The Luton airport toothpaste test

W H Smiths self-service kiosks run windows XP
W H Smiths self-service kiosks run windows XP

Another trip to Northern Ireland thankfully on a Wednesday when the airport is traditionally quiet. I was up and parked in short term in good time and ready to fave security at 06:30 with plenty of time for the 07:50 flight, and I had priority security pass booked.

There was no queue so things were looking up, but I spoke too soon, my tray with coat and liquids was chosen for a check, and it was about fifth in the queue for trust that needed to be checked. Add to that one person was on tray checking duty whilst the other people were on stand around and chat duty. Twenty minutes later after they had checked that my tube of Colgate was a tube of toothpaste, luckily they only needed a sample as we all know once the toothpaste is out of the tube you can’t get it back in.

I had about twenty minutes to wait for the gate to be announced, and splashed out on a coffee with 5 minutes to spare, I prefer to have a hot drink when I get on the plane. We were allocated gate 25 a new experience for me, it is about as far from the departure lounge as you can get but you turn right rather than left as you leave the hall.

I was informed that hot drinks were not allowed on the buses, so I assured them the drink would be cold by the time the buses turn up. We were soon on board a plane which was about 10 percent full but we had to wait a while for the aircraft to be prepared.

I was listening to a Twit network podcast called Tech news today. The big story was about Microsoft buying the Nokia mobile phone business. This has been quite some time coming. Some time ago Microsoft bailed out or went into partnership with Nokia a company that once had 40% of the mobile phone market. It now has only less that 4%, Microsoft needs away to push it’s mobile phone OS as it is supposedly having to pay Apple 30% of the revenue of Office 365 on the app store and a cut to Google at the play store. They have a long way to go because Android has an 80% share of the smart phone market. It is hard to imagine Microsoft overturning that big a share of the market, but given how closely the OS is tied to windows and the office suite they are always likely to have some sort of foot hold in the market.

Once landed, on time, at Belfast I went to the hire car desk only to find out my car was at the City Airport, that is the second time they have done that I made a point when I booked this time to stress International Airport, but the message was obviously lost. My colleague in the queue behind me had the correct booking. Apart from a short delay due to and accident I was in the office in good time to get my name on the sandwich list which has a strict closing time.

Belfast International Airport Tarmac
Belfast International Airport Tarmac

My day at the office was long, mainly due to a conference call at 17:00, a time when really I want to be going back to my hotel room given the early start. Any way after a chat about phone systems and then budgets with a colleague I was sat eating by 19:30. Roast Monk fish with coconut rice, stir fry Pak Choi, and curry oil was light and tasty, just the ticket. Then it was off early to bed for an early night then back to work to fight another day.

Compared to yesterday today was one meeting followed by another ranging from project updates through project launches to important “go live” decisions. We also wished a colleague luck on his wedding after the weekend in foreign parts, combined with farewell as he was leaving the team for pastures new. He will be sorely missed but we wished him well in his new challenge.

I left a little bit later than usual as we were celebrating G’s departure with tea and cakes. Even if though I left at 15:10 I was still in time to pass through security with time to spare. Gate 18 was the chosen parking spot for EZY186 today, and it departed a little bit late but nothing that could not be made up on route.

I returned to a very hot mainland where the temperatures had been 28 degrees during the day.