It started at 6:20am when I woke up in a panic. I had not actually received the confirmation number for my train tickets to Birmingham today. Why was I going to Birmingham? Well back tracking a bit, I had heard about the citizen journalism conference a while ago but couldn't really justify paying for it and taking the time off. However, on Tuesday 23rd I got a email in my spam box from Paul Bradshaw. The start went exactly like this…
I am writing to invite you to the 'Citizen Journalism' conference this Friday, 26th January 2007. This one day event in Birmingham's Custard Factory will provide an important opportunity for those who work in the news industry, academics and citizen journalists to create a network of those working within the field, and discuss the issues involved. As one of the country's foremost bloggers we would be honoured if you would like to attend this event as a non-paying guest.
Ok so I'm thinking they must have the wrong guy. Cubicgarden.com doesn't even make the top 10000 in Technorati (but to be fair I've had problems with Technorati for a while now). Although I did make it into the Top 500 feedster bloggers in late 2005. But honestly I don't see how the thoughts and ideas of dyslexic, designer/developer can be of that much interest. Saying all
that, I got to say its quite good to think of myself as a Z level celeb in the blogosphere. Anyway you look at it, I'm still glowing after reading that email and thought I'd better make a effort go along.
And this is where things started to go wrong. On Wednesday I booked the tickets for the train on the BBC's internal train service (supplied by the trainline for business) and I waited a bit for the confirmation email but was so busy I forgot about it and ended up going home without checking again. But I noticed there were a couple of unread items on my phone which is automatically synced with Outlook. So I just assumed those emails could have been the conformation number. Boy was I wrong. It turned out to be
two emails about the future of webapps which is now sold out (whole different story).
On Thursday I was out of the office and busy during the night at the Rights will make you rich and Boagworld meetup, so didn't get a chance to do anything due to having to get up really early the next day. Anyway, so today I logged on to my email remotely from home and checked my email for anything from the trainline. Of course there was nothing. So I attempted to book another ticket from London Euston to Birmingham and back again. The system was having none of it. I tried for like 20mins, even tried booking
single tickets but it just wasn't going to be. Tried phoning our BBC Trainiline helpdesk and the trainline directly but all I got was call back at 8am. Well I would if I didn't have to catch a train at 8:10am. So in the end I logged out and had to signup with the plain consumer facing Trainline website myself and fork it all out on my own credit card. Luckly it worked but I couldn't book tickets for the morning because you can't buy tickets 2hrs before the train leaves. So by the time all this happened and I
quickly jumped in the shower, it was 7:30am and I still had to unlock the scooter and go to euston.
I was already up against it and the traffic along commercial road was stupid and not going anywhere soon. But I did manage to get to Kings Cross at 8:10am which meant I missed the train but could get the next one ok. By the time I found where I could park my scooter (right out side the station actually) it was 8:30 and after getting my ticket (38 pounds for a single to Birmingham) I thought I'd quickly grab some food from Marks and Spencers because I hadn't eaten well yesterday and didn't have any breakfast.
Well you can guess what happened when I got to the platform. Yep wave goodbye to the train. They had cancelled the train at 8:43 and told everyone going that way to get on the earlier 8:40. I think its at that point I thought things couldn't get much worst and I thought well I got to at least write a blog entry about this day I'm having.
Well in the last sting of the tail, my ticket I bought was a super saver which is not valid for travel before 9:45am. The next train (which I'm currently sitting on) was at 9:10am but I didn't know about the super saver till 9:05am. So I ended up having to pay extra money to make up the fair difference (a extra 25 pounds). And to finally to top off everything my power socket is dodgy so it sometimes cuts out plus there is zero wireless! Not even a costly one. I haven't hooked up phones for dial up access yet
with my new laptop and I can't remember the long modem query string for Orange let alone O2.
Anyway, I'm sure the conference will be good and I got molly's birthday bender tonight so i'm sure this morning won't set the tone for the rest of the day.