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Friday, April 15, 2005

Considering jet setting while sitting in Stansted....

It has been a very busy several days since the last blog post. I am sitting in a pub in the terminal of London Stansted airport waiting for a flight back to Belfast after a daylong seminar in London. The day started with a 625am flight from Belfast International (I've been up since 4am) to London Luton via EasyJet (the UK version of Southwest) and this flight from Stansted will get me home after 11pm. I have barely gotten over the jetlag from my trek from Boston to Belfast that started Wednesday evening. My guess is that I have only had one sustained three hour block of sleep since early Wednesday, and that I have been operating on cat naps for close to 72 hours.

Tomorrow will be catch-up time for sleep!

I originally planned to return to the UK last Monday, but an unexpected opportunity to visit some colleagues in New Hampshire came up and I gladly adjusted my plans. Randi and I spent Tuesday night in Durham at the university hotel, and while it is just a short distance from our home in Beverly MA, it was a nice break (see Randi's sketch).

From RandiArt

Sitting here bored out of my mind in Stansted, I have to chuckle at recently being labeled a "jet-setter"; it's a term with romantic overtones and speaks to a James Bond-ish lifestyle. But if this is jet-setting, pity poor Bond & company. The waiting around airports and silliness and sameness of airport malls is dull at best, and the added burdens of airport security have made traveling torturous. 'Getting there' is not only not fun -- it is drudgery!

I have made it to the gate at Stansted, and along the way I had to conclude that this is a shopping mall with an airport attached. As fascinating and curious is the fact that throughout the airport corridors, signs are posted suggesting that you 'keep right'... Very problematic for most Brits....

The jetlag is finally kicking in. I am really looking forward to sleeping....
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