Tomorrow night I’ll board a plane for London, where I’ll be presenting Bulletproof Web Design on the second day of @media 2006. I’m pretty excited about the trip, depite being terrified of leaving Jack and Kerry. They’ll be fine, of course. But it feels weird to be leaving, even though I haven’t left yet.

Anyhow, it’ll be great to see some friends I haven’t seen in a long while, and I’m really looking forward to meeting new ones. I don’t get out much these days. If you’re heading to the conference, be sure to say “hi”.

Coincidentally, my talk is the first of the morning after the England vs. Trinadad & Tobago World Cup match. Will anyone show up if they win? If they lose? Will I get swept up into all of this? Probably. And then my session should be even more interesting.

Also, for the past eight years I’ve been carrying around a British £5 note in my wallet from our first trip to England. I have fond memories of the trip, where Kerry and I (not yet married at the time) visited my parents who were staying in Oxford for the summer. My grandfather (on my Dad’s side) made the trip out with us, and I can remember we tired him out with walking tours of Oxford, London and the Cotswolds. I’d been saving this 5 pounds for the day I returned to the UK, to plunk it down in a pub, and tip my glass to my late grandfather, and the great memories of our first trip to Europe.

Last week, while cleaning out my wallet of old receipts, I accidentally ripped the £5 note into four pieces along with the unwanted receipts. Argh. I’ve taped it back together, and just hope it’ll be accepted somewhere. For eight years, it’s happily lived in my wallet (several wallets, actually), and then I had to go and do this, just a week before returning. Ah well.


  1. Eric Meyer says:

    Hey, I leave tomorrow night as well. If you’re arriving in Gatwick around 8:00am London time, we should try to meet up and take the Gatwick express into town. If not, then I’ll see you at the conference!

  2. Hey Eric – I’m actually flying into Heathrow around 6:30am. I’m assuming the airports are spread out a bit. And I’ve now realized that a) it’ll most likely be too early for check-in at the hotel, and b) everyone will be asleep. Early morning sightseeing maybe? See you there!

  3. Paul says:

    Forget the world cup—I would be front in center at the bulletproof conference.

  4. Jeff Wheeler says:

    Congratulations on getting a vacation, but I’m sorry about the bank-note. I’m sure if you take it to a bank they’ll have it replaced (as they would in the US).
    I wish I were in Europe for the World Cup!

  5. Ryan Miglavs says:

    I just got back from living in London for a few months, and it was brilliant. Then I got back, found your site and your book, and have suddenly become a standards-oriented web designer.
    Enjoy London (what an amazing city), and good luck with that £5!

  6. Don’t worry about your torn “fiver” – as long as you’ve taped it together it will accepted anywhere.
    Enjoy your trip, our great hospitality and, if we win the Trinidad and Tobago match expect a great atmosphere! :-)

  7. John Beales says:

    Ahh London. Fun times indeed. Enjoy yourself, and be prepared to go through that five, and many, many more from my experience. Bon Voyage.

  8. Bruce says:

    A non-alcoholic use for your £5 would be a Zone 1 and 2 travel card (£4.90) for use off-peak. In 2004 the Bank of England received 17,220 claims on torn banknotes (see here; it’s statistically more common than having them chewed, washed, contaminated, burned, or drowned!

  9. I’m trying to remember if we have changed the £5 note in the last 8 years. If we have then you won’t be able to use it!!!
    Might be worth checking it still looks like this

  10. If you’ve got George Stephenson on the back then you’re out of luck – that note went out of circulation in 2003 so it won’t be accepted anywhere…
    except the Bank of England who will exchange it for you.
    The procedure for dealing with damaged notes is different however (dealt with in Leeds, not London).
    Since your fiver is both damaged and out of circulation you may have a little more fun trying to get it exchanged.

  11. gunter hermann says:

    Don’t take the Gatwick Express! Take the Southern Service to London Victoria! It’s 15 minutes more but 30-35% less expensive. And often the Gatwick Express takes 45-50 minutes instead of the 30 minutes claimed. I missed two Eurostars because of the Gatwick Express.

  12. Paul Livingstone says:

    Don’t worry Dan, torn fivers are pretty much all that’s in circulation these days. Hell, I’ve even seen pubs accept ones that are stapled together!

  13. Don’t worry about the fiver.. as long as you have all the bits, then a bank will exchange it.. and if you’ve taped it together, then that’s a bonus and pretty much anywhere will accept it. (Even the old fivers.. I still had one of those not long ago and the shop never even noticed!)
    Hope you enjoy your time in London!

  14. Colly says:

    Dan, of course we’ll turn up the day after the England game. It is always likely that one needs to think about something else after watching an England performance – to take one’s mind off it, as it were.
    Looking forward to finally meeting up…

  15. stuart says:

    I washed a £10 the other day and despite 1200 spin it came out looking like new,
    there pretty resiliant things

  16. Jens Wedin says:

    …and I have a 10 USD bill laying around at my place, hoping that I can use it some time this year. I´ve had it for about 15 years now. You never know when you can have use of an foreign bill. Hope to see you at @media2006

  17. Karl says:

    Haha Colly, so true. But surely “this time, more than any other time?”
    Hey Dan I’m sure Ian Lloyd will help you buy some flags for your car – I think they’re a couple of quid each ;)
    Hopefully, I’ll catch you for a book signing too.

  18. Pete Boere says:

    England are expected to win, but no this won’t be a problem as it’s not the final. If we’d just beaten Brazil and lifted the cup… things would be different.
    As all USA’ers reading this are probably unaware you guys got trounced yesterday 3-0 by the Czechs.
    Sorry, but thought it important you should know.

  19. Dan – I have no doubt any bartender (is that what they’re called in the UK too?) would reject your pieced together fin if you told them what we just read! Enjoy!!
    Pete – Why is it so important that we know the US can’t play football/soccer?

  20. I’m sitting in Heathrow waiting on a plane back to Belfast. Unfortunatly I couldn’t scrape enough fivers together to attend but all the best for eMedia!
    If England lose feel free to make TnT jokes by the bucket load.
    Thanks for writing Web Standards Solutions!

  21. 3stripe says:

    See you in London dude!
    I’m sure you’ll be able to use your fiver no probs, I’d spent it down the boozer if I were you.
    Was in London when the last World Cup was on and it was absolue bedlam, so should be a lively few days…

  22. gb says:

    I’ve done the same thing for the past 4 years since I moved back to the states from australia: I have an aussie $10 note in my wallet. Luckily, though, I could never tear it into bits… their money is plasticised.
    (I also have a 20 peso note in there, but I really just need to get rid of that… no fond memories attached to that one…)

  23. Andy Budd says:

    Looking forward to catching up mate. Enjoy the trip.

  24. Wish I could join you in London, Dan! Maybe next year I’ll be able to afford the trip. It would be great to meet you in person.
    Good luck with your monetary situation. I had a similar thing happen a few years back with a $5 Canadian (where I’m from) bill. It was my Grandmother’s. I had it in my wallet for 5 years and then lost it :(

  25. anonymous says:

    I wont be able to make it, but you will be posting more about it here a SimpleBits, right.

  26. David Hamilton says:

    Looking forward to meeting you at @media Dan – have a safe journey!

  27. Pete Tizzard says:

    Hey Dan looking forward to your presentation. Your fiver should be fine but don’t expect it to go far, you may get a pint and a half in a pub or just a bottle of lager in a West End bar.

  28. Tony Page says:

    I would take the Gatwick Express. You can buy cheap tickets online somewhere beforehand and it is much quicker and more comfortable.

  29. Jorgeq says:

    London? That’s great. Be sure to bring back photographs to share for those that couldn’t make it.

  30. Dan, I look forward to reading your update on how eMedia 2006 is going. Did many American make it over there? Is it better than SXSW in Austin?

  31. France says:

    @Pete. That stings. I was hoping to go the rest of the week without that friendly reminder. BTW, a 6′ 9″ striker? That’s about as unnatural as a 6’9″ basketball point-guard… oh wait, we had one of those.

  32. Lee Rickler says:

    Hey Dan,
    great talk, thanks. Where’s the pdf that you mentioned in your talk, I can’t find it anywhere.
    I’ve been keeping a blog of @media –

  33. steve marson says:

    Thanks for the presentation – I see that I have some more to learn (then again, CSS and accessibility was always about learning wasn’t it?)
    Your talk really inspired me to learn more and to improve my work .. thanks again!

  34. Jody Daub says:

    My son is almost two and a half and I just recently travelled on business for the first time since he was born. Every young child I saw – even pictures of young children in ads or on tv – made my heart sink I missed him so much. All the best for you this first time out.

  35. mae says:

    isn’t that typical? the note should be accepted, to be accepted it must be 3/4 complete and yours obviously is.
    i am moving to oxford in september, such a lovely place! and i lived in london during the 2004/2005 academic year, i wish i was going back too. :)
    i hope you had an amazing time!

  36. Andi says:

    I hope you had a great time.
    I am looking forward to your photo session!

  37. George says:

    Any news on whether you managed to offload the afore mentioned fiver?

  38. kim says:

    Been to London twice had a blast while I was there both times, are you planning anymore confrences? Would be great if it was in the States!

  39. Milos says:

    […] A very accosting layout and a interesting discussion topic, do you provide any Web-based services to universities or students. […]
    Greetings Milos

  40. Jessica says:

    No way – that just makes me think of the Alannis Morrisette song “Ironic”. I bet your heart sank when you realized it..
    I do stuff like that all the time; thought it was just me.