Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And here we are again, in transit (cont'd)

Part II. Which you can also read over at Zoe's place. Posted very late as this actually happened last week.

(Where we pick up the story with your author, Ricardipus, on a coach somewhere in Merrie Olde Englande.)

[Author notes: The bus I am currently sitting on juist stopeed [another note: I’m leaving those typos in cos I think they are funny] at some kind of uber-roundabout. I am now terrified.]

[Author notes again: we escaped. I now have no idea where we are. Some place with a College and a Civic Gardens, allegedly in between Heathrow and Cambridge. I suspect Luton. Wherever it is, it has a rather nice canal with verdant undergrowth, pretty trees and some attractive ducks. Not Scaryduck, real feathery ones.]

[Author notes a third time, and I promise it will be the last for now: I am in Hemel Hempstead. Only in England would you find a place with such a stupid name.]

Let me tell you this about Heathrow airport: I hate it. It is perhaps the Worst Place On Earth, unless you believe that achieving a discounted airfare to Uruguay by waiting in line for seventeen hours is a Good Thing. Mrs. Ricardipus and I once spent an inordinate amount of time circling around the place on foot and in various shuttle buses (one notably driven by a Wizened Old Gent, who was rather helpful as I recall), passing time and time again an oil company sign that, because of the curvature of the building it was displayed on, said "HELL". Which pretty much summed up our opinion of the place. Said opinion not improved recently by me having to walk from Terminal 3 to the Central Bus Station, which is conveniently located in Terminal 2. Approximately 63,457 miles from Terminal 3, through a series of ever-dingier and more horrifying underground passageways filled with pleasant illuminated signs cheerfully indicating things like "Central Bus Station, Right This Way!", "Please Be Careful Not To Fall On Your Bottom As You Exit The Mobile Walkway", and "Travel Insurance! Only One Pound Extra! So When Some American Git Sues You For Dropping Your Suitcase On His Toe, You Can Pay Out, No Problem!"** and things like that.***

Anyway, how and hoo, I am on the bus now en route to Cambridge, so that I can collect a horribly expensive taxi to The Big Genome Centre In The Big Back End Of Beyond which is where I will be visiting. Once there, I will have ethernet in the room, and wireless all over the place (so it is promised), so batten down your hatches, dig in to the trenches and be prepared for a blog barrage. It is coming, and I will be behind the (virtual, happy-shiny, not-death-dealing-at-all) cannons.****

** Slightly exaggerated, for effect.
*** OK, I think we now have a new winner in the longest sentence sweepstakes.

**** Discerning readers will notice that this is a lie. I did not blog squat while I was there.


kitty said...

Hemel Hempstead does indeed have a stupid name. However, its been around for a good few years (Henry VIII stayed in/around Hemel)and it kinda grows on you. Just feel sorry for the poor saps who have learned to drive around that roundabout (me included! its my hometown) Hemel isn't so bad, but your driver must have been totally lost lol

Ricardipus said...

The sad thing is, I think the driver knew *exactly* where he was going. Including Luton airport, unfortunately.

There is photographic evidence of Luton over at Flickr. Sigh.

The Wrath of Dawn said...

"The Big Genome Centre" sounds like a children's TV show.

Rik said...

Hemel deserves to win the prize for "most unlikely place name" right after it wins the prize for "most unlikely prize"

I should know, my second step mother came from Hemel.

Oh yeah, and it was/is the home of (in the UK) Kodak, BP, Epson, Dixons group (including PC World and Currys) and Behemoth from Robot Wars

kitty said...

Ah! I met the mighty Behemoth (and its creators. Nice lads) and Dixons is still here (unlike the Buncefield oil depot which exploded in fine fashion a while back). Luton is best avoided though hehe