I am jet-lagged because a customer asked me to fly, at short notice, from Newcastle to Belfast at 07:05 on Wednesday morning.

I had a suspicion this was important because when I told the client that my flights between London and Newcastle were non-refundable he replied ‘I don’t care about that. Just get on a plane to Belfast.’

Initially, I was harbouring hopes of watching Newcastle play Stoke City in a Cup Replay on Wednesday evening and I was about to politely enquire about the possibility of departing early on Thursday morning when the project manager added: ‘Oh and take anything you might need to install Siebel and clone our existing environment on to brand new, standalone infrastructure.’

My normal concerns about oversleeping were accentuated by the fact I was booked for my first ever flight on EasyJet. I was worried about no e-ticket, additional charges for a seat, additional charges for checking my bag into the hold, additional charges for an overpriced cheese and bacon panini. I was terrified about lengthy queues of people going to Florida and the Alps for £24.99 (+ £110 tax and fuel surcharge) blocking my path to the single check-in desk.

So, I duly went to bed at 20:30 and set my alarm for 04:45 to allow a full half hour to get dressed, double check my passport and Siebel DVD’s, find the night porter, check out of the hotel and impatiently wait for my taxi (booked for 05:15).

However, recurring nightmares about being 16 seconds late for the check-in desk and featuring on ‘Airline’ woke me at 04:12 precisely. I also dreamt of Tony Robinson filming my arrival, flustered and stressed, at the bright orange check-in desk at 06:26.

‘Mr. Norman Brightside is desperately trying to get to Belfast for an urgent business meeting but unfortunately for Norman and the hordes behind him, the check-in desk for the Belfast flight has just closed. Norman is now having a discussion with Lisa.’

Holiday makers with young children and lads going to Prague for a stag week are tutting behind me as I plead:

‘Listen Lisa, it’s not my fault. I have been up since 04:30 but the taxi driver kept talking about Kevin Keegan and I simply must get to Belfast to install Siebel for a training course that starts on Monday.’ ‘Well I am very sorry, Sir but I have asked the pilot and there’s simply no way you can catch this flight. You will have to book on the next one at 17:25 tonight.’

‘Listen. You don’t understand. This is a brand new environment, on machines yet to be installed, isolated behind a corporate firewall.’

‘Why don’t the network, comms and infrastructure team just create a secure VPN link between the two data centres ?

‘Yeah, I know, Lisa. Tell me about it, but if that was feasible, I could tunnel through from the Sunderland office and I wouldn’t be standing here in my pyjamas, would I ?’