Blog2011 ≫ In London for a conference

I do not recommend the Premier Inn Stratford...

I was in London for FOWA from Monday to Wednesday. Early start Monday, straight in to a full day workshop all about nodejs and brilliant stuff, I am keen to get back to writing some more so I won't spend much of today's lunch writing up the trip. After the first day of the course I went to meet Ralph, nice to do stuff like this on a rare trip to London. We went for a couple in the Bavarian Beer House as it was close to his station at Fenchurch Street and I had the whole evening ahead. Very generous of you to buy the beers Ralph!! Then back to the hotel and to meet workmates for dinner. I knew I could get the DLR back to Stratford but did not fancy changing trains at some unknown spot of East London (Poplar or West Ham I think) so chickened it and walked back round the corner to get a proper tube.

We were booked into the Premier Inn in Stratford (the one near London, though zone 3, so not actually that near), it's new, and imo they were not ready for bookings yet. The company had booked rooms (several of us staying) the booking got fouled up so we were not actually paid in advance but had to stump up our own money. Took an age to check in, but never mind (more later). Took so long that I couldn't be arsed to go out and socialise so I thought I'd just get a takeaway and go back to the hotel. Hotel is in the new Westfield shopping centre, which was just starting to close by the time I was checked in so I ended up with a horrible greasy food court dinner. Not my best night out ever I must say.

We had to check out of our rooms but I could leave my bag at the hotel, with the understanding the room would all be sorted when we got back. After day two of the conference, the hotel were denying all knowledge of the problem, our bookings were gone from the system, the printouts and emails were of no help to them, but to make it worse they were now fully booked. We probably could have gone in to London proper and found another hotel but it was a bit of a risk so I headed home again on the train. Not pleased that it happened or how it was dealt with so it is being escalated. It's probably just teething issues at a new hotel but that did not really help me out. Not sure how I will benefit from the issue being escalated either, work may well get the money back, if we're offered free rooms somewhere I'm not that keen to stay there again. Lucky we were only an hour from home, if we had travelled further it would have been much worse. I would never bother staying in Stratford again anyway, by the time we've trekked out there we could have been nearly home.

Conference itself was good that day, some interesting things, lots of Javascript including spinejs.com1 and some free t-shirts. There didn't seem to be a special vegan lunch for me so I bought my own (well, expensed) but when I got back to the venue they were looking for me and had put something together especially for me. This is at The Brewery2, they are ace there, it's a lovely venue for an event like this.

Third day of the conference was a bit shortened as I had to trek in again by train. Hopefully work can sort out all my expenses quickly.

Bumped into someone3 I used to work with a long long time ago at / IPC. He was chief designer then, and he's now design director of Sky, so doing alright for himself, and had been taking one of the workshops (as teacher, not student). Made me realise I could have achieved more work wise...

UPDATE: been back and edited this later, I didn't write it all in one go hope it's not too disjointed...

Node: Javascript (programming language of the web) on the server side.

javascript: Programming language of the web, mostly how I earn a wage.

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Paul Clarkeʼs weblog - I live in Hythe near Folkestone. Married to Clare and father to two, I am a full-stack web engineer, + I do js / Node, some ruby, other languages etc. I like pubs, parkrun, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, Television, squirrels, pirates, lego, and TIME TRAVEL.