Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The sedan chair moves on

Technology was never far away en route to the Languedoc:

CHANNEL TUNNEL Once you bought a ticket via an agent, though never at the site itself. Time moved on and you paid online, received a number, printed it out and presented it at check-in. Time moved on again and the online reservation was confirmed by simply pushing your credit card into a slot. This year – lo! When we arrived at the check-in a read-out said “Welcome, Barrett Bonden” presumably after scanning the car’s number plate.
APING PONTIUS PILATE Washed my hand at the Eurotunnel terminal and faced a hand-dryer made by Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame. Some giddy new principle or other. Unbearable roaring but it did the job. Apparently they’re far from rare. This unit was seen at a cafĂ© in Millau, beneath the beautiful bridge.

YAH SUCKS BOO Roadwork on the autoroute. But the French soften the blow with an animated sign showing how to switch lanes. Sarkozy 1, Cameron 0.
SATNAV NOT FOR DUMMIES Left Hereford, picked up other half of the entourage and set the satnav for Eurotunnel. Not out of necessity (I’ve done the journey many times) but to give Jane, my preferred satnav voice, some practice. Twenty-five miles from the tunnel Jane was announcing an ETA an hour ahead. Why so slow? In fact one of satnav’s little trickeries. The night before I’d entered some French destinations and forgotten to switch back to the UK mode. As a result the screen was predicting our arrival at the Calais rather than the Folkestone end. Without explaining the bit in between.

8 comments:

marja-leena said...

Ah, welcome back from France! I sense that technology did not improve the journey by much, but trust the destination was enjoyable.

Julia said...

Welcome back!

The Dyson dryer just appeared this year in public bathrooms all over Germany too - terrifying the children but drying hands quite speedily.

The Crow said...

Welcome back - you were missed.

herhimnbryn said...

Welcome back BB.

Re the Dyson hand drier...a conversation that took place en route to Scotland,

Alchemist,
"You have got to see the hand drier in there. It's amazing. I think we should have one in our bathroom."

HHB,
"I'll admit that it very clever and works well, but I do not want our bathroom to look like a public lav. on an english motorway."

Alchemist,
"Fair point, but I will HAVE to go on line later and look up the specs for that drier. Great technology!"

Such are the talking points when we travel.

Rouchswalwe said...

You're back! Hurrah! I lucked onto a second-hand Dyson, a solid vacuum. But I'll say the same thing about the hand drier that I've said over and over again about the vacuum ~ why oh why can't they make them run more quietly? The vac and hair drier I had in Japan both purred like happy cats. Nobody was frightened and I could listen to music.

Relucent Reader said...

Welcome back, BB.
There are advertisements for the new (to us) Dyson fan with no blades.Have not seen one yet,I did check the web,and the things are going for $299.00 and up.
A fellow model club member had a TomTom GPS system in his vehicle. Voice was ok for intermittent directions, but pity the fool who made her 'recalculate' directions. While not shrill,she picked up a chiding tone.....

Barrett Bonden said...

M-L: On the contrary, it's the tech-stuff that makes the holiday. At the villa there was the lavatory plunger to fix, the garbage schedule to figure out - all sorts of goodies.

Julia: Not just the roaring. There is a the fear that hands inserted into its open maw may not reappear.

The Crow: I missed the blog despite being surrounded by Iphones (of which more later).

HHB: Not an interior decorator, then, your Alchemist? You must continue to indulge his fancies.

RW (zS): Socially one is dead without a Dyson cleaner. But you're right about the hand dryer noise. When I first heard it, I thought it was some kind of joke.

RR: Sorry about the cost but the cleaners do do the job. They're particularly good at making car interiors habitable again. As to satnavs, it is impossible not to anthropomorphise them. However I can't stand the male voice, it's gotta be a lady. The one in my Lexus had the tiniest of speech defects and I was in love with her.

Plutarch said...

Dyson seems to have come up with a piece of technogy that fills a gap, judging by your description. So far in my experience hand dryers rarely succeed in drying wet hands. I look forward to meeting one.