Route 79

Reflections on a bus journey home

From London: By a British, European, 2nd-Generation Indian. Probably confused - but proud to be them all! Half of my journey to and from work is a 20-30 minute bus ride: London Bus Route 79 - between Alperton in West London and Kingsbury in North West London. I very frequently get pissed-off and frustrated waiting around in the DARK, WET and COLD - waiting for the 79 to turn up. But I have to be eternally grateful for the quality thinking time I get to myself.
Jalebi Line
Posted on December 10 2005 by Jag @ 2:07 pm

It’s my local London Underground line. It’s what I use to go downtown – and it’s what I use to get home when coming back from town. It’s coloured silver on the tube map – and was inaugurated as a new tube line in 1979 as a tribute to the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Last year was the Silver Jubilee (25th anniversary) of the Jubilee Line – and Diamond Geezer did a fantastic travelogue special on his blog covering every station on the line – and a photoset of that blog series is on his Flickr.

Not as extensive a tribute from me, and a only a year too late – here are two cameraphone objects of the Jubilee Line:

The very first Jubilee Line train of the day – 5:30am – Kingsbury Station
(Someone called Gypsy Rose calls this photo a favourite!)

At first I thought the picture was rubbish. But after I got a message from Flickr that Gypsy Rose had made it a favourite I looked at it over and over again – and now I think it looks quite nice. There is something about the camerphone fuzziness that gives the picture a “painting”-like feel.

And next up is a video. Again: from a cameraphone. Only this time, it wasn’t intentional. I was holding my mobile phone in my hand getting ready to take a photo of the wonderful escalator “cavern” at Westminster tube station as I was headed down towards the Jubilee Line platforms. What I didn’t realise was that the video record mechanism had been triggered and was recording me walking down. Well – my feet anyway. When I played it back – I quite liked it – so didn’t just delete it. Here it is.

Going down the escalators at Westminster Tube Station
(Westminster station has a futuristic “cavern” area as part of the Jubilee Line extension)

It was recorded on my cameraphone as an MP4 file – which is a container format for MPEG4 compliant multimedia components – in which most 3G mobile devices will deposit video and audio in H.264 and AMR formats respectively. Most up-to-date media players (Real, Quicktime, Windows Media etc) will play such files – but not all “consumer” edit-suite apps (like Windows Movie Maker) or video sharing services (like YouTube) will support the format. Which is really annoying. And most of the software tools out there for doing coversions you have to pay for. Luckily though – there is an open source initiative at Sourceforge called MP4cam2AVI where you can download a very handy utility for converting MP4 files to AVI – which you can subsequently use in most edit-suite tools and video sharing websites. The only problem is that the tool will not be able to convert the audio part – so your video will come out silent. Which is OK if you are dubbing something else onto the video – e.g. music. No problem for me.



  1. I love London when it is getting dark, so beginning of the evening when most people are (getting) home and at night untill deep in the night. I love to walk all around the city centre with te Tube as my chauffeur.
    Stepping out on 11pm at Westminster, one of the most amazing stations around due of its silver colouring and design on a small area, you go straight into the arms of Big Ben and you will not find any tourists. Lovely 🙂

    The picture above is great, as not many people will ever see the beauty of London while everyone is still asleep.

    Comment kindly left by Dmitri — December 10, 2005 @ 2:48 pm

  2. 5.30 am??? What were you doing up at that time? Please tell me that you were just coming back home from the party 🙂

    Its a lovely picture

    Comment kindly left by Uma — December 10, 2005 @ 10:19 pm

  3. Dmitri: Thanks. And I agree – London can be very beautiful when you feel like you have it all to yourself.

    Uma: Cheers! Sadly – I was actually going to work. On that particular day I did not have access to the car – and I had to be at a venue near Newbury for 8.30am start. So I got the first tube down to Paddington from where I got a train to a station near Newbury – from where I was picked up by a colleague and transported by car to the venue. Surprisingly – the first tube train is quite a popular one – I thought there might not be lots of people on the platform or the train – but there were quite a few. I took that picture just before the doors were about the close – so you can’t see too many people on the platform.

    Comment kindly left by Jag — December 11, 2005 @ 10:41 am

  4. Hey Jag.
    We at Naughty Curry are loving up your blog . We like your un-recipe instructions, your show-and-tell photos. We would like to beam you here in true Star Trek fashion to come and cook for us. Since this is not possible, we can only quote you in our ‘Wise Words’ sideblog.
    Drop us a line sometime, tiger. Later.

    Comment kindly left by courtney — December 12, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

  5. Hi Courtney – thanks for your comment! I’m most flattered. Will definitely drop you a line!

    Comment kindly left by Jag — December 14, 2005 @ 8:27 pm

  6. Oooohhh I like this! Piece of art! I’m thinking of opening up a new daily flick site with these things on…

    Comment kindly left by Snappy — January 7, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  7. came across your site via a search engine looking for an MP4 converter. Got toally caught up and enjoyed your blog immensely. Have found the conversion file and also passed on details of the white board recorder to other colleagues. I will be back. Thanks, Dave

    Comment kindly left by Dave — June 21, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

  8. Dave: Thank you for your comment and feedback. Glad you enjoy it!

    Comment kindly left by Jag — June 25, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

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