We've just come back from a quick skiing trip to Austria, lovely place, charming people and the buses really do run on time. Anyway, on the way back though Heathrow I thought I try out my new passports' automated entry to UK features. Hmm not exactly an unmitigated success are they? The idea is reasonable enough, slide your chipped passport onto a reader, stand in front of a camera and the computer decides if it really is you by checking various metrics such as the gaps between your eyes, the length of your nose and so forth. If they match the details on the passport you're in - simple yes...erm no, not really. The problem is that it's so slow. I stood and counted a good half dozen people go through the system, EVERYONE had problems getting the reader to read their passport and the officer next the machine was beetling up and down explaining how to use the machines, then it was SO SLOOOOOW, at recognition which (excuse me) is the thing it has to do.... so the upshot was it takes 20 seconds to go through an automated reader which is 4 times longer than it takes to go through a human. So you'd need 4 times as many readers to process the same length of queue and the last time I looked airports are kinda crowded already, all in all a bit of a failure. I reckon those immigration officers are safe for a while yet.
Finally managed to fix the 30 meters of fence that had fallen down about 4 months ago. It only took a couple of hours and though it's a little rough it saved a heck of a lot of money to do it myself.
Me and mummy went to London to see the geological museum to look at the moon rocks and volcanic activity. We went on the train to Waterloo station and got off there. Mummy took me to see Big Ben ( I thought the very top of Big Ben was pure gold!!!). We walked for a couple of miles and came to Buckingham Palace where they were changing the Guards. We followed The ColdStream Guards up consitution hill and came to the bronze statue of the Wold War One 'Gunner' who is a central character of the book 'StoneHeart'. I was astonished to see him because Mummy took me on any old day and we saw the Guards, the Gunner and also moonrocks.
Ben has been playing tag rugby for a couple of months now, but he's been desparate to play 'contact' rugby, that is with tackling, scrums, lineouts and rucks. So this Sunday we went off to the local Rugby Club to have a go. The trainers were fantastic, really helpful, positive and great with the kids. Ben totally loved it and managed to tackle one of the other wings which he was thrilled with. Of course the air ambulance arriving to medivac one of the other kids did slightly dampen our enthusiasm but heck how often can that happen eh?