17:06 Manchester Piccadilly
17:29 Manchester Piccadilly
17:47 Manchester Airport
Day 265 Sunday 22 September Zechariah 8-14
…The taxi came at 2pm… Janet boarded the train when the door-button light lit up, but the driver gave an announcement on the PA saying it was a mistake and requested “customers” to get off. When we were allowed to board, Janet found it cold because of the air-conditioning, and kept her denim jacket on; I removed the shower-proof coat I was wearing, and found it “fresh” but mostly tolerable. It was a warm day with bright sun in a clear sky. I finished the first chapter of The Bible: The Biography,[i] then (from 15:20) played “CD1” of The Fellowship of the Ring [the BBC Radio version]. At 15:33 there came an announcement that we were being delayed by having to follow a slow-moving freight train, but by a colliery (15:37), perhaps the Hatfield and Stainforth, there was a fast track and we overtook it. Nevertheless, we arrived at Doncaster somewhat late, with barely any time for connecting trains for those who needed them. On our approach to Manchester Piccadilly, the conductor announced that the train the Manchester Airport would depart from platform 13 (the relatively distant “through”-platform served by moving walkways). However, when we got to it, the next train to Manchester Airport from it was displayed as being in 43 minutes. The actual next train from Piccadilly to the Airport would be at 17:39 from platform 3. I was exasperated when people with luggage blocked the whole of the moving walkway as I tried to go back to get to platform 3, not allowing those who wanted to walk to pass. Janet had got through before them. The reason for the confusion turned out to be that the 17:29 from platform 13 had been cancelled, presumably unbeknown to the train conductor. The 17:39 train due to arrive at platform 3 was delayed and was expected at 17:43, but according to the display the 17:41 train from platform 11 was on time. So we moved again, from 3 to 11. We got a taxi to the Premier Inn, checked in, and booked a table for 7pm. A few niggles: they’ve removed the phones from the rooms, one of the facilities on which had been to book wake-up calls; only one set of towels had been provided, so Janet went down to reception to get another; one of the reading lamps over the bed was flickering; and the lamp on the dressing table/desk didn’t work.[ii] Shortly after going to the room, we went down to the restaurant. Premier Inn waiters must be specially trained in obsequiousness, perhaps to be expected at a very high-class establishment, but seeming a little out of place in a hotel not far up the scale from basic. I had a filling and tasty “New Yorker” pizza and Janet enjoyed the beef lasagne she had. I had two pints of Boddington’s (not “real ale”; I don’t think Boddington’s is produced cask-conditioned any more). Back in the room, Janet showered and washed her hair; I updated this diary entry on the “little feller”, with keyboard and mouse connected. Janet asked me to go down to the vending machine in the lobby for a bottle of Diet Coke; I pressed “0” in the left, thought I was there and got out, and discovered that I was on the 5th floor — so I had to wait for another lift down. Janet updated her journal and went to bed; but I copied the PowerPoint captions into “29 Aug. 2013” in “2013.doc” [the Microsoft Word document in which I keep my diary or journal], pasted the 103 images above them, and made links from each of them to the PowerPoint presentation (to 22:49), before going to bed. The room was somewhat warm and we had the window open, but there were people outside not keeping their voices down and shuttle minibuses coming, leaving their engine running, and going, at all hours. The bed was firm, but not wholly responsible for my discomfort, for it was hard to get into a position that didn’t exacerbate the inflammation of the right elbow or hand.
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