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{ Category Archives } invective

A return visit to Exeter

When I went to Penzance in May, I stopped overnight in Exeter on the way home, simply to break the journey since Penzance is such an awkward long trip especially by public transport. I picked the hotel in Exeter on the basis of convenience and price (or as work would put it, “value for money”), […]

Staying firmly off the road this weekend

It’s Three Counties Show time here in Malvern, when around 100,000 people descend on the showground to look at tractors, cows and sheep. I used to quite enjoy the show when I was a girl growing up in Worcester – but mostly because we were given a day’s holiday from school every other year so […]

Watching the BA Meltdown

After another overnight ferry from Orkney to Aberdeen, a small group of us were transferred from the dock to Aberdeen airport to catch our flights home – I was booked onto an early afternoon Flybe flight to Birmingham. This was the Saturday that BA had its IT meltdown, and it was really interesting to watch […]

Was that AM or PM?

I had rather a busy week last week. I had a meeting in Hampshire on the Thursday, followed by another meeting just over the county boundary in Wiltshire on the Friday. Rather than spend two and a half hours coming home on Thursday night, then the same again getting back down to that same neck […]

Minor advantages of having grey hair….

I’ve been back on my travels again recently, visiting more university departments. Last week I had a meeting with one of the professors at Imperial College, London. The meeting was scheduled for 14:30, which meant I could get a very civilised mid-morning train down to London, and still be in plenty of time for my […]

No User Serviceable Parts Inside

I’ve already had the first domestic disaster of the year. On New Year’s Day, my tumble dryer stopped working, with a soggy load of towels inside and another load in the washing machine. It looked to be electrically dead – no lights on the front panel at all. I tried changing the fuse in the […]

The end of the Shower Saga?

I took yet another half day off work, and the plumber finally came back to put silicone sealant around the edge of the shower. Of course, I wasn’t able to use it immediately – the sealant takes about 24 hours to cure fully, so I had to wait before I could test out the new […]

A Row with the National Trust

I was on the phone to the National Trust this afternoon, and the conversation incensed me so much that I hung up on them and fired off an email of complaint: I phoned up this afternoon to attempt to buy a gift membership for my elderly parents. First, you wanted my date of birth. That […]

Rail Chaos

I had a meeting in Oxford on Tuesday, at a joint industry/academia forum that I’m a member of. As a city, it’s actively hostile to cars, and the university has very limited parking to offer visitors, so the most sensible option was to go by rail. The train was spot on time on the way […]


It’s coming up to the end of the Financial Year, which means I’m working flat out undertaking equipment trials and writing up final reports on my various projects. For the past two weeks, I’ve largely been based at a customer site near Cambridge, staying in a Premier Inn at a rather grotty service station, and […]