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Five lessons learned or re-learned on my travels

1. Demand still outstrips supply in WiFi connectivity, and there are still people out there looking to make a quick profit. Conclusion of my trip from Melksham to Thun to give a course from Wednesday to Friday.

2. There is a lot that could be done by the UK railways to bring them up to the standards that you'll find in many places in Europe, and some of the ideas would, surely be cheap to implement.

3. There's nothing like a helpful real person who you feel appreciates your business to make you feel at home, or indeed to resolve issues. But such customer facing people are harder to come by than a manx cat's tail in some places.

4. Switzerland is incredibly expensive, and whilst you'll find plenty of efficiency, cheese and chocolate there, there's scarcely a cuckoo clock to be seen.

5. Our IT training delegates are, almost without exception, really lovely people that it's a privilege to teach, and it's really rewarding to see their progress over the few days I spend with them. I said "almost" without exception... let me make it 110% clear that I haven't trained any exceptions for months.




For those of you to whom I haven't responded as quickly as you (and I) would like... I feel that 5 Swiss Francs (that's four pounds) for 30 minutes in my hotel was profiteering that I couldn't support, and in any case their network (free in the breakfast room) timed out and dropped connections all too often when it was in busy use - like at breakfast time! A similar story on the Ship from Hoek of Holland to Harwich - great at 3 a.m.; Dutch and German trains much better, McDonald's in Thun a wonderful place (!) and a big THANK YOU to - you know who you are - who helped me out too ;-)

Electric trains all the way from Thun to Hoek of Holland. Impressed by cross-platform connections at big places between trains covering vast distances. A switch from the Interlaken to Berlin train onto the Munich to Hamburg train takes 8 minutes. And similar changes at Dusseldorf and Rotterdam (Venlo is 20 minutes!).But in the UK bus from Harwich to Mark's Tey, which left people behind because it was so full, then a 30 minute wait for the connecting (?) train. And diesel from London to Swindon. Good news in that at least that latter is being fixed.

The staff at my hotel seemed troubled to have customers. Nice place, but unfriendly, and unable to tell me about the buses that stop right outside, and really didn't want to look at a local map / advise me where to go. On being told I was leaving early on Saturday, no offer of a croissant or milk in the fridge as we would do, no offer to call as taxi. Don't get me wrong, the fabric of the hotel was excellent (doors clanked and echoed like prison doors, perhaps!) and facilities were as advertised (I do miss a hospitality tray, though).

A main course for 30 pounds before you add veg and drinks - and even at the staff canteen, it cost me 15 pounds at employee rates for a main course and fizzy drink. Ten pounds for a fast food burger starts to feel like good value, and the whole place makes Iceland look cheap. I understand the Swiss are well paid to compensate for the higher prices, and things like house rentals are about the same as the UK. It was good to get back to Germany!

Our delegates make the trip worthwhile... a fascinating office, some incredible people it was my honour to meet. But I'm probably not supposed to go on, and I certainly can't tell you their stories.
(written 2013-12-15, updated 2013-12-21)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
Z100 - Daily life
  [3743] Sunday - no longer a day of rest - (2012-05-28)
  [3553] Changes to morning routines - (2011-12-16)
  [3463] Busy weekend of contrasts. - (2011-10-03)
  [3319] Moving on - a task for the hotel staff! - (2011-06-08)
  [3316] Twitter Phishing Trips ... and a great new alert service - (2011-06-04)
  [3125] The family is defunct. Long live the family. - (2011-01-09)
  [2868] A move towards the family - (2010-07-12)
  [2580] C course inspires new teaching examples - (2010-01-16)
  [2450] Family Gathering at 404, The Spa - (2009-10-11)
  [2401] Back Tomorrow - (2009-09-10)
  [2371] Quiet summer days? I think not! - (2009-08-22)
  [2264] Learning about others private lives - (2009-06-30)
  [2217] Enjoying the summer weather - (2009-06-04)
  [2164] Updating my public profile - Graham Ellis - (2009-05-09)
  [2159] A long day to guess where - (2009-05-06)
  [2141] Town Crier competiton - (2009-04-25)
  [2121] Out in the Vale of Pewsey - (2009-04-07)
  [2118] Spring Sprung - (2009-04-05)
  [2106] Learning to Twitter / what is Twitter? - (2009-03-28)
  [2105] Hire Car, from Atlanta Airport - (2009-03-27)
  [2090] Melksham to Georgia - (2009-03-19)
  [2068] Playing Catchup - (2009-03-06)
  [2064] East of Melksham Countryside - (2009-03-02)
  [2034] Through Snow and Flood to Linux and Tomcat - (2009-02-10)
  [2030] The final step to being British - (2009-02-07)
  [2027] Who sticks by you in the snow? - (2009-02-05)
  [2024] Carry on Training - in spite of the weather - (2009-02-03)
  [2008] The Month Ahead - What is happening in Melksham - (2009-01-25)
  [2000] 2000th article - Remember the background and basics - (2009-01-18)
  [1979] Looking forward, in Melksham, in 2009 - (2009-01-05)
  [1953] End of Training, 2008 - (2008-12-20)
  [1810] Middle aged subsidise young and old - (2008-09-26)
  [1643] A lack of technical content - (2008-05-16)
  [1429] Remembrance day - inside a church and inside the day - (2007-11-11)
  [1303] Heading Upstate New York - (2007-08-14)
  [1272] Behind closed doors? - (2007-07-22)
  [1189] Meet, greet and welcome - (2007-05-16)
  [1178] Ducking stool for Melksham? - (2007-05-06)
  [1151] Gordon Dodge, R.I.P. - (2007-04-16)
  [1138] The Holiday - unlikely romantic comedy? - (2007-04-08)
  [1100] Wondering where I have been - (2007-03-06)
  [1061] Take vehicles off the road - put all the passengers into one - (2007-02-01)
  [1057] Selling by phone and Skype - our policy - (2007-01-30)
  [1056] Another frantic posting! - (2007-01-30)
  [992] Enthusiastic, but .... - (2006-12-16)
  [978] Wellhouse Manor, Hotel, Melksham - (2006-12-10)
  [921] French Exchange - (2006-11-11)
  [911] Letter Home - (2006-11-01)
  [908] And so to Inverness - (2006-10-29)
  [897] Too much for the National Trust - (2006-10-18)
  [882] Rocks, hard places, trains and funerals. - (2006-09-30)
  [843] To join an organisation? - (2006-08-23)
  [817] Working on Weekend in Wiltshire and others - (2006-07-29)
  [777] On Crosby sands - (2006-06-25)
  [752] Over zealous police activity? - (2006-06-09)
  [724] Helping mental health through diet, exercise and other lifestyle matters - (2006-05-18)
  [706] May day away - (2006-05-01)
  [698] Catch up weekend - (2006-04-24)
  [692] Healthier eating - (2006-04-20)
  [655] Can some food be TOO different? - (2006-03-23)
  [654] Making use of disabled facilities - (2006-03-22)
  [645] Lost Camel - (2006-03-14)
  [635] Odd one out. - (2006-03-06)
  [623] Behind every face is a person and a story - (2006-02-25)
  [613] Greetings from Dublin - (2006-02-20)
  [612] Coming or going? - (2006-02-18)
  [605] Design your day with a walk - (2006-02-13)
  [584] Loosing breath with Gerald - (2006-01-31)
  [580] What to do with milk - (2006-01-28)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [474] Vintage Bus Day - (2005-10-23)
  [473] Looking different in town - (2005-10-22)
  [455] A Stengthening day - (2005-10-04)
  [446] Up early - (2005-09-16)
  [363] Greetings from Edinburgh - (2005-06-29)
  [330] An O level comes in handy - (2005-05-30)
  [307] Farming yesterday - (2005-05-10)
  [283] Natural or man-made? - (2005-04-18)
  [271] Different course every day - (2005-04-07)
  [238] Difficulties with a trolley - (2005-03-07)
  [232] Diverse activities - (2005-03-01)
  [228] Beard Justification - (2005-02-26)
  [206] Fox and Python - (2005-02-08)
  [149] Fish stocks - (2004-12-12)
  [110] Friday, busy week! - (2004-11-05)
  [26] Matching Cat - (2004-08-24)
  [20] Not two the same - (2004-08-20)
  [19] interesting products and subjects - (2004-08-19)


Back to
Celebration of the fruits of LSTF, and of the people who have helped and are helping
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or
Horse's mouth home
Forward to
Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again
Some other Articles
Saturday train to Swindon - two weeks in
Melksham Resident? Commuter? Save yourself 2000 pounds and 100 hours in 2014, and have a better journey!
TransWilts - first day pictures
Democracy - alive and well with the beauty pagent starting up again
Five lessons learned or re-learned on my travels
Celebration of the fruits of LSTF, and of the people who have helped and are helping
Thun, Switzerland
TransWilts train services - up from 2 to 8 per day
A THANK YOU to those who have brought the new train service to fruition
New train service - launch plans and timetable links
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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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