Saturday, 26 March 2011

Friday 25th March 11 - UK Aware 2011, day one

A very early bleary start at about 6.30am (yawn) as had to be on the 08.11 train to London, and I hadn't got all my stuff together last night.

But as usual I managed to get to the station on time, and got myself nestled down into my booked seat.... and then blow me, who should come and sit opposite but my neighbour's son Joe, on the way down to some kind of induction into a Mariner's organisation on a ship moored on the Thames.  We chatted a bit but then he immersed himself in his Kindle or iPad or something.

Fortunately, a lovely Chinese lass came to sit next to me, Faye, who's at the University of York doing a Masters in Education, her aim is to teach English in China.  We got on really well, and covered many subjects, and I hope she'll contact me after her trip to China to see her family.

So, as there was intense conversation, the journey went quickly, and soon after 10am, we were on Platform 0 at King's Cross.  I'd worked out my route last night, and headed for the tube to Earl's Court.  What I hadn't known was that to get the train from Earl's Court to Olympia the Olympia trains have to be running, and they weren't.  The tannoy said to go to a station South of Earl's Court, so I got this train, with some nice folks with an ADHD son, heading to the Dr. Who Exhibition.  But I hadn't heard that from this we should get the overland train, and I said I was sure we were going in the wrong direction, and we all went back to Earl's Court.  Here we got the info that we should have taken the overland one North up to Olympia, so we went South again to catch that.  However, when we got to that overland train platform, there was a sign saying 'next train to Olympia, 55 minutes'.  So we asked the station person, and she said get the C1 bus.  We got this, a largish group of us by now, and by midday we were at Olympia 2, for UK Aware.

I was first confronted by a rather hyperactive photographer taking pictures of the people coming through the door, had a show guide booklet thrust into my hands, and went to the front desk to register.  As I'm a speaker, I was told to go and pick up my badge from the side desk, and here I met Philippa whom I'd had a lot of email contact. It was good to meet her, and hopefully she was able to mentally tick off one more thing to worry about from her list.... the urban composting presenter is safely in London and has found the venue!

The show area had a lot of cars, bicycles and funny looking scooter/motorbikes on the left, so I had a quick look there first.  The cars were the various electric ones, which cost a lot but only cost a few pennies per mile to run, and give out no 'tail pipe' emissions.  The motorbike-like things were more my cup of tea (apart from the retail cost, starting at £1500) but were being tried out on a test-track... they can accelerate up to 20mph really quickly.  These were from solstis bikes and Quantya bikes

Near these was a hydrogen-powered fuel cell van owned by Camden Council. A model of a new wind turbine with swept-back blades which make it completely silent was in front of a bus covered in astroturf, 'The Big Green Bus', doing a week-long tour of London to promote Climate Week, and it's green as it runs on waste vegetable oil.  The bus is also sponsored by Armadillo LED lighting, which had an impressive and powerful set of lights on show.

still tbc!

1 comment:

Maria said...

Wish I could have made it to UK Aware - the talks looked very interesting - how did yours go?