It's half past one in the morning, Continental time, and I'm about to go to bed without any supper. I'm over in Zurich courtesy of IBM, which is going to be showing off a lot of its new nanotechnology developments tomorrow and has a big announcement – presumably about something very small – on Wednesday morning.
The supper, alas, is a victim of old technology and the peculiar Swiss disinclination to take your money after sundown. I flew from London City Airport, normally one of my favourites – you can go from arriving at the airport, through check-in and security and onto the aircraft in ten minutes, if you time it right. Not this time: even though I turned up with slightly more sane margins for error, the ticketing and check-in systems were down.
And stayed down for at least an hour, during which time the on-site techy (helpfully displaying the name of his company, ESP,specialising in keeping critical IT systems up and running 24/7 around the globe – for airlines, airports, the travel industry and corporate enterprise according to its website, on the back of his hi-vis jacket. A pal is hassling their PR even now) ran around a lot and avoided answering questions. In the end, the check-in crew was reduced to doing it manually, a task which they clearly hadn't practised and clearly didn't work. Nobody checked my e-ticket, and the hand-written boarding pass wasn't acceptable to security without an escort. There was a lot of running around, and a lot of very unhappy punters – and, in the end, an extremely delayed flight.
Which meant I got into the hotel at half past eleven, to find that even room service shut down an hour earlier. You're supposed to keep a certain hunger about you if you're going to be a good journalist. That won't be a problem...