The Peacocks and Europeans were at a castle in Wales, where we were bussed to enjoy the conference banquet. In fact, it was a "medieval banquet" which, if I had read between the lines more carefully, I might have been tempted to avoid. It could so easily have been one of those awful affairs where people dressed in 500 year old costumes attempt to harass you back into a past century. In fact, it was quite reasonable. Perhaps the performers are very good at reading a crowd, because they thankfully made no effort to get us to participate in the affair, and it was presented more as a "And this is what people would eat back then" affair, rather than too much immersion in the whole affair. Besides, people's attention was wandering by the end, as they hurried back to the 21st Century and the TV room as the football was playing out. Thank goodness it was won at the end of extra time; I was not looking forward to sitting around for an extra half hour of penalties. Instead, we were able to set off on time; it was therefore up to the bus driver to arrange to add half an hour to the journey time by getting lost in the middle of chester a few times.
I left for manchester the next day, to enjoy the cultural delights of the city. The flight back was on thursday morning from Manchester's International Airport. Everything was reasonably to plan, but as I add more miles to my tally, and more tonnes of greenhouse gases to my conscience, I find it more tiring, and become a more discriminating traveler. The plane was a 757-200 series, and seemed to be even more cramped than usual. Perhaps this was because the person in front seemed to find a way to lean their chair back further than usual (and it swang back an alarming six inches every time they sat down); the person behind managed to jam their knees into my back the whole time; and the person to my side splayed his arms and legs over the boundary of the arm rest. The net effect left me feeling quite claustrophobic. I yearn for the days of flights with unoccupied seats.
The inflight movie was "Goodnight and Goodluck" which I'd been looking forward to seeing. Perhaps it was the viewing conditions but I found it rather disappointing. There's not very much by way of drama or tension. The newshounds put out a report about a soldier who was dismissed because of his father; a couple of people complain a bit. They profile McCarthy; he complains a bit. They respond to his accusations; McCarthy resigns. And that's the whole movie. At no point is there all that much excitement. Perhaps living in the modern world has made all this fifties stuff seem rather tame in comparison.
Back home, and I'm jetlagged again, and probably will remain so for the rest of the week. Yawn.