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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
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Travelogue - from the Netherlands to London via Hook and Harwich

What a beautifully genteel way to travel ... from completing a course in a small Dutch town at around 5 p.m. yesterday via Gouda, Rotterdam and the Hook of Holland, the Stena Britannica to Harwich, and on by train to London. My schedule has been a tiring one so far this week - I can't really believe it's still only Thursday morning and yet I've travelled from home to the Netherlands, given a two day Apache httpd and Tomcat course, and I'm on my way back.

With ... some interesting snippets about the uses of httpd and Tomcat (single customer courses are always good for raining side issues that break the normal boundary box and produce useful FAQ answers!).

With ... some interesting experiences of travelling around and through Europe too. The modernness of Eurostar, yet the lack of at seat power. The heavyhanded security at St Pancras that went through all 9 of my laptops with swabs because "this is an internation journey" and yet the lack of any such checks on my way back on the ferry. The easy passage though a single immigration person on my way to the continent, and yet no fewer than ten staff at the immigration desks for foot passengers at Harich on the way back in, with the guy at the desk asking an awful lot of questions. The crowded trains in places, and yet the near-empty 8 carriage service (I have a coach to myself as I write, passing Mistley) on the Harwich to London boat train.

This route from the continent feels like "the route that time forgot". The suburban train that creeps out of the side platform (1a) at Rotterdam Central drops off most of its commuters along the way, with a final few staying on for the high rise blocks at the Hook of Holland, and perhaps onoe or two passengers for England. The old bay platform's still there at Hook of Holland Station, and the station restuarant too; it's about the only part of this complex that's remotely busy. I walk up the the reservation desk; the one chap there's almost delighted to see me, and hands me an impressive array of tickets, tokens and information (including a ticket for the journey I have just completed!) and directs me along the vast open hallways towards the ship which he assures me is boarding already, even though it's not due to sail for some three hours.


Two gents sit in passort control - "EU" and "Others". A casual glance at my passport, and I call on - up a long and wide walkway that climbs high over the dockside. It's fitted with modern travellators that start as you approach them, so that although the walk is a long one and rising, you're helped along the way. On board the ship, up a couple of flights to deck 10, and a steward directs you to your cabin. How excellent to find that "Internet at sea" is free of extra charge; slowing for sure, but then (as the paperwork points out), you're sharing a satellite link.


The Stena Brittanica is a modern and smooth boat - and it's a lovely ride. I've chosen to post a picture of my cabin (I had this for single occupancy), but there are many more pictures I could have shared.


I had allowed myself the - luxury - of booking dinner on board. Travelling overnight cuts out a hotel bill, and I don't feel too guilty at buying a decent cabin and a decent meal with part of th saving. And what an excellent choice! When I told my customers I was coming back on the boat, one of them (a regular user of the service) told me how good the restaurant is, andof course that meant that - when I went up there - my hopes were alreay sky high and the scope for disappointent was great. But - even with the pre-amble - I was impressed.


The food was ... hot (clearly not the caesar salad), fresh and well cooked. My rare ribeye was indeed rare, and tender too, and the potato wedges were just right. The Belgian beer washed it down well, and the view from deck 9, over the dockside activity, gave me a grandstand view of a fascinating operation from the warmth and comfort of the restaurant. The staff were there and attentive, without being overbearing (and that's hard to balance for the single diner in what was a very quiet restaurant. I look to come back with lessons and examples for our team; there really weren't any major lessons here - for I found myself thinking "this is our customer service approach too" - but on board a daily ferry was one of the last places I expected to find a shining example of how to get it right.


As a photographer of food, I'm not vey good where the food is excellent as I'll forget to take the pictures in my excitement ...


And so - sleep - and a breakfast buffet starting at 05:30, disembarcation at 06:30 and the train to London at 07:15. Which is where I am now - coming up to 08:00 and approaching Witham. A few more people have joined at Manningtree, Colchester and Mark's Tey, but it's still mostly fresh air that's being carried.


A Wednesday night in February is never going to be the busiest for foot passengers on the North Sea, but I found myself wondering at the very survival of the operation; long may it continue - I really hope that the Friday / weekend / Monday and summer and holiday times are much busier. It's a joy to travel this way ... three times better that the hassle of Eurostar, six times better than driving, and 10 times better than flying.

(written 2013-02-07)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z521 - Navigable waterways - Canals, Rivers and Sea
  [598] Should we cruise around the world? - (2006-02-09)
  [708] Linescapes of Mull - (2006-05-03)
  [776] Naming Rooms - (2006-06-24)
  [793] The Wilts and Berks Canal - (2006-07-05)
  [820] Robert and William Whitworth - (2006-08-01)
  [1657] Farewell, Newcastle to Stavanger, Haugsund and Bergen - (2008-05-29)
  [1986] Walk to Bowerhill - (2009-01-10)
  [2588] Freddies Wood and the K and A Canal - (2010-01-17)
  [2730] Bird Watching on the Melksham Avon - (2010-04-18)
  [2796] Sunday - waiting for the ferry. - (2010-06-06)
  [2807] Canal through Melksham - the options and issues - (2010-06-13)
  [2950] Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, turns first sod in Melksham Link Canal - (2010-09-09)
  [3023] Autumn walk from Bowerhill - (2010-10-31)
  [3157] A new monopoly on the ferry to Northern Ireland - (2011-02-04)
  [3183] Redevelopment on the banks of the Avon in Melksham - (2011-02-25)
  [3266] Easter on the Canal - near Melksham, Wiltshire - (2011-04-26)
  [3282] The future of canal management and charities - Kennet and Avon Canal bias - (2011-05-08)
  [3345] Cruising - (2011-07-04)
  [3482] Taking a boat down Caen Hill Locks - (2011-10-15)
  [3483] Canals, watererways in the Melksham area - (2011-10-16)
  [3815] The Melksham News - July 2012 - Part 2, TransWilts Rail, Wilts and Berks Canal - (2012-07-23)
  [4472] Rosslare to Fishguard - foot passenger on the ferry - (2015-04-24)
  [4577] An update - Melksham Link Canal and river - (2015-11-14)

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)
  [1231] Sur le Continent - (2007-06-13)
  [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)
  [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)
  [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)
  [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)
  [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)
  [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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Handling failures / absences of your backend server nicely
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Servlet v JSP (Java Server Page). What is the difference?
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Onward from Brussels
On board Eurostar - a running commentary
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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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