Dublin Airport is about a three quarter hour bus trip from my home. As such, one might have thought it reasonable to head for the airport some two and a half hours before the scheduled take off of my flight. Unfortunately, the every fifteen minute bus service operated by the good people at Aircoach took three times that to arrive, and due probably to this delay we ended up stopping at every single stop en route to pick up more passengers. As it was, I arrived at the airport twenty minutes before the scheduled close of check-in, seriously stressed, and ready to throttle someone. It wasn't the best way for the morning to begin.
As the last person to make it to check-in the helpful staff advised me that the plane would not wait if I wasn't at the gate on time. This comment had the expected effect on my nerves, especially given a twenty minute queue to clear security. Having made it through that hurdle some fifteen minutes before take-off, I began an undignified sprint across the airport as far as the "A" gates, only to discover that the gate monitor was showing a completely different destination to mine. My immediate deduction was that I'd missed the flight after all, but a closer investigation revealed the truth; it was delayed by an hour. It would have been nice if the people at check-in had told me that!
Leeds Valentines Fair
18th February 2006
It was on arrival at Leeds that I discovered to my consternation that I'd forgotten to install a memory card in my camera. The internal memory would allow me a grand total of eight photographs to document two separate fairs. It is at times like this that some of the more colourful entries in the English language come to the forefront of the mind, but there was nothing I could do. To cheer myself up, I decided to ride some coasters. Toboggan (#675) was my second encounter with this particular Chance Rides design. Apparently there are five of these models still running in parks, in addition to the portable one here. I can't imagine they've got that long to go; they're very rough, and not a lot of fun. Magic Mouse was the same ride unit as that ridden two years ago in Nottingham. Finally, Curtis Eddy's Big Apple (#676) represented my first credit whore stop of the year.
I was glad to see Equinox but decided I didn't need to ride it again, with the memories of its visit to Dublin a few years ago still fresh in my mind. There was also a rather interesting looking fun house that we watched for a while, with a rather abrupt exit at the end that caught several people off guard.
Blackpool comes to Warrington
18th February 2006
Blackpool comes to Warrington was roughly an hour away from the Leeds Valentines Fair, and today it was home to Crazy Mouse (#677), owned by Matthews and White. We decided also to brave a spin and spew ride, and the KMG built Experience fit the bill there. It was, however, somewhat more aggressive than either of us had bargained for, the net result being that the only thing we could deal with afterwards was the World's Fair Wheel.