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This week, we're updating our course layouts and descriptions. Presentation and materials always gently change over time, but just occasionally there's a need to make a step change to clear out some of the old and roll in the new. That's now happening - but over a long and complex site it's not instant and you'll see sections of the site changing up to and including 19th September.

See also [here] for status update
 
Cruising

Some things change ... and some things stay the same.

Berth for goods vesselsThis is the third time I've cruised - 2000, 2004 and now 2011. I still walk around the ship, tripping over people - who seem to be 10% older, 20% smaller and 30% slower than I am. The age thing - more and more - has become a concept thing, I fear - I'm not really much younger than many people around me; I'm sure that the chap and chapess from Croydon who we shared a dinner table with last night were about our age, but where he was talking of doing one final house rennovation before he retired, I'm still excited by the things that I do and look back at the Tomcat Course I was doing last week at this time, and forward to the Java Bookcamp and Advanced Perl public courses I'll be running later this month, and the private Python Course I'm also scheduled to give.


Follow my LeaderSaturday's boarding process was ... much ... easier. I recall many fruitless hours spent sitting in a dockside shed in Venice in 2004, and a slow transfer in Vancouver in 2000. Southampton was much easier; the scanners and security were something that I don't recall from before (but then we get so used to those at airports that I may just have forgotten a quick check in the frustrtaion of a wait in both 2004 and 2000). No - these "Celebrity" folks have got the boarding much better; although we had to wait a couple of hours for the cabin, at least we were able to do so in the buffet. That's not to say there are no queues. We've gone for "any time dining" as we find the formal banquet settings, with fixed times, are "too early" and "too late" ... but "any time" meant last night that we could join the queue at any time or (put another way) we could eat whenever we liked during the evening, provided that we arrived 20 minutes or so ahead of that time and stood in line like penguins (formal night! :-( )


Library and LiftshaftThe ship is huge, and pretty new. We're still finding new corners across some dozen decks - with great for and aft open lift shafts and staircases to transfer up and down. But all in all the layout is striaghforward and simple, with easy directions possible by just giving a deck number and direction. For the most part, there aren't capacity limits on the facilities, even on "sea days" such as we've had so far as we sail down the Bay of Biscay. A comparison "this cruise" to "previous cruises" isn't practical here - both of our previous cruises were "Geek Cruises" where we were on board for "high level" training by the likes of Rasmus Lerdorf, Larry Wall and Monty Widenius - fathers of PHP, Perl and MySQL respectively. But this time it's a family event - an opportunity to spend some time with Lisa's siblings who have flown over from the USA to sail to the Med, and to recharge our own batteries far more fully than we've had a chance to do in a very long time. You'll note (from my viewpoint) that a "change is as good as a rest" and I'm not exactly stopped - indeed I'm relaxing by taking photos, and writing. I feel comfortable - VERY comfortable - leaving "Well House Manor" in the competent and professional hands of our team; the ringing endorsements of the way that family were looked after when they descended there last wek is further confirmation.


Sunset at seaThe biggest change? The staying in touch. I can recall on the 2000 Alaska trip how we made a beeline for the Internet Cafes in places like Ketchican, Juneau and Skagway to check in for course bookings. How on the 2004 trip from Venice to Izmir and Istanbul we all precipitated into the one bar that was internet enabled - at a huge price, and specially set up for the geeks. Now in 2011, we're online from the cabin. True, we have bought the biggest of the five connectivity packages and the speed is reminiscent of dialup as we upload, with emails and responses prepared offline - but we're so in touch and I'll confess I love it.


The day's starting ... I'm going to upload this article ... and point you at more pictures if you want to take a look ... [here]
(written 2011-07-04)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z201 - Holidays and Business Trips
  [4249] An evening in Glasgow - (2014-03-19)
  [4215] Great beauty, but great natural danger - (2013-11-26)
  [4126] Where are we now? On holiday! - (2013-06-29)
  [3998] Travelogue - from the Netherlands to London via Hook and Harwich - (2013-02-07)
  [3853] Blanford Forum, Dorset - (2012-09-01)
  [3742] Dysenni Valley, and nearby - (2012-05-24)
  [3737] Postcards from Barmouth - (2012-05-20)
  [3681] Kicking up a stink, the Victorian way? - (2012-04-02)
  [3381] Report - day trip from Swindon / Chippenham / Melksham to Weymouth - (2011-08-07)
  [3372] Wearing the new London uniform - (2011-07-28)
  [3346] Gibraltar - said to have a few residents less than Chippenham - (2011-07-05)
  [3321] Travelling around - (2011-06-09)
  [3306] Photogenic Place - (2011-05-28)
  [3303] Flying tonight - (2011-05-26)
  [3300] Wildlife and other pictures from holiday - (2011-05-24)
  [2803] Travelling across Europe - (2010-06-12)
  [2797] Sur la T.G.V. - (2010-06-07)
  [2796] Sunday - waiting for the ferry. - (2010-06-06)
  [2759] Touching base - (2010-05-10)
  [2469] Beyond the Pale - (2009-10-22)
  [2313] Seeing Guadalajara - a first glimpse downtown - (2009-08-01)
  [2306] Melksham to Mexico for the week - (2009-07-27)
  [2269] Sipping at York - (2009-07-05)
  [2265] A chance to do the tourist thing - (2009-07-01)
  [2208] A beautiful coastline - (2009-05-30)
  [2200] England, Scotland, Northern Ireland - (2009-05-26)
  [2198] On the road, at a Service area thats a cut above the others - (2009-05-25)
  [2101] A B C D of GA and TN - (2009-03-23)
  [2100] Visiting Family - (2009-03-23)
  [2098] A room without a view - (2009-03-22)
  [2090] Melksham to Georgia - (2009-03-19)
  [2030] The final step to being British - (2009-02-07)
  [1992] A good time to travel - (2009-01-14)
  [1868] Liverpool - a friendly city - (2008-11-03)
  [1746] London for the visitor, for free - (2008-08-09)
  [1740] Vertical London - (2008-08-06)
  [1657] Farewell, Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugsund and Bergen - (2008-05-29)
  [1457] A day in Ljubljana - (2007-12-04)
  [1454] From Sunday to Monday, from Melksham to the Balkans - (2007-12-03)
  [1308] Good to be home - (2007-08-18)
  [1299] In the USA for a few days - (2007-08-11)
  [1293] Weymouth - Sunny Summer Sunday afternoon - (2007-08-07)
  [1291] Day trip to Weymouth - (2007-08-05)
  [1231] Sur le Continent - (2007-06-13)
  [1150] Helsinki - what comes naturally - (2007-04-15)
  [1143] A course in Helsinki - (2007-04-11)
  [1120] 1200 miles in 3 days - (2007-03-28)
  [1025] Tomorrow's keywords - London, Training, Course, PHP, Ruby. - (2007-01-08)
  [1004] Old dog, old tricks - (2006-12-22)
  [878] Easy criteria to meet - (2006-09-25)
  [684] Staying in the country - (2006-04-13)
  [620] Familiar names, close to home - (2006-02-23)
  [548] San Francisco - (2005-12-30)
  [518] Passport office - a much improved system - (2005-12-05)
  [420] Towards Tebay - (2005-08-20)
  [374] Instant availability - (2005-07-11)
  [373] Vik, Iceland to Melksham, England - (2005-07-10)
  [370] From Iceland - (2005-07-06)
  [368] Vacation Week - (2005-07-04)
  [81] Cafá keyboards - (2004-10-10)
  [65] Ireland - (2004-09-27)

Z521 - Navigable waterways - Canals, Rivers and Sea
  [3815] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal - (2012-07-23)
  [3483] Canals, watererways in the Melksham area - (2011-10-16)
  [3482] Taking a boat down Caen Hill Locks - (2011-10-15)
  [3282] The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias - (2011-05-08)
  [3266] Easter on the Canal - near Melksham, Wiltshire - (2011-04-26)
  [3183] Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham - (2011-02-25)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3023] Autumn walk from Bowerhill - (2010-10-31)
  [2950] Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, turns first sod in Melksham Link Canal - (2010-09-09)
  [2807] Canal through Melksham - the options and issues - (2010-06-13)
  [2730] Bird Watching on the Melksham Avon - (2010-04-18)
  [2588] Freddies Wood and the K and A Canal - (2010-01-17)
  [1986] Walk to Bowerhill - (2009-01-10)
  [820] Robert and William Whitworth - (2006-08-01)
  [793] The Wilts and Berks Canal - (2006-07-05)
  [776] Naming Rooms - (2006-06-24)
  [708] Linescapes of Mull - (2006-05-03)
  [598] Should we cruise around the world? - (2006-02-09)


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Gibraltar - said to have a few residents less than Chippenham
Some other Articles
Formatting output in Python through str.format
List slices in Python - 2 and 3 values forms, with an uplifting example
The Anthony trial - Orange County, Florida. Thoughts on conclusion
Cruising
Repost - some useful pages on our site
Summer Sunday Train Service Starts - Swindon Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth
A Holiday
Farewell to the Hercules?
Summer Sunday Timetable - TransWilts Trains
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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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