Nicosia 20090616

After a full day in the office, met up with Madame Oui for dinner. Wanted to eat at The Crown, but its restaurant was closed. Went next door to The Beaten Docket. Its upstairs restaurant was closed; had to eat in the bar on the ground floor.

I tried to order a cask ale, which The Beaten Docket used to be reliable for — one of two places in Belfast where you could get cask ale on draft. Waiter didn’t know what I was talking about. Said they haven’t served cask ale for at least six years. That was a disappointment. The food they served was mediocre. So I see no reason to return to The Beaten Docket ever again — no ale and bland food.

Madame Oui and I boarded our separate buses at Europa station. It was like a long farewell! Two-pound fare to the George Best Belfast City Airport is money well spent. Delivers you to the front door, unlike the new regime for car passenger drop off.

Pleasant enough flight to London Heathrow, which was half full. Didn’t understand why some rows were entirely full, with many others completely empty. As a sole passenger, I wouldn’t have minded not being crammed with others, to look at 6 completely empty rows in front of me. Peculiar.

My Jury’s Inn regime works. Instead of taking some extremely early flight from Belfast to London in the morning, in order to catch early international departures from Heathrow, I take the last flight out of Belfast and spend the night at an airport hotel. This actually costs less than early morning Belfast-London flights. Jury’s Inn is the easiest of them all to get to: one stop on the Tube and a 10-minute walk from Hatton Cross. With no checked baggage, I can get from the plane to my hotel room in less than 30 minutes.

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