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February 18, 2006

Knackered

Writing about web page http://www.plungerkettle.com

Despite my intentions of having a lie in this morning I woke up far too early anyway and so by 10:30 I had been to tesco and got my washing done. Unfortunately now I am feeling really tired again.
The cause of all this is having spent the last week helping a friend with a trade show. Last saturday I was up early as I had to be in Cambridge by 9:30, the aim being to set off from there by 10 headed for Cologne. Unfortunately in a rare attempt to be organised Andre had tried to load the lorry up the night before and managed to drop the robot off the back of the lorry so we had to get a couple of other people over to help right it again. We then had to perform afew minor repairs on the cabinet and check the robot still worked. This took somewhat longer than expected, but after a few calls to the engineer we established that it was working, however one of the axes was now misaligned. after much fiddling we established that by removing 3 of the 4 bolts fixing the robot to the base we could rotate it slightly so that the demonstration would work (though not quite as smoothly as before) so we finally managed to get the Robot loaded on the lorry and set off just before 2,nearly 4 hours behind schedule.
The journey there was realtively event free, down to Dover and then only a brief wait for a ferry over to Calais.
Wegot slightly lost going round Brussels (missed the turning off the ring road) We stopped off in Liege and eventually managed to find a hotel for the night ~11pm.
Sunday morning was an early start to get to the Kolnmeser by 10:30am to set up the stand. By 7pm we had finally got everything set up and working .
domotecnica stand
Monday to thursday we were manning the stand 9–6. Most of the other exhibitors were complaining how quiet the show was, however we were fairly busy much of the time and had loads of interest (including from the chinese who wer very persistent trying to get hold of a sample so they could attempt to copy it. ) Fortunately packing away is a lot quicker than setting up so by 7:30pm on thursday we had everything loaded up in the lorry ready to leave first thing Friday.

The journey back was far less pleasant. It was quite bright when we set off ~9am from cologne but rather windy. Andre drove the first little bit, ignoring the signs forbidding lorries overtaking through the roadworks, resulting in being rather too close to the barrier for my liking. I heard us touch at one point, when we stopped for a coffee we discovered that he had clipped the control box for the tail liftso it was now hanging from its wires. After that I ytook over the driving to CalaisThe wind was supplemented by loads of driving rain, which was worse on the busuiest stretch round Brussels which slowed us down considerably. At Calais we stopped off to stock up on a few case of wine before gettting the Ferry. We hit rush hour traffic on the M25 and didn't reach cambridge till after 6. By now we are quite practiced at shifting the robot so it only took us 1/2 hour to get it out of the hired truck and back into Andre's broken down truck, after which I shot off leaving Andre to unload everything else.
I stopped of at my parents in Kettering on the way back for some food and see them before they dissapear off to Austrlia for 6 weeks on Monday. Eventually got home just after 10 last night, 13 hours after setting off from Cologne.


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