Monday, August 14, 2006

Taking the strain...

Thanks to Islamic jihad and the fact that easyJet have cancelled all London to Glasgow flights, I'm traveling by train today. Actually, I'm rather enjoying it. Not having to submit my traveling gadgets to airline baggage handlers is something of a relief. And because I always travel with a portable game system and my lappy (and a PDA and an iPod) I'm not short of stuff to do. Quite liberating actually.

We're on the final leg of the 5 hour journey, Carlisle to Glasgow - I have 1 hour 20 mins left of battery on the iBook, so felt it was time to break it out and do some serious blog work. Five hours might seem a lot, but it's really not much more than the total door-to-door time on the plane, plus there is much more to occupy your time with so it's a win-win situation as far as I can see.

The sad thing is that from now on, in the UK, the stringent security requirements will mean no gadgets on any domestic flights. In reality this isn't a problem, because there is only a window of about 30 minutes where one can actually use a gadget mid-flight. That half-hour can equally be spent digesting the Times, or submitting to that newspaper's fiendish Soduku. and if I was being honest, I'd say that I rarely break out the Nintendo or iPod just for that trip.

So the future of air travel (from the UK at least) looks bleak. I can't imagine a long haul with nothing but in-flight movies to keep my brain occupied. I genuinely feel sorry for those with children. As someone about to become a father, I sympathise.

Oh! One thing slightly gadgety I might mention is the current mode of transport. I'm on a Virgin Pendolino train. This is a train where the individual carriages (or cars) tilt when the train hits a bend. It's quite clever - you don't notice it happening unless you watch the horizon and see the thing doing the tilt. It makes the trip more comfortable and alcoholic beverages less likely to end up in your lap. Actually, alcoholic beverages don't spend long enough in the glass to get spilt, but you get the idea.

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