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More holidays in Bickenhill

I’ve been travelling a lot for work over the past two weeks. Nowhere glamorous though – an overnight in Salisbury, followed by a week in Portsmouth, then a trip to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

It is technically possible to do the Glasgow trip in one day, flying from Birmingham, but it’s a very long day indeed and absolutely exhausting. And I was already tired from all the other travelling. So I was very pleased that the university arranged to put me up in a hotel opposite the physics department, meaning I could fly up to Glasgow the previous evening rather than getting the 07:00 morning flight.

But then there was the issue of getting home again. It was an all-day meeting, meaning I had to get the evening flight home. Which got into Birmingham airport so late that I would have to catch the very last train to Malvern and wouldn’t get home until around 23:30. I couldn’t face that, even if the trains were guaranteed to run. And going by my experience before Christmas, I wasn’t prepared to run the risk of getting stranded again. I couldn’t really charge a second overnight stay to the project, so I booked a cheap room at the Ibis Budget hotel at Birmingham airport on and paid for it myself.

I probably shouldn’t have been quite so stingy. I’d stayed the previous week at the Ibis Hotel in Portsmouth, and had found that cramped and pretty basic – though well located for the Historic Dockyard and the restaurants of the Gunwharf Quays quarter. But the Ibis Budget range really was basic. The shower and sink were in the corner of the bedroom, there was a bunk bed above the main bed, and there wasn’t even a kettle provided to make a cup of tea. But it was only £31 and for the price it was totally adequate.

However, the algorithms at have clearly noticed that I have stayed several times now at Birmingham Airport. Except they’re not clever enough to realise that it’s the airport itself that is the only reason for me being there. Instead, they think I have a strong wish to holiday in Bickenhill, the postcode district for the airport. They keep sending me suggestions for more things to add on to my holiday – trips to Stratford, the Cotswolds, and the delights of the City of Birmingham. No thank you!