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Went cycling in late evening sunshine. Sunshine turned into cloudburst. Now very wet. Still enjoyed it

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The Everythings a pound" shop in the Gateshead Metro Centre has a big sign in the window saying "No VAT increase." Well no, because that would make it the £1.02 shop...

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And of course despite being awake until 2 am, my internal alarm clock still goes off at 6:30 am. Still, it's amazing how effective the restorative powers of a shower and a full hotel breakfast can be.

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The laptop won't charge up. I'm hoping it's just that the mains cable is borked. Although on a Mac, even that could be costly. Not sure if PC World will be able to help, but that's the logical first port of call. In the meantime, I still have connectivity via the iPhone - and A's desktop upstairs. But I might be a tad less communnicative than usual for the next few days.

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The printed copies of Virtual Tucker Hotel have now gone in the post, a couple of days late, but hopefully still in time for Corflu. As is traditional, John Hertz's copy features a short personal message on the back of the envelope. This time, the muse inspired me to:

"Back of envelope text.
As a haiku.
What could be more tannish?"

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Security at Heathrow Terminal 5 appears to manage to be both more civilized and efficient than most other airports these days. I suspect because it was designed around the current security rules, rather than having to have them retro-fitted.

Of course, I still got stuck behind a young mother who was required to do a "taste test" on the bottle of baby mill she had, but even this was done in a civilized and efficient manner.

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Douglas Adams once noted that no language in the known universe ever had a similie "as beautiful as an airport."

Flying down to see my mother for the weekend, using up some BA miles in the process. I've already lost my only can of deoderant to airport security, which is no-one's fault but mine.

Four "paid for" wifi services, but no freebies, so I'm using the iPhone for some preflight smurfing instead. Interestingly, one of the shops appears to have Discovered my Bluetooth connection & tried to send me an advert ("discount.jpg"). Ah well, something else to switch off...

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The car has broken down, about a mile or so from home. I was able to use Google Maps on the iPhone to give the very nice Green Flag man my exact location. I'm safe & off the main road, so not really a priority case. Even so, they should have someone with me within the hour. I have propped the bonnet open, both as a signal foe the recovery vehicle, and to convince the person whose house I am parked outside that I am broken down & not a stalker. In the meantime, can listen to the cricket and/or smurf da web. If only all breakdowns were this civilized...

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Edited to add: The tow truck arrived shortly afterwards, diagnosed a broken clutch, and towed me home. Tomorrow we'll ring the garage and discover the level of potential damage to my wallet.

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I think I'm beginning to convince myself that Your Mother Should Know is, in fact, the best song on the whole of the Magical Mystery Tour album. As one critic noted, it's the first generation gap song to be written from the pov of the other side of the gap. I'd like to try and rescue some credibility by claiming that I love it in a post- ironic way, but really the only person I'd be fooling is myself.

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If it wasn't on the A40 main road, and hence regularly used as a reference point in the BBC travel updates, how many of us would even *know* there was a Polish War Memorial?

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Because I'm having to go into work the Monday after Christmas, and you're (probably) not:

Which ancient gaullish tribe would you call in to fix your broken doorbell?

The Belgae.

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