I’ve just spent a couple of days in Coleraine helping the Centre for Media Research to revamp their website, so today has been my first for a while sitting at home with the laptop after a few weeks of shifting in proper offices. The new CMR site will hopefully be up soon, giving the Centre’s fascinating work a greater profile. My short stay with the very hospitable Professor Máire Messenger Davies and her husband John also gave me the new experience of walking along a frosty beach on Monday morning as we struck out for the morning paper.
Delays as I was flying out on Sunday revealed the grim reality of the supposedly slick new technological age. I tried to get some work done, but wifi access at Gatwick is a joke. No zones signposted, no one seems to know where the zones are, but there are some prominent areas where you can pay a ridiculous £1 for 10 minutes for internet access. Searching just now on the web suggests that some of the Starbucks franchises offer wifi, but when I asked the staff didn’t seem to think they did. Still, maybe I should have relaxed and just watched the Spurs game on the telly instead. And I would have done had anywhere in the terminal got access to Sky. But it didn’t.
It seems the only thing airport terminals are efficient at is giving stranded and bored customers the opportunity to shop. I eventually arrived in Belfast having waited longer than the journey took me. Interestingly in an age when the death of print is being widely rambled on about, it was only a couple of magazines and my book that preserved my sanity. Truly portable, truly accessible and not reliant on the retail-obsessed berks who allegedly run Gatwick.
Today has been spent preparing for a meeting with Tottenham Hotspur about a very exciting new book project and generally catching up. Later on I teach and then endure a nail-biting 90 minutes as Spurs take on Bolton in an FA Cup replay.