Took a trip down to London, to use up some annual leave and as I'd booked a cheap room on a flash sale some time ago. Because of this, I didn't realise that there was also some football going on at the same time so there were some England and Scotland reprobates knocking around.

The trip got off to a craptastic start when I missed my coach because the A38 had been closed, so I didn't make it to Derby in time. I considered writing off the trip as the hotel was cancellable, but decided instead to keep driving and went down to Luton Airport to park up and get the train into London. Worked out better in the end as I arrived about an hour earlier into London, didn't have to kill time waiting for the coach on the way back and got back at the more sensible time of 18:00 rather than 23:30.

The hotel was rather fancy. I thought it was a 3-star when I booked, but it turned out to actually be a 5-star hotel so quite a cut above what I usually use. I also got upgraded to a higher spec room with such useful features such as motorised curtains, a minibar and a telephone in the bathroom.

It seems even the M1 isn't exempt from being dumbed down into a "smart" motorway. At least the average speeed cameras through the works were set to 60mph, rather than the 50mph that is set on the M6, so going through was slightly more tolerable.

The birds in the garden are devouring the food I leave out for them. I started off with just a fat ball holder, beginning with some no-name stuff from Tesco. These were eaten relatively slowly, to the extent that grass started growing out of them. These were replaced with some own brand balls from Wilko which are much more popular. I've had to go from buying packets of four balls to buckets of 50 to keep up with the demand. I branched out with a double seed and nut feeder unit to supplement this. The nuts aren't that particuarly busy, but the seed feeder is also getting emptied quickly. Suet pellets in particuarly go down well - the feeder was emptied in eight hours. I'm surprised the buggers are able to fly given how much they go through.