I’m getting very doubtful about getting to FOSDEM. No problems here in the southwest, but checking several points en route to London, it seems that as soon as you hit the southeast, more “heavy snow” is forecast. Whereas London itself is forecast clear and Taunton (Somerset – the far end of southwest England) gets only sleet, as soon as you cross into Wiltshire and Berkshire it’s heavy snow. I checked forecasts for Westbury, Newbury and Reading, representing perhaps 100 miles of the journey, and all are to get the snow.
I’ve already refrained from booking a Eurostar ticket, because they’re non-refundable. That’s a pain, but I confirmed on the ‘phone that if I just buy when I arrive at the station, the price will not be worse than a fully flexible ticket.
I have booked a hotel in Brussels. I had originally thought of returning to the Grande Cloche where I stayed in a very nice room for OSCON in – I forget – either 2005 or 2006. But a look at the map shows that’s a long way from FOSDEM. Never mind: a quick visit to tripadvisor and I got a price of 69 Euros/night on a highly-rated 4-star hotel, the Renaissance (and as bonus, a 50-Euro voucher for my next stay at a Marriot hotel). I’m looking forward to it, and it has the redeeming feature that I can cancel on the day if I am unable to get there.
I guess a deal like that means that it’s the best of the low season at Brussels’s hotels, and that they’re in healthy competition for my custom. It’s a shame there’s no such competition in means of transport to get there, and I have to put up with Eurostar’s pain. There isn’t even the option of a flight or ferry without going to London.
 That’s english for any snow that’s sufficient to settle on the ground, where it rapidly becomes slush if warm, and ice thereafter if it freezes, causing huge transport chaos.