Archive for January 2013

Taking a Gander…   2 comments

Toronto

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


 

Gander Airport

Gander Airport
Courtesy of Google Maps and R. Villarias

invisible

Canada is one of those countries one goes to, that one immediately likes. Its true that in my case it was always coupled with a business trip to the USA and I was certainly jaded from up to three weeks working in the USA by the time I arrived.

There was always something peaceful about Canada, even in Toronto (pictured) but perhaps more so in Montreal. Many of the best aspects of French culture have been taken by the city and made their own.

I remember clearly on my first visit that I had a client meeting where the address was fourteen thousand and odd Trans Canada Highway. I really had visions of driving for about 2 days and the meeting being actually in Vancouver.

It was with trepidation then that I ordered a taxi from my hotel, made sure that it took credit cards, jumped in the back purposely refusing to look at the meter at any point during the journey.

I managed to get there in the end and only a few minutes late. The cab fare however was somewhat over 100 C$.

On a more recent occasion I was flying from New York to London on American Airlines. Sitting across the isle from me was a very pleasant American woman doctor with whom I was discussing the importance of Continuing Medical Education. We were interrupted by a stewardess who asked the medic to go with her as an old lady was suffering some kind of distress.

The old lady was brought forward to sit with the doctor and given an oxygen mask. We weren’t too far from Gander at the time, so we were diverted to there. For those that don’t know, in the days before they could fly very far, planes would take off from Heathrow, fly to Shannon in the West of Ireland, refuel there, then fly to Gander where they would again fill their tanks for the rest of the journey. Since the advent of the 747 Gander is no longer used for this purpose.

On our arrival at Gander, some paramedics boarded the plane. Two of them immediately helped the old lady, the third seemed to be rifling through her things. The doctor, seeing the concern on my face and knowing I was from the UK, leaned over and told me they were just looking for her credit cards to make sure she could pay for their services. Not entirely sure what they would have done if she didn’t have one, but she was an American so unlikely.

By this time the delay mean’t we had missed our landing time at Heathrow, and we weren’t allowed to take off from Gander until a new time spot could be agreed, which was problematic given how busy Heathrow Airport is. The end result was we were on the tarmac for about 4 or 5 hours, they were not able to allow us off the plane or able to bring extra supplies on board.

This was a day time flight so we didn’t arrive at Heathrow in the end until somewhat after midnight and the place was deserted. American Airlines laid on some buses and I was able to get to Victoria Station but had to get a taxi from there to get me home.

I’ve been playing with the formatting on this post, as I don’t really like the default way that WordPress handles placing text around images. It seems to work fine on both my PC Laptop and Apple Airbook, but might not work too well with tablets and phones. Please let me know if you have a problem with it.

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Posted January 28, 2013 by bluonthemove in Food, Publishing, Travel, Walking

A snowy day is no for caching   8 comments

The title is adapted from that well known Irish saying of which my father was so fond.

“A windy day is no for thatching”.

A snowy day

A snowy day

I’ve been reading quite a lot on wordpress about geocaching, so found myself last night going over to the geocaching.com website and having a look round. If you don’t know what geocaching is take a look at the site yourself.

There are several geocaches quite close to me, so I thought I’d go out and take a look. Indeed 3 of them are on or just off the Long and Winding road of my previous post. I have an old Garmin emap GPS which I bought in 1999 but haven’t used for a couple of years which I thought could be given a new lease of life.

Isn’t the Internet a wonderous thing. I went into Google and found the instruction manual for my old Garmin, and most importantly, how to manually enter GPS coordinates. I know I could download a geocaching app to my GPS enabled smartphone, and if I catch the geocaching bug I might well do so.

So there I was, a couple of hours ago, wrapped up in a warm coat and ready to go out. It’s snowing. I decide to leave the GPS at home and just take a walk down to the first cache site and see what I can see. I didn’t really search very much as I immediately realised where it was and the snow was getting heavier. Sneakily the geocaching.com map seems to suggest the cache is on the other side of the road.

Now I know where to look, all I need now is a dry morning. Not sure what I’d do if I found it as all the ones nearby seem to be micro caches which I suppose is no surprise in an urban area. I’d guess the drill is sign the log and replace it where it was. There are also some up on Wimbledon common, these might be more interesting but the weather needs to warm up a bit before I’m going all the way up there.

Posted January 14, 2013 by bluonthemove in geocaching, Publishing, Walking, Wimbledon

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The long and winding road   6 comments

The Long and winding path

The Long and winding path

OK, not exactly a road, more a footpath.

This is the footpath that I take to walk to Wimbledon town centre.

Now that might not inspire you very much, but the point of the post is to show a few pics taken with the camera built into my new phone. Its 8.8 megapixels so ought to be quite good, but its not as easy to hold steady as a proper camera, so there is a little blurring.

Town Centre itself was quite busy and by the noise some of the younger people were making I’d guess the pubs had done a brisk trade too. Its also cold and damp, so decided I wouldn’t stay away from home for too long.

 

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Posted January 6, 2013 by bluonthemove in Food, Walking, Wimbledon