- Published: 17 January 2015 17 January 2015
Driving to Birmingham on even colder day for a DTI advisory committee and subsequent buffet lunch with other computer industry leaders before a chance to shop and update my radio control before more time with Daniel with his homework in front of an open log fire as blizzards and freezing weather combines with the rail strike to paralyse Britain.
Up and awake on a freezing morning. They say that the temperature was -20degC overnight and the snow of a few days ago is all around. Down to a breakfast of toast and honey after up early to wash my hair and shave. Out by 8.00am to clear the wall of snowballs (they had peppered the doves again last night) and feed the doves. It also took quite a while to thaw out the drinking vessel which was frozen solid. Changed into my brown suit and off by car at 8.00am, dropping Daniel at Kimbolton on my way to Birmingham for a DTI Advisory Committee meeting of the Federation of Microsystems centres. I arrived a bit late and found the meeting tiresome on detailed activities, with no news yet of the further funding proposal. I successfully argued for a 3 year application to give longer term financial security and we hope for a further DTI response in a couple of months. A social buffet lunch talking to David Fairbairn, Ian Dunkly and Tony Keston and then I set off home because of the weather and opted out of a further visit to the Which Computer Show. The car is caked with salt deposits from the road and the Birmingham air was very cold today, -10 at least, even during the day. To Fenny Stratford, Milton Keynes, on the way home and to buy Nicad plugs and a fast battery charger. They advise me that my existing Futaba combo is so old (17 years +) that I should buy a new radio control set.
Home at the same time as Daniel, quickly changed, but unable to put the ducks away as they are discouraged by the ice on the river. It is freezing for the first time this year. I drop by the office and phone Graham Clifton to brief him on tomorrow’s NEDO Hobby Micro meeting and then take a call at home from Dad, who tells me that things are fine and they are settled in. It seems that the flexible hose water supply to his mobile home is also frozen and they are presently relying on the neighbour’s supplies. An evening with the log fire, Daniel’s homework and the television. News tonight of the deaths of soldiers in an army pay ambush near Edinburgh, where £20,000 was stolen. More freezing weather forecast could make this winter the coldest since the freeze up of 1947. Blizzards are forecast for Southern England. Newcastle airport was closed and lorries breaking down as diesel oil froze. Experts investigating the recent Putney explosion have traced the gas leak to a cracked 50 year old gas pipe and more gas explosions are occurring as the gas pipes contract with the cold. Today’s rail strike lead to widespread disruption with London drivers coming out in unofficial sympathy action with the Midland and Northern official strike. The cause is a dispute over the Mansfield coal depot and alleged victimisation over the railmen’s action in support of the miners. Sterling stayed at $1.1190, but the markets are waiting for news from the USA talks between world finance ministers. To bed a little late, reluctant to leave the warm fire after seeing billiards replace snooker on the television for the first time in a long while.