Monday, May 21, 2007

Missing sunrise, late flight, and a new twenty pound note

What a difference a month makes! Back in April it was still slightly dark as the red-eye to Heathrow took off from Belfast, and there was a glorious sunrise across the skies.

Sunrise - viewed out the window of bmi's BD79 - winging its way from Belfast City Airport to London Heathrow

After a week of travelling no further than my desk in Belfast, it’s back on the road this morning, heading over to London. Now it’s May and it’s already daylight outside when the alarm goes off at 05:15.

Mind you, it wasn’t helped by the 06:30 flight taking off 45 minutes late at 07:15, and landing at 08:30—a full 50 minutes shy of the scheduled 07:40 arrival.

Nearly more disturbing, someone at the Bank of England has been playing with the desktop publishing package, and has redesigned the twenty pound note.

Now with a working bank card—unlike a couple of weeks ago—I tried to get some “English money” out of the hole in the wall at the airport. Why does the ATM bother offering amounts like £10 and £50 on-screen when the machine already knows that there aren’t any ten pound notes left inside?

Then the twenty pound note came out. I wondered at first if it was a fake! It’s got lots of white space in a thick margin ... very Web 2.0? But with a drawing of economist Adam Smith on the back, it seems genuine enough. And the Bank of England seem proud of all its security and anti-fraud features.

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