Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Brighton bound riding the slow-band

Am currently sat on a GNER express hurtling through the Lincolnshire wolds "enjoying" the benefits of the complementary wifi. I believe it's probably complimentary simply because no-one in their right mind would pay for it. Suffice to say that it's pretty damned slow. Think semafore or morse code in bygone years.

I can recall a few years back on a train, rigging up my laptop with a web cam via a Sony-Ericsson phone on blue-tooth to my laptop modem and MSN'ing my son back at home, that was pretty cool considering broadband was pretty new and webcams were slow and all that - it did work, obviously the frame rate wasn't amazing - but it left a lasting impression on my son, which is what counts - seeing Dad on a train away from home must have been something in a world where seldom anything technical makes an impression anymore, more's the pity.

But at least there are lo-fi solutions like power-supplies and plugs on the trains now, so I shouldn't really grumble - and free coffee in my super-cheap 1st class seat (it pays to know when to book).

I'm only just calming down from the atrocity that was Wakefield Westgate's long-stay car-park, for years the secret weapon in my rail trips. Uber-convenient, very large, not so expensive yet secure and safe.. and just a stone's throw from the platform.

Not any more.. oh no, since the population explosion and the huge growth of Leeds, the car park is now the home of the commuter, whether to Leeds or London and it's made getting a spot a real bitch during the week. I can understand the early morning problems, but mid-afternoon you'd expect one or two spots, surely to goodness. No, none, bugger all... totally full.

So, for the 3rd time out of the last 4 visits, it's meant I had to abandon the car (and get it picked up)... and all because I didn't leave enough time to get myself a taxi sorted out - but then I shouldn't need to in the first place.

I'm not sure what can be done about the commuting problem, save from charge more at peak hours... but it'll get worse no doubt and the situation is already bad, particularly since there are not many other places to park (especially over night) if that one is full.

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