What more could you want when the sun is shining?

I arrived in Manchester in north-west England today ahead of my particpation in a one-day workshop for Melcrum I’m co-presenting tomorrow entitled Enhancing your Intranet with New Technology: How to Make the Most of Social Media.

This is my third experience flying to and from Manchester with Jet2, a low-cost airline. I’m far more impressed than I thought I would have been. New Boeing 737s, efficient and friendly service and of course low cost (about half the price a KLM ticket costs on the same Amsterdam-Manchester route).

You tend to hear horror stories about some low-cost airlines and the, let’s say, less than stellar service starting with the mad scrum at check-in. Not with this one. And we departed Amsterdam on time and arrived in Manchester just under an hour later, a little early in fact. And lo and behold, my little suitcase was first out the chute on the baggage carousel!

I took a commuter train from the airport into the city center. New carriages, very clean, even smelled nice. A pleasant twenty-minute journey, rumbling through the suburbs which let me soak up views of neighbourhoods you’d normally not catch sight of if you take a taxi. Plus a nice cost differential – less than three quid versus twenty for a taxi. My client will be pleased at all this cost saving ;)

So then to my hotel, the Midland. A delightful Victorian landmark in the city center, just a stone’s throw from the city hall, museums and art galleries. Great room, smells clean and fresh (the whole hotel does) with great wi-fi. Friendly staff (especially Zoe in reception). I’d recommend this hotel any time.

So this afternoon, I’ve actually been doing a bit of relaxing. Called my wife. A couple of old friends in the UK. A stroll around the immediate vicinity; a foot-long Subway sandwich for a late lunch (I didn’t know Subways were over here) and then to some work including some final prep for tomorrow. Next, recording a contribution for tomorrow’s edition of FIR The Hobson & Holtz Report to send to Shel as I’ll be travelling at the time we usually do the show together.

Yep, it’s been a sunny day today.