Week 37

We rejoin the action in Scotland. A a day of unnecessary travel. Travel broadens the mind. Then back southwards on the Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight train run by Serco, who do such a good job of running prisons and maintaining military bases. I’d read BusAndTrainUser’s posts about the introduction of sumptuous new carriages earlier this year, which has been beset by problems. Curious to see how things were going a few months later, I’d booked a fancy club room for an OK price.

Alas, there was one problem: the service had to start from Motherwell, not Glasgow, so we all boarded two hours later than we might have otherwise. Thanks to the wonderful boffins of the RailUK Forums, I learn that it’s all because the manoeuvring the carriages to start at Glasgow uses two locomotives, and the new sleeper carriages use recherché couplers so you can’t just use any spare loco if some of the locos are poorly (as they were this time).

Apart from that, it was fine. I had a cold shower – I’m sure there’s supposed to be hot water, but I didn’t want to harass the overworked crew, and don’t cold showers have all the health benefits? Like whisky, it’s the sort of thing you hear of nonagenarians attributing their long lives to – and some high quality sleep, and a tasty breakfast, and we arrived in London half an hour early. There were some coathangers in my little room, and while breakfasting I was generously offered a refill of tea, so at least two of BusAndTrainUser’s suggestions have been addressed.

Some work. The website was being slow again, and I realised I hadn’t set Gunicorn’s threads setting to anything, so I set it to something (2 × the machine’s number of cores), which seems to have helped, but it’s made me realise I’ve not been measuring stuff in such a way that I could tell. Cool story.

Put the winter front tyre on the bicycle – a bloody palaver, and the ice had melted by the time I’d finished. Winter!

Hearing reports that the Queen has died, which is huge if true. The banter quotient strikes again.