Well I have to say that the blitz spirit was very much in evidence at Woking during the whiteout. It's not surprising, since commuters used to dealing with South West Train during clement weather are already used to standing up in overcrowded, cold trains. Therefore people were friendly, helpful and understanding. Since I had work to do, and suspected that the trains might be intermittent, I opted for a 1st class ticket. What a waste of money. The first train that arrived was full and standing even in 1st class so I couldn't get on it at all, the second train that arrived had space in 1st class so I got on but there was no heating. Oh well. On the way back, the 1st class carriages were completely jammed full, since the proletariat had (correctly) determined that there was not the slightest chance of a ticket inspection. I was crushed into the middle of an economy-class cattle truck in conditions that would be illegal if employed to move cows around.
Coming back from Waterloo was an eye-opener. First of all, it was total chaos. But second of all, it was most un-British chaos. This must be something to do with New Labour's policy on uncontrolled mass immigration over the last decade. But people were - literally - fighting to get on to trains (to the point where the police were called to try and keep order) and as people were jamming themselves on to any train they could find heading in the right direction there was considerable unpleasantness. There were voices raised, abuse and jostling. It was very disappointing. I don't understand why people don't understand that an orderly queue is that natural state of affairs.
What turned it into a natural disaster, though, was that because it took so long to get home - I was on a slow relief train that stopped at every station - my iPhone battery ran out. I was instantly cut off from Mott the Hoople Live in Los Angeles (Welcome to the Club) and forced to listen to the people around me. Aaargh. I woman behind spent at least twenty minutes yelling into a mobile phone in a language I couldn't identify (it sounded South Asian) while the guy that I was crushed up next to was talking to a loved in an unfamiliar slavic tongue, perhaps Bulgarian. I couldn't read my book with one hand standing up so i ended spending an our vowing to never, ever get on a train again with a fully charged backup battery for my iPhone. Never, ever, again.