Hmm. Well, a very fruitful day at the trade show. I’m pretty tired after wandering around it all day, but I made some good new contacts and renewed a few existing ones. And a good bit of advice from a friend in America proved invaluable today too.
Anyway, I left the show with plenty of time to get to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. My very friendly taxi driver got me to Winsford railway station with plenty of time in hand (I can safely recommend Lawton’s Cars). However, my train was twenty minutes late. No worries, thinks I, as I have plenty of time in hand. Upon disembarking at Runcorn, now nearly 30 minutes late, I looked around the station for signs of the promised shuttle bus to the airport (it says so on the RailAir website or somewhere, I’m sure). No sign at all. Why? Because it doesn’t exist. But a very helpful chap at the station said "Don’t worry, go outside and get an 82A. That’ll take you there, and there is one in ten minutes." Sure enough, just a couple of minutes late, an 82A hoved into view.
I was then treated to the most tortuous journey through the less than salubrious areas of Widnes and Speke. I can safely say that Widnes is less than wonderful but not too bad. But Speke is unspeakable. I was worried at every bus stop that a bunch of kids would run out from the nearest boarded-up home and leave the bus propped up on a pile of bricks!
Anyway, in spite of all these delays, I got to the airport with time in hand. Thank goodness I didn’t go for plan B, which I had seriously considered, which was to cut it fine and spend an extra hour at the show. Thankfully, my instincts for not cutting it fine where travel plans are concerned kicked in, and I made it ok.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport has that half-built feel to it. Not quite as bad as some of the worst excesses of Spanish and Canaries airports (I remember the airport on the south side of the Canaries [what was it called?] that was more plasterboard and duct tape than concrete and brick), but still half built. And do any airlines other than EasyJet operate from here? I’ve not seen any evidence of them yet. There can’t be more than two hundred people in this big modern terminal, and a third of them are staff.
Most amusing was the guy who just ambled through security as I was repacking my pockets, wearing a yellow jacket with a hand-wirtten note on the back – "If found, my name is XXXX and my address is XXXX". Amazing. As the guy on the security desk said, somewhat reminiscent of Paddington Bear!
Right, time to finish this pint and get ready for boarding. Let’s just hope that Mike has booked us into a hotel with a phone point in the room, or else you poor souls are going to be deluged with a huge amount of reading on saturday night (or Sunday morning if I decide to go straight to the pub)!