this was an actual list or something….