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11:33am on Tuesday, 14th August, 2018:



I'm at Stansted Airport at the moment, waiting for my flight to Dublin. I'm speaking tomorrow at the IEEE GEM conference being held at the University of Galway, located (unsurprisingly) in Galway.

Galway is not easy to get to from Essex. I can fly out from either Stansted or Southend. Galway has an airport that closed some years ago, so the choice to fly in is either Shannon or Dublin. Shannon entails hiring a car and driving for 90 minutes, which is expensive. Dublin entails either taking a bus to Dublin city centre and then a train to Galway, or taking a bus from Dublin airport to Galway. According to the people at Galway University, the bus to Dublin takes 90 minutes before even getting to the train, because of the traffic; it's actually quicker to take the bus to Galway direct from the airport.

Quicker it might be, but it's still two and a half hours. Fortunately, movie depictions of public transport in Ireland are not correct and I won't be sitting next to either a nun or a man with a crate of live chickens on his lap. Unfortunately, depictions of the countryside are not correct either — I've been told there's a 20% chance of its NOT raining. Whether I get to see any scenery or not on the way is therefore dependent on whether I'm on the 20% or the 80% side of the equation.

Security at Stansted has been tightened up, probably because of the crash outside Westminster this morning. I had to submit to a padding-down of my left calf by a border security officer (I've no idea why). Someone just ahead of me had a table tennis bat taken off him on the grounds that it could be snapped the right way to fashion a crude, plywood dagger.

Hmm, only now do I realise I have a two-inch blade and a small pair of scissors in the utility card I keep in my jacket. I had one before that I took through airport security six times before it was confiscated in Copenhagen (by a border officer who helpfully showed me how to turn it into a punch knife). My replacement one has made it through Stansted's security, but if Dublin's takes offence to it I'll need a third.

Urr, I wish I hadn't eaten that family pack of Minstrels while I was stuck in traffic trying to get onto the A12 this morning...

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).