Day two of the European Knowledge Acquisition Workshop, and the network coverage is still spotty. I’m staying in Whittlebury Hall, which is in darkest Buckinghamshire/Northamptonshire (it’s about thirty kilometres from both Milton Keynes and Northampton) and within hearing distance of Silverstone. Lots of brrrm brrrm sounds on the breeze at lunchtime today.

Not fantastically impressed with this place, for several reasons:

  • The food’s a bit uninspired, and since we’re so far from civilisation, there’s no way for us to seek out the alternatives unless we a) can drive or b) are prepared to stump up the £20 that it costs to get to MK. Not that CMK (or its laughably named “Theatre Quarter”) would be much better.
  • They forgot to serve coffee after dinner last night.
  • The proximity to Silverstone means that everything here is automotive (specifically Formula One)-themed. I’m currently in the Grand Prix room. Later on, I will be at a demo session in either the Monza room or the Indianapolis room. This evening I will be spoilt for choice as I try to decide whether to eat in the Aston or the Bentley restaurant, or just go and enjoy an overpriced pint of fizzy cheap lager at Murray’s bar (no doubt in the company of a large number of Ben-Sherman-shirt-wearing fuckwads, since this place seems to be mostly used for meetings by sales reps from Associated British Foods).
  • From the large number of letters that are being proudly displayed on the walls, this place seems to have been a favourite of That Spencer Woman. For fuck’s sake! On the other hand, it confirms many of my prejudices, since her handwriting is a big loopy scrawl that looks as though it ought to be written in green ink.

On the plus side, the poster session that I’ve been organising went well, despite a decree from Glorious Leader (who I should probably now think up a new epithet for – Glorious Leader for Life?) that I should move all the poster boards from one of the rooms to the other, a full fifteen minutes before the session started. It was a good suggestion, don’t get me wrong, but it would have been better to have been able to do it slightly earlier in the day. He’s since decreed that I will be demoing the AKTive Space this evening, which fills me with joy not one little bit. I’m bored of the bloody AKTive Space!

Been kicking myself ever since I arrived, since I forgot that this place has an attached spa complex. Bollocks. Glorious Leader apparently has a jacuzzi in his room (the Emperor Suite), which is also said to be large enough for a full-scale steam-powered cat-swinging carousel. Can’t complain too much, since my room isn’t that bad, but it would be quite nice if housekeeping replaced the Molton Brown toiletries that I’ve used.

(and yes, I am full of coffee and the joys of life – why do you ask?)

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