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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Sur le Continent

I'm in Brugges, in Belgium, for a few days. [[And wrote this on Monday ...]]

A busy weekend at the hotel. A quick conversion of BR4 from twin to double on Saturday, followed by sporadic checkins and we had every bed taken that night. And a sporadic (or, rather, spread) breakfast on Sunday left us tight for time with our planned midday departure for the 4 p.m. ferry out of Dover. In the end, we were over 30 late away from Melksham, but the roads were clear of major problems and we made Dover in a little under 3 hours.

I'll fly when I have to. But give me a choice, and I'll choose another mode - by rail or boat if that's an option, otherwise by car. So "near Continent" trips like this one to Brugges - less that an hour's drive from Dunkerque and only a few miles inland - are a real pleasure. Once past the London area, and on to the M26 and M20 the pleasure / holiday feeling starts. The rolling Kentish countryside with the North Downs off to the left, with great gaps cut by the Darenth and Medway rivers, down to Ashford and Folkestone where the Downs collide with the English Channel and the road soars up through a brief tunnel to the green and windswept hilltops.

Dover always strikes me as a strange town. Faded and downright derelict Victorian buildings, building sites, and that great Ferry port ("Europe's busiest") within the breakwatered harbour. Sweeping in off the Downs, it's all laid out in a circle below with a couple of Cruise Liners moored up at the West end vacated by Dover Marine station, and the huge paraphinalia of the car ferry post at the Eastern End.

The coming of the Channel Tunnel did bring some changes here - the passenger services from "Marine", the Hovercraft, the Hydrofoil, services to Zeebrugge and Oostende are gone. But there's still a P and O / Sea France / Norfolk Line choice. And we chose Norfolk Line; they were the one I have never used until now, and it seemed logical as Dunkerque is nearer to Brugges than is Calais.


The boat loaded well, left on time. Friendly staff, typical (but verging on the better than typical) ferry food, and a smooth crossing. And, thank goodness, a chance to take a break from driving and almost anything else; yes, there *were* people working on their laptops but we took the calculated opportunity to relax. Sunlight at Dover gave way to murky weather on the way over and a grey arrival in Dunkerque. Well - they call it "Dunkerque" but really it's at a remote spot some 10km out at flat and bleak area called Loon Plage. Rather reminded me of catching the boat from Gothenberg which was also pretty darned remote!

Have you ever tried to buy Petrol in Belgium on a Sunday? Our tank was neardrained by the time we reached Dover, and the brief section of road to (and along) the Motorway in France didn't take in any services. There was an petrol station coming up in a few miles, but when we got there, what a queue! There must have been a dozen or more cars lined up for the few pumps, and the line wasn't moving either. Never mind - we're not far from Oostende; I'm sure there's fuel we can get there. How wrong can you be. We found a petrol station that had clearly been shut down for many years, another that was probably just closed for Sunday, and who more with automated machines to buy on "plastic". But alas not the regular plastic - one seemed to exclusively use a Belgian Bank card, and I could swear that the other was a fuel club with their own cards ... ONLY. A big chart showing no Visa, no Mastercard, no Maestro ...

You'll see that we DID make it to Brugges. A calculated gamble of going back on to the Motorway, and we did happen upon another filling station in a few miles, and in time. We would have queued - we would have queued for hours - had we had to. But, as if by some miracle, there were plenty of pumps and few cars. I'm beginning to wonder if the Belgians have solved the fossil fuel problem and are able to run their cars on water or air.

Many is the time that I've travelled the road from Calais, past Brussels and Leige and Aachen to drive to German destinations. But until last night, I had never actually stopped more than a very short while at any of them, let alone ventured a few miles off to places like Brugges. But what a gem - a town that's centuries old and of great character. Lovely canals, magnificent buildings. After sunset is not the bet time to try to capture a place on photos, but I had a go; I hope to show you some of those, and other pictures taken earlier in the long evenings, in the next few days. Daytime pictures? Sorry - as ever, I'm here to give a course as you've probably guessed!
(written 2007-06-13)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z201 - Holidays and Business Trips
  [65] Ireland - (2004-09-27)
  [81] Caf[83][c2]á keyboards - (2004-10-10)
  [368] Vacation Week - (2005-07-04)
  [370] From Iceland - (2005-07-06)
  [373] Vik, Iceland to Melksham, England - (2005-07-10)
  [374] Instant availability - (2005-07-11)
  [420] Towards Tebay - (2005-08-20)
  [518] Passport office - a much improved system - (2005-12-05)
  [548] San Francisco - (2005-12-30)
  [620] Familiar names, close to home - (2006-02-23)
  [684] Staying in the country - (2006-04-13)
  [878] Easy criteria to meet - (2006-09-25)
  [1004] Old dog, old tricks - (2006-12-22)
  [1025] Tomorrow's keywords - London, Training, Course, PHP, Ruby. - (2007-01-08)
  [1120] 1200 miles in 3 days - (2007-03-28)
  [1143] A course in Helsinki - (2007-04-11)
  [1150] Helsinki - what comes naturally - (2007-04-15)
  [1291] Day trip to Weymouth - (2007-08-05)
  [1293] Weymouth - Sunny Summer Sunday afternoon - (2007-08-07)
  [1299] In the USA for a few days - (2007-08-11)
  [1308] Good to be home - (2007-08-18)
  [1454] From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03)
  [1457] A day in Ljubljana - (2007-12-04)
  [1657] Farewell, Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugsund and Bergen - (2008-05-29)
  [1740] Vertical London - (2008-08-06)
  [1746] London for the visitor, for free - (2008-08-09)
  [1868] Liverpool - a friendly city - (2008-11-03)
  [1992] A good time to travel - (2009-01-14)
  [2030] The final step to being British - (2009-02-07)
  [2090] Melksham to Georgia - (2009-03-19)
  [2098] A room without a view - (2009-03-22)
  [2100] Visiting Family - (2009-03-23)
  [2101] A B C D of GA and TN - (2009-03-23)
  [2198] On the road, at a Service area thats a cut above the others - (2009-05-25)
  [2200] England, Scotland, Northern Ireland - (2009-05-26)
  [2208] A beautiful coastline - (2009-05-30)
  [2265] A chance to do the tourist thing - (2009-07-01)
  [2269] Sipping at York - (2009-07-05)
  [2306] Melksham to Mexico for the week - (2009-07-27)
  [2313] Seeing Guadalajara - a first glimpse downtown - (2009-08-01)
  [2469] Beyond the Pale - (2009-10-22)
  [2759] Touching base - (2010-05-10)
  [2796] Sunday - waiting for the ferry. - (2010-06-06)
  [2797] Sur la T.G.V. - (2010-06-07)
  [2803] Travelling across Europe - (2010-06-12)
  [3300] Wildlife and other pictures from holiday - (2011-05-24)
  [3303] Flying tonight - (2011-05-26)
  [3306] Photogenic Place - (2011-05-28)
  [3321] Travelling around - (2011-06-09)
  [3345] Cruising - (2011-07-04)
  [3346] Gibraltar - said to have a few residents less than Chippenham - (2011-07-05)
  [3372] Wearing the new London uniform - (2011-07-28)
  [3381] Report - day trip from Swindon / Chippenham / Melksham to Weymouth - (2011-08-07)
  [3681] Kicking up a stink, the Victorian way? - (2012-04-02)
  [3737] Postcards from Barmouth - (2012-05-20)
  [3742] Dysenni Valley, and nearby - (2012-05-24)
  [3853] Blanford Forum, Dorset - (2012-09-01)
  [3998] Travelogue - from the Netherlands to London via Hook and Harwich - (2013-02-07)
  [4126] Where are we now? On holiday! - (2013-06-29)
  [4215] Great beauty, but great natural danger - (2013-11-26)
  [4249] An evening in Glasgow - (2014-03-19)
  [4433] Different views of a Welsh Valley - but headed home - (2015-02-20)
  [4471] Leopardstown to Rosslare by train - (2015-04-23)
  [4472] Rosslare to Fishguard - foot passenger on the ferry - (2015-04-24)
  [4473] Fishguard to Melksham - third part of Dublin journey - (2015-04-25)
  [4478] Home in Melksham to Gatwick Airport - easy by public transport - (2015-04-29)
  [4513] Yesterday, Weymouth - (2015-08-02)
  [4643] From last July (2015) - (2016-02-08)
  [4728] Visiting Los Alamitos Bay Yacht Club - (2016-11-23)
  [4731] To Oceanside and San Clemente Pier - (2016-11-23)

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Horses of Brugge
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Commenting a Perl Regular Expression
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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