Where was I
I seem to have forgotten that this thing existed. Anyway, back to a possibly (ab)normal service.
The trains seem to have realised that being on time is good for the mental wellbeing of those trapped inside and are doing it far more often. I haven't had cause to attempt a Delay Repay claim since February. This is also good for my sanity as it avoids having to attempt communication with FCC customer relations, who have many staff who may fail the Turing Test. I haven't seen a ticket inspector on a peak hour train since Christmas, and should really raise this and other such operational errors with a higher power.
I have managed a particularly elegant ticket combination which allows me to go to my parents in Newcastle from London, traveling in peak hours both ways, for about £55. The cunning bit is to start a cheap advance ticket from Peterborough. The conditions of carriage can also be exploited to allow me to travel from London to Peterborough non stop with my season ticket and a Hitchin - Peterborough ticket. GNER don't get any of the revenue as far as Peterborough, but the rules are clear enough. I also get 1st class on the outward journey from Peterborough, as a GNER 1st Advance 1 ticket was the cheapest left of any type. This doesn't make much sense, but I'm not complaining about the result.