I’m leaving on the early train in the morning, heading first into central London, and then north towards a hotel on the edge of a business park several hundred miles from home. I’ll be there until Friday.
My clothes for the week are washed, folded, and packed into a carry-on bag. I just need to sort out a wash-bag. I’m travelling with a polo shirt rather than a shirt and tie, on account of the five hours on trains tomorrow. I’m sure the client won’t mind – they know me – this isn’t about first impressions at all.
The hotel is about 100 yards from the client office, and a similar distance to a restaurant, a bar, and a huge grocery store. Throughout the week I’ll have the choice of sitting alone in the restaurant to get a hot meal, or wandering across to the supermarket to buy salad or pizza.
Going away is always weird. At home my evening pretty much runs on rails until after the children are in bed (which is later and later these days) – while away I find myself at a loose end almost from the moment I leave the office. If I go out for something to eat, I get to people watch, and then write insanely introspective posts about watching the world go by. If I stay in, I either read, or end up watching movies on the tablet I take with me. I very rarely switch the TV on in the hotel room.
During the journey north tomorrow I’ll more than likely finish reading “You’re Never Weird on the Internet” – Felicia Day’s autobiography. I’m about two thirds of the way through it at the moment, and have loved it so far. Her story is so similar to my own in terms of the early days of online communication and the internet, it’s almost funny. I also have another autobiography to finish, and several episodes of Mr Robot to catch up on – I’m hoping it takes a turn towards some kind of story after the slow start to season 2.
I suppose in about 12 hours time I’ll be standing in departures at Euston Station in London, waiting for my connecting train north. I’ll try to take a few photos along the way – keep an eye on Instagram.