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A traveller’s tale

Simon Robinson writes I’ve never been to Denver’s Stapleton Airport and it’s probable that I never will get there, but I came across this example of the effects of travel and stress on very important people. During the final days at Denver’s Stapleton airport, a crowded United flight was cancelled. A single agent was rebooking […]

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Europeans flock to US for conferences and shopping

Tales abound of European chemical people flocking to the US for conferences and shopping. One US methanol trader tells me with amazement that one of his European colleagues bought 27 shirts last week at the methanol conference in Orlando, Florida. There is no stopping the headlong pursuit of golf clubs and iPods, although one delegate […]

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Houston Chemical Bikers

Houston is a city built round the car, but it is not a welcoming place for a visiting driver from the UK straight off the ten-hour flight. The driving on the left I can handle, sort of, but what’s this with “right hand lane must exit” and flash floods on the road from the airport? […]

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The Blog does Houston

The Houston air is like soup. As I step off the plane I feel one dress-size fatter and my hair springs into tight curls. Outside the airport terminal a monsoon is in progress. Never mind that I checked the weather forecast before I left and it said “30% chance of precipitation”. I took this to […]

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Blog Health Scare – DVT from longhaul flight claims victim

My colleague Robert tells me he’s been in hospital after getting DVT (deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot) after a flight from New York to London last week. He said he felt fine on the flight, a bit shivery the following day, and then woke up in pain in the night. The blood clot […]

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I thought I was going to get the rubber glove

It was one of those moments of irrational guilt (writes Simon Robinson). I hadn’t done anything wrong, but a man with an impressive moustache, and wearing a uniform, asked if I could follow him through a door marked private. If I’d been at one of East Berlin’s more broad minded clubs in the evening after […]

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ICIS 4 in EPCA Berlin car smash horror

Four of us from ICIS travelling to EPCA Berlin were in a head-on car crash on Saturday afternoon, but we walked away with only minor injuries. Nick, Ed, Dan and Barbara were in an airport taxi, a Mercedes estate car, which smashed head first at speed into an oncoming Skoda saloon car on the Kurfurstenstrasse, […]

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Poppies and petrochemicals

I do some of my best thinking in the car. Not on the slow early morning drive through the suburbs of south-west London to the ICIS offices, but on long distance journeys like the one we did this weekend, taking our son to start his university in life in Exeter, a cathedral city about three […]

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