qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Bring Me Sunshine

Research revealed severe delays on the West Coast Main Line this weekend, so I headed up to see my parents by car. Heading off on Thursday evening directly from work in Cowley, Google Maps recommended going round the western side of Oxford, which seemed all wrong to me; however, half an hour later, as I edged up towards Pear Tree roundabout, I wondered whether it may have been right. The rest of the journey was quite smooth.

Friday was wet and we didn't really venture out. Instead I had the guided tour of their shiny new FreeSat HDTV and recorder (they don't often splash out, but the previous TV was almost 20 years old and they are in the first region whose analogue signal is to be turned off this summer). The picture and sound quality were fine (though my dad still has to turn the volume up to an annoyingly high level so that he can hear it), as was the EPG; I'm a bit surprised they didn't get a box that can copy to DVD, so they are limited in recordings to the capacity of the hard disk. I don't think they understood what I said, but it won't become an issue for a while. Maybe that's why the FreeSat box has an ethernet point. The other thing that did surprise me was that the box took a good 10 seconds to boot up, so they leave it more or less permanently on rather than even going to stand-by. So much for modern technology being "greener".

Saturday was much better, and we headed off to Morecambe to see the sights - specifically, the Eric Morecambe statue, and the rather swish refurbished Art Deco Midland Hotel. Apparently my parents visited Morecambe soon after they moved to Kendal, and saw the hotel in a rather more dilapidated state. We returned via the tranquility of Carnforth Station (aka Milford Junction in Brief Encounter) and the visually tranquil Tewitfield Locks, a remnant of the Lancaster Canal, disrupted geographically and audibly by the M6. We took things easy on Sunday, but went out for an afternoon stroll in the area.

Despite the absence of continuous rail services, and the poor weather, the journey back was surprisingly quick, somewhere under 5 hours including lunch break. Regardless of the weather tomorrow I'm looking forward to another day's holiday before I return to work for a short week on Wednesday.

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