Daily Archives: Thursday, 23rd Sep 2004

London trip report

Well, the visits to London are now settling into a routine. I’m actually getting used to getting out of bed at 4:30am[1] once a fortnight[2] to catch the 6:30[3] train from Newcastle to London. Of course, the knowledge that I’ll get a good breakfast and lots of coffee on the train does help. Anyway, this week wasn’t too bad. Managed to get to bed reasonably early and slept well[4], which helps. But ewwww. At this time of year, it’s still pretty dark at 4:30, which isn’t nice, but on the other hand, seeing the sun come up and the sky brighten as the train heads south is quite pleasant, so I guess it balances out….

Had the usual large breakfast, lots of coffee. Arrived in London on time (or near enough), took the Tube to Oxford Circus[5], then walked to the London office. Said hello to anyone who was paying attention, noticing that once again I was there before some of the staff….

Did various not all that interesting IT tasks[6], including some remote control support for the Teesside office. Went for a walk at lunchtime, and got a nice[8] sarnie from Pret, as I generally do when in London. Sorted out some more things, discussed some other things with colleagues. Left at around 5:20 (or maybe 5:30, can’t quite recall) to head to my hotel. Staying (as I generally do) at the Saint Georges on Langham Place (next door to BBC Broadcasting House). Interesting place. Ground floor reception, then the actual hotel starts on the ninth floor[9]. This time, my room was on the 12th floor, and when I got there, I kicked myself for not taking my camera. The view was stunning. Much better than from the other side where I have been mostly, or even from the side bit featured in the gallery. On the right, I could see the London Eye, and turning to my left, I could see Canary Wharf, the Gherkin[10] and other such things. Must take the camera next time….

Later, I set out to meet Martin[11] for a wee drinkie[12] before being joined by Shirley[13] for a meal at a branch of Pizza Express[15]. We had a wee drop of wine with the meal, and then headed off in separate directions. Martin did give me directions for the quickest route back to my hotel, but I ended up taking a less direct route.[16] Anyway, the longer walk was good for me. Back to hotel, went to bed. Slept quite well…

Got up before the alarm on Wednesday morning, showered, floated around a bit before heading up to breakfast. The restuarant in the Saint Georges is on the 15th floor, and the view is quite impressive. From my table, I could see the arch of the new Wembley Stadium. Good breakfast, nice strong coffee.

Back to the office. Dealt with a few minor issues before taking a trip to Wembley, to clear some bits out of the office we recently vacated there. Got a closer look at the new stadium. It’s big. Really big.

Back into London, got some lunch, then back to the office. Sorted out some more stuff, before leaving at about 5pm. I leave in plenty of time to catch the 6pm train, as I always have a reserved seat on that one. Got to Kings Cross by 5:25, so went for a coffee and a sit down in the lounge. When my train was ready, I strolled over and found my seat. Then promptly left it to find a seat in the restaurant car. Good dinner – soup, steak, cheese, and a glass or two of wine. No problems on the way, and I was back at home by around 9:30.

And there you have it. A fairly typical London trip.

[1] :eek:
[2] Note to any funny furriners who require translation of UK English: fortnight = two weeks
[3] It takes me a while to get my head nearly together in the mornings, so I do have to give myself plenty of time
[4] The last time, I didn’t sleep well, which made getting up early not at all pleasant
[5] So called because there are usually plenty of clowns around :grin:
[6] Well, they were interesting in that I was making things work, but not really of interest to general readers of this page[7]
[7] Both of you :tongue:
[8] Not as nice as the Subway footlongs I often get in Newcastle, but I did have that big breakfast….
[9] The bit in between is called Henry Wood House, and belongs to the BBC. I think some of the radio stations are based in there somewhere.
[10] One of the more interesting looking buildings of recent years….
[11] Hi Martin!
[12] This may have involved a few pints of Guinness
[13] Well, actually, his name is Keith, but we call him Shirley[14]
[14] I think it was because he once had an email address which had his then office location (Shirley) as part of the name bit, but who cares….
[15] Though not my usual one. This one was near Trafalgar Square
[16] I did not get lost. I was just confused :laugh:

By popular request….

Michèle[1] asked me to provide an updated version of the picture of me with the numerous laptops. Here it is, with the original for comparison.



You’ll have to imagine the laptops in the newer picture…

[1] Hi Michèle