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.