fun stuff travel Weekend

British summer holiday weather – the gathering storm

Location 1 of our 4 centre summer vacation allows me to study at first hand the British summer holiday weather in action.

Bromborough, Wirral, Saturday 9th August, 2014.  I’m lying in bed listening to the first passenger jets of the day coming in to land at Speke John Lennon International airport. It is still early and I am biding my time until it is time for me’n kids 3 & 4 to head off for the cricket at Old Trafford. We bought the tickets on the spur of the moment just prior to setting off across the Pennines from Lincoln.

Yesterday was a classic day for British summer holiday weather. It had been quite hot overnight but a slight breeze had picked up by morning. By lunchtime it was ice cream conditions again and we set off for the attractions of New Brighton.

My first visit to New Brighton was 34 years ago on an eventful day trip to Liverpool on the Isle of Man ferry with my mates. The boat ride over had been quite rough and I suffered a bad bought of seasickness. Then we were delayed mid river Mersey for two hours whilst the outgoing ferry returned to its mooring following a bomb scare. Eventually arriving at the dockside I had to give all my cash to my sister Ann who was setting off for sixth form at Atlantic College in South Wales and had left her money behind.

An afternoon in the amusement arcades and pubs of New Brighton in which I drank soft drinks whilst the boys hit the pop was rounded off with a steak and chips in a restaurant at Pier Head before boarding the ferry for the return trip. I just about recovered once I got the food in me at Pier Head and spent the ferry crossing home in the bar. My pals however started to suffer from the effects of the beer and ice cream and they spent the crossing home lying down feeling sorry for themselves.

Back to the modern era and the four of us hit New Brighton again. Slots, crazy golf and ice creams although no beer. It was a hot and unusually competitive round of crazy golf which went to the last hole before the winner (Kid 4)  was decided. Always a sign of a good game of golf when it goes down to the last hole. Walking back along the prom licking our ice creams we turned around and could see the rain approaching. The remnants of Hurricane Bertha just missed us.

We made it back the the car and set the compass for Bromborough. Switching on BBC Radio 4 Test Match Special it was clear that Bertha had emptied her load on Old Trafford and rain stopped play for the day. Today the sun is back and we are looking forward to a great day’s cricket in Manchester.

The featured photo is of the British summer holiday weather in action – storm clouds gathering before the beach at New Brighton.

End User travel

Why go abroad for your holiday when you can go camping in the UK?

sunny Bank Holiday in the UK - calm before the stormRegular readers will know that this is a very glamorous job. Hard work though so when I have a free day as was the case last August Bank Holiday weekend I like to pack the family off somewhere exotic where we can all relax and enjoy each other’s company without being distracted by work and the internet.

This video was taken at Jubilee Park campsite in Woodhall Spa at the height of the British summer. Why go abroad eh? There was calm after the storm as the header photo shows – click to see more.

broken gear End User

Aargh it’s 30 degrees and the Eastcoast train aircon is broken!

the temperature in London today hit 30 (feels like 32 according to my phone) and the train aircon is broke!It’s the hottest day of the year so far. People are frying eggs on car bonnets and the homeless have left London for cooler climes – it’s too hot underneath the arches for a comfortable kip.

The suits are sweating buckets and wishing it was acceptable to turn up for work in shorts. The ladies are looking lovely in the summer sun.

Most people are complaining about the heat. Those that aren’t are taking the mickey out of friends  just packing for their annual holiday in Marbella or Benidorm  or Lanzarote or Torremolinos – you know  – places less warm than London.

School’s out. Urchins run wild in the radiatingly hot city streets, shrieking under plumes of water escaping from broken fire hydrants. Their parents, sapped of care, languish in the little shade afforded by the concrete tenements they call home. There is no breeze. There is no letup from the infernal heat.

In fact neither is there any air conditioning on this train – the 18.30 Eastcoast from Kings Cross to Edinburgh stopping briefly to let me off at Newark to get my connection to Lincoln. I’m on my second can of diet Coke and second bottle of sparkling water with ice!

This must be what it is like on the Chennai to Bangalore Express (dep 13.00 arr 14.45 daily). At least those in steerage can catch a little breeze sat on top of the carriage

Ah well.

Yes please love – another bottle of mineral water with plenty of ice. Thanks…

PS I realise there are no fire hydrants in London. These are images more typical of New York in summer. Also the choice of Indian train service was purely random. However they both made the cut for artistic effect. Final answer.

broadband End User

Stormy Weather Affects Phone Lines, Broadband

The cats and dogs rained merrily upon the good citizens of the UK on Friday and Saturday, and in consequence the number of problems with phone lines and broadband shot up. I don’t have the definitive numbers to hand as I write this as I am headed southbound on the train, but anecdotally we probably saw double the number of faults being reported compared with a normal Saturday.

These would have been for phone lines and broadband, though I know from experience in driving home through a cloudburst that mobile services also degrade during really bad weather. Roll on Fibre to the Premises, I say.

Business voip

Heavy snow stops staff coming to work – business unaffected

The Timico car park is emptier than usual this morning as heavy overnight snow has prevented some  staff making it in. In fact most of the country seems to have ground to a halt. In London the buses aren’t running, some airports are closed and the train service is limited. We are just not used to snow in the UK and the official advice is not to travel.

Of course the newpapers have the usual dramatic headlines. “UK business loses £600m a day due to weather.”  The weather, I must say, has not made a blind bit of difference to Timico as most of our staff are already geared up for flexible working.

They can work from home just as easily as from the office (in some cases more effectively !!) because the business is fully IP enabled. Access to telephony (VoIP), intranet – CRM, billing and support platforms. In fact this infrastructure also makes it easy to offer a 24 x 7 round the clock support service.

It also means, and excuse me here I’m on a bit of a roll,  we have lower absence due to sickness and with a high number of female staff can be much more flexible in our approach to maternity leave.  So I don’t think the snow will have affected us at all.

My kids on the other hand are extremely disaffected. They had tuned in to the local radio station at the crack of dawn to listen out for school closure announcements. It seemed that practically every school in Lincolnshire was shut except for those of the Davies offspring!  Bummer.

Timico car park this morning
Timico car park this morning