eXtensions - Monday 15 October 2018
eXtensions - Travels with Cameras, a Mac and an iPhone (6): Walks in the Country; Apple Watch 4; a Delayed Flight Home
By Graham K. Rogers
PrologueI began writing this in Terminal 5 of London's Heathrow Airport with a flight delay shown as almost 2 hours. As I am always in plenty of time for most events, I had a lot more time to spare than I had anticipated. With just over a week in the UK, I limited my long-distance travel, though still made a few trips. Generally, the weather was sunny, but I did have one day of rain.
A Walk in the WoodsThe last two days I reserved for local trips because I wanted to walk through the countryside that I had under-appreciated in the past. A traveller sees things that locals take for granted. The area the house in is off Plantation Road at the north end of Leighton Buzzard. Despite the number of homes built in the last 50 years, there is still a generous tree cover and the area borders agricultural land which remains untouched in the main: at least for now.
Heathrow Intermission 1After the walk I drove across to Milton Keynes where I tested the limits of my credit card and bought the Apple Watch 4. The staff in the Apple Store were helpful and printed out the paperwork I would need to claim back the VAT at Heathrow. That was far easier than I had expected, with the staff there walking me through the process. I had not opened the box as was required and I was eager to see my new Watch.
With a lengthy wait, I unsealed the packaging and began to set up the Watch. The process was fairly straightforward, beginning with the recognition by the iPhone of the multi-dimensional graphic code that the Watch generates. Once done, and required passwords entered, I changed the Watch orientation and selected a different watch face.
Canalside WalkOn my last full day in Leighton Buzzard, I had planned a walk along the canal. The Grand Union Canal (to give it its full name) predates the railways and was a major feat of engineering, as were the railways when they were developed. Locally, the canal was used to export the high quality sands found in the area. After World War 1, a narrow gauge railway was used to carry sand from the pits, but this linked to the canal, not to the then-developed railway.
While traffic on the canals was initially heavy, rail brought an inevitable decline. In recent years, however, there has been a new growth as the canals are popular for vacations. Some do live on the narrow boats and those I have been on are well-equipped.
Rather than walk the whole way from the house, along the canal, through the town and back again, I left my rented car by the canal along Old Linslade Road. As I do not need to stay in (or pay for) hotels, this is my one indulgence (apart from coffee, candy and chocolate). After the walk and a stroll through the town, I took a taxi back to the car.
Heathrow Intermission 2Eventually, the gate number appeared on the information board and I needed to take the train to another section of the terminal. With the number of people around the gate area, it was a busy flight, run jointly by British Airways and Iberia. BA has a system of boarding in groups and my pass showed Group 5, although when I did board, with the glacial pace that passengers were being checked, I found the seat was close to the back so had to struggle through those already in the plane. That made little sense to me.
The Captain announced that the delay was due to extended maintenance: it had taken longer than planned. That was not encouraging. Although the late departure had been rescheduled to 17:45 we were still sitting on the tarmac at 18:00, eventually taking off at 18:30. The arrival at Bangkok was affected as a gate had to be scheduled, with a consequent long walk to Immigration, and another back in the reverse direction to where the baggage arrived. I entered my apartment at 14:00, several hours later than planned.
Canalside Walk ContinuedAt the halfway point between Old Linslade and the town is the Globe Inn. In the early 1970s a builder from Essex and his wife bought the (then) quiet pub as a retirement venture. Within a few months, the popularity was such that it was standing room only most nights and many lunchtimes too.
The couple are long-gone and it was bought by a company. It still remains popular and when I walked past several people were enjoying an early lunch at tables outside. A bit further I saw a group of anglers. The canal had never impressed me as a fishing destination, although I did try a few times. I preferred the sea.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
For further information, e-mail to
Back to Home Page