Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Transports of Delight 2

If you thought travelling by Ryanair couldn't get worse, you were sadly mistaken. Now they are thinking of charging for using the loo on the plane. Flushed with, and perhaps bowled over by their own cleverness, they have not considered the chain of consequences of this motion. Passengers desparate to avoid spending extra pennies will not dare to buy drinks during the flight. Net result - Ryanair's revenue down the drain. If you can bear more news, try Ryanair Campaign, where I found this cartoon.

Transports of Delight 1

Returning from Whitby down the M1, I made the unforgiveable error of stopping at Moto's Donnington Park Services. Britain's motorway services are so famously awful that it is hard to choose which is the worst but Donnington is a candidate. It is a vast aircraft hangar devoid of beauty or utility or of course service. Presumably Moto impose their exhorbitant prices to recover the costs of their fascist architecture, because clearly little money is spent on training their demoralised staff. I'm sure it's a dreadful, badly paid job but they would enjoy it more if they treated their customers with more than indifference.

Penrose in Whitby

I spent a long weekend in Whitby recently and I recommend it. Over the weekend the name Penrose came up again and again. I had packed Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind" in another forlorn attempt to finish the book. I needn't have worried. As I sat at dinner at the wonderful Magpie Café, a young bearded Englishman at another table explained the entire thesis enthusiastically to a young bearded Frenchman. My eagerness to overhear this conversation meant that I missed some of my hostess' remarks about...yes...Penrose, but I discovered she meant the English Surrealist painter and poet Roland Penrose. A visit to the Whitby bookshop yielded science fiction I hadn't read before, "White Mars" by Brian Aldiss and...sorry, you guessed...Roger Penrose.