Beechlog‎ > ‎Feb 2000‎ > ‎


The on-line magazine of the Burnham Beeches Radio Club.

The job of getting together all the different language versions of the Service Packs proves not so easy. Microsoft in the US were no help at all. It's going to be interesting, I think not.

Anyway, come 6 o'clock I decided to get back to the hotel. Aaargh, it's snowing outside! The car has about 4 inches on it. But it's not so cold, only about 8 degrees below freezing. After clearing the windows using an airline luggage label, I drive back. Of course, there are no parking spots near the entrance! The hotel snow plough is doing its business. Wonder what it will be like in the morning? I imagine driving back to the airport in a blizzard. I find it hard enough to find the right turnings in good weather. Oh well.

Tonight will be my last night here, the next one will be spent over the North Atlantic, if the plane is not delayed. I could actually try the hotel restaurant tonight, so far I've eaten my dinners in the bar. There are two bars in the hotel, one quiet, and one full of noisy business types. I don't much like American hotel restaurants, people fussing about, etc. I can cope with bars.

Anyway whilst in the bar, I meet Neil, who is the marketing big boss. It's the second time I have met him here - he wonders whether this what I do all evening! Anyway it's not, but after I finish my meal I return to my room and finish off a book. I do enjoy reading, and these business trips give me time I can never find at home.

Up early, and pack my case. Then down to breakfast. Pay my bill, a mere $750 this time. Last night I had to park some distance from the hotel entrance, so I had visions of dragging my case through foot deep snow. Luckily some got up earlier than me and has cleared the pavements and roads in the car park. There's a few inches of snow over all the car windows, and since the rental company didn't supply anything useful, I cleared the windows with my business card. I knew they would come in useful one day.

Got to the office OK, the snow was not too bad. I phoned back to the Slough office, who accused me of propping up the bar every night. How do these things get back so quickly?

Get through the day, and say my goodbyes at about two in the afternoon. Now comes the problem of getting back to the airport. Last time I was here I managed OK, but you never know. I left early enough to miss the rush hour, and hit the freeway, leaving a trail of snow behind me. It was a good drive back, although there was one minor hold up. As you enter Boston, the road goes double-deck, and here I found a large truck apparently broken down in the middle. We get past soon enough, and to my relief find the correct exit to the tunnel. And find he car return, who thankfully require no money from me.

At the airport I have a few hours to kill. There's really nothing to do except vegetate on a seat. I observe the other people - few pretty girls - and most people speak in unrecognisable language. A small girl sits crying with her family, who largely ignore her, except to feed her tissues. I couldn't figure out what the problem was, but it seemed to involve a large sixty-year-old Spanish looking woman. Later on I saw the woman boarding a plane to Lisbon. There were a few madly tapping away at laptops, and a few propping up the bars (please excuse spelling, the plane's lurching around a bit).

Eventually we board the Jumbo back to London. It is fairly sparsely populated, so I get a window seat. As I mentioned earlier, winds were expected tonight, and they had arrived, causing the closure of one runway. This meant almost an hour of queuing before take off. Just before we did, the pilot warned us that he would do some extreme engine revving while stationary, in order to clear the engines of any remaining ice. This he did, then released the brakes and whoosh. We were up in seconds. Looking down I saw little model-like aircraft neatly arranged around the terminals, and amazing views of Boston. Take-offs I find captivating, and I am enchanted by the views of the towns below. Few other passengers seem to take much notice, I suppose they have done it all so often that it bores them. The chap in the next seat studies a 100 page essay - maybe he wrote it, maybe he is marking it?
Soon the towns disappear as we rise above the clouds. It is now midnight in the US, about three hours to go. I can't see much out of the windows, no stars, no moon - it's very dark out there. Perhaps I can get some sleep?

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