Northern Fail

Amy’s catching the train over tomorrow evening, and since it’s Easter weekend I thought I’d look up the train times to check everything is running still. While flicking through the times I came across this unusual looking journey:

So to get from Scunthorpe to Wakefield via Doncaster takes how long? For the geographically challenged, it’s a 45 minute drive by car and a hour by train. The route details shed a bit more sense on this bizarre journey.

Maybe it’s not a good idea to let computers plan journeys, they don’t have any common sense. Sitting on the platform at Doncaster station overnight wouldn’t be that fun.

Back home, all safe

I’ve finally made it home after spending the past six months in an aeroplane (or so it felt, really, I can’t quite put the memories together in a sensible way any more). My experiments into sleep deprivation ended after 30 hours when I fell asleep on my bed while trying to read a book.

After arriving in Frankfurt we walked most of the length of the airport, escaping many long lines of people actually trying to get into Germany and ended up in a line of our own. Once again I was security scanned and my stuff x-rayed just to make sure I’d not slipped anything naughty into my hand luggage between getting scanned in the US and sitting on a sealed plane for seven hours.

Then we went to the gate where I was once again security scanned to, once again make sure I’d not somehow constructed illegal fireworks from the contents of the duty free shops. This laptop has been X-rayed so many times I probably shouldn’t sit with it on my lap 😉

The flight to Birmingham was quite easy with free food and an irritating child sat behind me. Curiously to enter the UK they didn’t want to security scan me again, and merely stared at me, stared at my passport, stared at me again, scanned my passport and let me back in.

The best bit was that despite being a day late, the carpark didn’t charge me any extra, so we got into the car and drove back to Rob (my cousin)’s house just outside Derby. After a break I then set off to get back home.

I arrived home (after stopping at a services due to me going cross-eyed and filling up on coke and sugar, and then making an emergency pit-stop at the local Sainsbury’s for a pee) and found everything as I left it, with the added bonus of all my plants still alive and no bad smells.

Got to use next week to get sorted for work the week after, but since tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, it can wait.

This is why we’re so delayed

For those of you curious as to why it’s taking me so long to get home, have a look at this pretty image…

Danny the tropical storm
Danny the tropical storm

That’s Tropical Storm Danny, and appears to be about the size of the UK. For fairly obvious reasons, planes don’t want to fly through it and tend to sit around waiting for it to go away.

Nearer to home

So, I am sat in Philly airport (gate A2 for the interested) waiting for my connecting flight to Frankfurt. Why Frankfurt? Because it’s the only flight going that way which has spare seats. Then we get a flight to Birmingham, and I pay more money for the extra day of parking.

Yes, about that extra day… Originally my flight from Philly to Birmingham direct was going to get in at 6:25am UK time. According to the new itinerary that someone invented for me, my Frankfurt to Birmingham flight would get me in at 9:20 on the same day. Despite me setting off a whole day later.

Last night I was sat in bed trying to work this out, and it made no sense. It made even less sense to the checkin desk people who found it quite amusing. The automated checkin machine printed to parts of my journey off and then shut down, evidently thinking I was insane. It seems that whoever invented my new flight schedule forgot the small fact that days are 24 hours long, and at some point you need to go onto the next one. So yeah, I would be flying to Philly at 6:45am US time, and five hours earlier at the same time I would be flying from Frankfurt to Birmingham. Then, later today I would catch another flight from Philly to Frankfurt.

I don’t think they managed to mess the space-time continuum up that badly in Star Trek.

Only pain in the arse is that I don’t have an European travel adaptor for my laptop, so when I arrive in Frankfurt I’ll have nothing to do. Maybe then would be a good time to go insane? I will get home at some point…

Waiting for my bags

Currently I am sat on the floor of Burlington Airport, waiting for the bag people to retrieve my luggage from the plane. The flight I was supposed to be catching has been “cancelled” (it hasn’t, but if we get it, we’re stuck in Philadelphia until tomorrow since we’ll miss the connecting flight). I’m sat next to the check in desk on the floor, behind a self-service check in machine, waiting. Hope they’ve not forgotten about us because we gave over our baggage claim tickets.

tomorrow we fly from here to Philly, then to Frankfurt and then to Birmingham. Isn’t this fun!

Wedding at the lake

Dan and Mira
Dan and Mira

Saturday was the wedding of Dan, my cousin and Mira. It was held at Mira’s parents’ house which is a massive place amongst the forest on the banks of the Waterbury reservoir, Waterbury, VT.

As the unofficial photographer I took many photos and also recorded a video of the ceremony. Later when I get home I’ll sort through the pictures, videos and create a video of the whole thing.

After the ceremony we all went to the local fish and game club for the reception. It was a large wedding, with around 150 people attending, being a mixture of family and friends. This part of the US is known for growing corn, and the wedding meal was a giant chicken and corn BBQ. The corn on the cob was so sweet and unlike anything available in the UK.

Dan outside the house
Dan outside the house

Sunday was spent tidying up and returning various guests to the local airport to catch their flights home. People had visited from all over the US plus my other aunt and uncle who had come from the UK.

On Monday Me, Rob and remaining friends went out to a local microbrewery for drinks and a meal. American microbreweries produce excellent beer, completely unlike the crap we buy in the UK. It’s every bit as good as our UK beer. We especially liked the porter.

Today me and Rob are going into Burlington to visit the shops, I need to buy some birthday presents for various people.

Travel update

I’m sat in Philadelphia airport waiting for our final flight to Rochester. I’ve been up since 4am and feel surprisingly alert.

So far I’ve been security scanned twice, been asked lots of questions by US Immigration and have eaten a giant sandwich. Not keen on this country’s obsession with high fructose corn syrup though, it tastes wrong. I will later attempt to obtain a cup of tea.

This terminal is full of people staring at laptops, most of which are Macbooks. I’ts quite quiet and relaxed too which makes a change from the controlled chaos of airports usually. The PA system is broken though, they need to fix that.

Travel stage 1 complete

I’m at my cousin’s. We’re all packed and just need to get up at 4am tomorrow.

I’m leaving my macbook behind because, while Rob has a macbook charger, it got very hot and the part where the DC wire joins the brick has definite signs of melting and the internal conductors are visible. So I guess my mac isn’t coming on holiday.

Still, i have my iPod touch, T-mobile G1 and a Gameboy Pocket to use.