Thursday, May 24, 2007

All roads (and train lines) lead to London. Darn it.

Caption 1 - The carpark at Didcot Parkway. Rich in symbolism, I felt.

Caption 2 - The goodie bag from the do. I'd have to say a few trees were hurt in the making of this show. Ah well, all in a good cause. And I did get a few things I can now re:view.

For a London boy, I find myself oddly in dread of going there. Yet, inevitably, I find myself doing so, again and again. Big lights, big city. Centre of all things.

Yesterday was another long day, but a worthwhile one.

The trip itself was very pleasant, both ways, though at four hours in either direction totalled a working day alone. I have been further experimenting with my options, and this time decided to try Didcot Parkway in another car/train combo.

By way of nerd analysis, I break down the trip in several ways, pretty much in this order of importance:

1) Cost (miles, fare, parking, tube, etc)
2) Time (on the road, on the train, hanging about for connections)
3) Convenience (turn up and step on or sweat on a connection)
4) Reliability (will they shut the motorway... again. Will the cancel the train.. again)
5) Flexibility (can I turn up or do I need to book? And can I change my plans?)
6) Comfort (sitting in my case next to the loos. Sitting at Swindon waiting for the missus to get me)

The drive was lovely, but did take 2hrs. I'd say petrol was pretty fair, especially as I took the small car. What was nice was the ticket price (except the parking) - £20 - but it was pretty restrictive. It kicked in at a a fair (fare?) enough post-rush hour 9.30am, but had a rather inflexible, pre-4pm, post 'lord knows how late' return, which made for an undignified early duck out and some Cinderella style scampering to get there to avoid becoming a pumpkin (or end up being penalised). This added the additional 2hrs. Other than standing on the way back, it was all comfortable, but the time and convenience was pretty low. Not sure I'd do it again, as all I managed was a rushed few hours to do the biz.

And this was two-fold. First up was to meet a potential advisor on hooking up with venture capital/business advisers for RE:tie. This went very well and is looking promising. I'd not go so far as to say that RE:tie is a no-brainer, but in the current climate its business applications are pretty clear... IF handled well. I came away feeling this chap knew where I was coming from and, more importantly, what and who it would take to make the journey to where I want to go a decent one for all concerned.

The other bird that got duly well stoned was the annual Bray Leino (possibly the world's most soothing homepage) networking bash (oddly, though this was held in London, most there who I met were from anywhere but). This is a specialist eco-PR agency who I came across as a consequence of them and us being involved with ecover. Sadly no one from that company was there, but a lot of other more than interesting, and I hope mutually regarding folk were. Such as dyson (new product out, which I plan to review soon), ecotricity, and innocent. And it's true what they say - you can be as virtually whizz-bang as you like, but it really only happens in person over an organic quiche and a glass of fresh OJ (I made that last bit up).

Bonds were forged, with luck, and opportunities will I hope soon be created.

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