July 17th, 2014

Life on Mars, DI Sam Tyler

Casing the joint....

Hmm, I've not been on here for a while!

Anyway, only 4 weeks to go to Loncon 3 :) As I'm taking a couple of days off work in order to avoid having to take all my leave in December, and the weather's nice for a change, yesterday I decided to go down to London for the first time in about a year (according to the history on my Oyster card), and check out where I'm staying and how to get to the con from there. As you may recall from my posting in January, the Premier Inn in Stratford was over £500 cheaper for a 5 night stay than the one near ExCel, so I wanted to find out exactly where the hotel is (it's directly opposite Stratford International railway station on the square next to the station entrance) and how to use the DLR to get to ExCel (it takes 16 minutes and costs £1.50 on the Oyster card). Actually, once I got to Prince Regent and looked around, I spotted the Premier Inn there, and I'd guess that there's considerably less actual walking involved in getting from Prince Regent DLR to the Premier Inn in Stratford than to the one nearby!

While I was in Stratford, I decided to top-up the credit on my Oyster card as I only had around £10 on it, and it was more convenient than doing it next month when I have baggage with me - so I tried to top it up with a £20 note, and got an error message that there'd been a problem updating the card and to please try again (as the machine handed back my £20 note). So I did, and it updated OK, and when I checked the balance afterwards I was pleasantly surprised to find I'd been credited twice! It's nice to have a computer error in your favour, for once.

Travelling back via Euston at the start of the evening rush hour, I was struck by how congested the place is now - I mused that it's 41 years since I used Euston Station on my first school trip to London (also my first train ride, at age 14), but back then the main concourse was one large open space, not filled in with sock and tie emporia like it is now - and in the 70s people didn't drag their luggage behind them of solid handles like they do now, which is a major tripping hazard that I'm surprised the Health and Safety people haven't had something to say about!