Swings & Roundabouts

Over the weekend, we got the final details through about the holiday. A couple of things had changed. Some were better and some were worse.

The flight has switched from Heathrow to Gatwick. That’s closer to us, so that’s good.
But it’s switched from BA to EasyJet. That’s bad. The flight is now about five hours later in the day. Not leaving the house at 6am is obviously good. But it means that we don’t get to Barcelona until 4pm. So we’ve lost most most of our day in Barcelona.

And for some reason, they’ve upgraded us to a cabin that looks like it’s about twice the size of the one we booked (we were cheapskates and booked the cheapest cabin). A bigger cabin is obviously good, but I’m also hoping that free upgrades means that the cruise isn’t fully booked. Half empty cruise ships is also good.

The flight back is a bit of a disappointment too. We’re flying back from San Jose in Costa Rica. But it’s a Delta flight via Atlanta. So it looks like we get to spend about four hours hanging around Atlanta airport.

It’s not all good but, on balance, I think we’ve done alright out of these changes.

politics terrorism travel

Travel Advice

Just don’t bother

Whatever happened to not allowing terrorism to change our lifestyle?

life london travel

London Orbital Rail Network

I haven’t fully digested it yet, but there was an interesting-looking debate in Westminister Hall yesterday about plans for a London Orbital Rail Network. I only noticed it because the debate was called for by my MP, Martin Linton (whose constituency includes Clapham Junction).

From I’ve read so far, a lot of the discussion revolves around whether or not various MPs know where Hoxton and Haggerston are.


Tube Delays

This morning the BBC news warned me that my part of the Northern Line was suspended because of “overrunning engineering work.” However, it seems that “overrunning engineering work” was a bit of a euphemism. I subscribe to a tube alert SMS service and the message I got from that was a little more honest.

SEVERE DELAYS: Nrthrn from 7:16 – an earlier track search for a missing member of staff


EasyJet (part 2)

EasyJet had one last surprise for me. My plane from Stansted was delayed by over an hour. I was supposed to arrive in Amsterdam at about 17:00 local time. I finally landed at about 22:45 and eventually got to my hotel just before midnight.

Which wouldn’t have really been a problem, but there were some interesting things taking place last night and i missed them all.

From the barbed references in a couple of the keynotes this morning I wasn’t the only person to have this problem.



Remind me to never book another EasyJet fight. Ever.

I had booked a flight that left Gatwick at 14:35 getting me to Amsterdam at 17:50 (local time). It’s now 18:00 (London time) and instead of being in the bar at at the conference hotel, I’m typing this in the departure lounge at Stansted airport whilst waiting for a flight which doesn’t leave for an hour and a half. I’ll eventually land in Amsterdam jut before 22:00 (local time).

What happened? Well, my plane was cancelled. But I only found that out after an hour queuing to check in at Gatwick. Apparently the fog this morning delayed a number of EasyJet flights and the company decided that the best way to recover from that was to cancel most of their remaining flights out of Gatwick today. I’m not entirely sure that makes sense to me.

So there were no more flights to Amsterdam today. They could offer me a flight in the morning. Or a flight from Stansted. There was also a flight from Luton, but by the time I found out about it, I didn’t have time to get there. So I had to make my way back into London then out again. But, of course, that didn’t kill the five hours that I was delayed by. So I’ve spent the last couple of hours hanging around in Stansted.

Never ever fly Easyjet.


Channel Crossing

On Saturday I experienced the worst channel crossing I’ve ever seen.

It was bad enough that I’d got up at 5am, that there was a blizzard on the motorway and that a lorry had jack-knifed blocking the road so we sat in a traffic jam for almost an hour. When we arrived at Dover I was about ready to turn round and go home, but I cheered up a bit when I got to eat a nice fried breakfast.

Unfortunately the sea was incredibly rough and about an hour later I enjoyed my breakfast again – in reverse.

Next time, it’ll be the Eurostar for me.


Tube Trouble

A tube train was derailed in a tunnel on Saturday afternoon. There were no fatalities but about 30 of the 800 passengers were treated for various levels of injury.

Current theory seems to be that a motor fell off the underside of one of the rear carriages. All of the rolling stock on that line has been taken out of stock whilst it is checked out (and, presumably, bolts are tightened). There was a lot of talk on the news about how it was over fifteen years since Kings Cross and over twenty-five years since Moorgate, but I can’t help thinking that there’s a major disaster just around the corner on the tube. It’s been horribly underfunded for decades.

The tube station where it happened is right outside where I’m currently working. They are saying that it’ll be closed for weeks. I’ll have a twenty minute walk from the nearest open station.