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Englandaganza, Stop 2: Coventry
Got to bed at 1 am (now that’s more like it), got up at 6:45 (now that isn’t). Decided to make my way in a leisurely fashion to Gloucester Rd Tube station, and have a regal Burger King breakfast. (There, I did it; I won’t have to do it again for another year now.) Burger King was advertising a £95 burger. Not a joke, and not a terribly good use of Wagyu beef or Himalayan pink rock salt, either. They were taking prebookings for burgers for next Thursday. I will be back at Gloucester Rd by then, and was contemplating doing it just to say I did it. But nah. Some indulgences are truly too pointless even for a dare.
I allowed myself an hour to get from Gloucester Rd to Euston, which was a big mistake: the tube was congested to a Tokyo-like extent on the Picadilly line, and I ended up bailing for the Central line; I made it with a change at Victoria, but with only 5 minutes to spare. Not cool; I’ll be getting in more timely from now on (and thankfully I’m mostly out of London.)
The countryside out the window of the Richard Branson Express to Brummingham is impossibly manicured:
[OK, OK, “the Virgin Trains express to Birmingham”. Must I translate everything for you people?]
I found the countryside implausible last time I was here (12 years ago) too: the land has been beat into submission by two millennia of farming. Only the Scottish border on my last trip seemed to show any resistance to well-ordered copses.
(Of course, I can only report on the bits of countryside that I sight off the motorway.)
Coventry is too green to be a city; for an industrial park, BECTA where I was visiting was a lot like… a park:
Phil (who is working out here for a while) pointed out the reason, and I should have picked up on it: when the Baedeker Blitz took out Coventry Cathedral, they took out the rest of Coventry as well. So when Coventry was rebuilt, the city fathers took the opportunity to rebuild it bucolically. Dunno, I still find it distracting.
Caught up on some news with my spare hour after my presentation here; am heading down to Woking after this to catch up with my friends Peter & Vanessa.