Thursday 19th October 2017, 6.55am (day 2,247)
First time I’ve pulled a duty on the 06:59 for a while. First time I’ve been at the station before sunrise in an even longer while. The world turns…
Not the greatest morning. It’s dark at 7am now when we wake up — when did that happen?! Profound demotivation on the journey in, though it did improve. My first proper selfie on the blog since 11th June 2016. There may be reasons for this.
Pretty much everything on the railways heading north out of London passes through Doncaster, which remains a major passenger rail interchange and has these immense goods yards too; one of the few remaining places on the UK rail network where you do get a sense of what a lot of it probably looked like sixty years ago. Taken from inside the train as it departed platform 8 and returned me home after my short and ultimately pointless trip to London (thank you, Mr Putin).
This really was the view from my place of work this morning, with my University of Tromsø colleagues having installed us in a cabin on the coast of Ringvassøy for a couple of days. Call it luck if you like, but I’m not a complete idiot — I have generally managed to set up my life in certain ways so I do end up spending time in places like this. Mind you, the guy shown here gets to work here every day. To me, he’s the lucky one.
I was supposed to be flying to St Malo in France today, for the ECIL conference (which in past years has been responsible for the appearance of Dubrovnik, Tallinn and Prague on the blog). However, what you see here is the aftermath of the reason why I have only thus far made it as far as Guernsey in the Channel Islands. There I was meant to change planes, but we ended up departing five hours late from Manchester as, when the first plane began pushing back away from gate 21, its wingtip managed to spear the catering van you see here in the centre. So off we passengers all toddled and returned to the terminal, while (count ’em) eighteen people, including a whole slew of hi-vis and two fully armed coppers stood around doing not very much that could be seen as productive. Nice to see so many people gainfully employed by such a cockup. So that’s me in France 24 hours later than scheduled then — just as well I wasn’t down to do my keynote speech on Monday morning.
I am sure that by all possible definitions, this photograph is very boring. But then again, so is being driven on an Interstate (I-74) through the US corn belt. Taken while we were still just about in Illinois — but the last few days of my stay here will be spent in Indiana.