Tomorrow afternoon I travel to the far end of the country one again. The journey would normally take me into the heart of London, and back out, heading north along the east coast. Not tomorrow, on account of the London Underground staff complicating the lives of several million people. I understand why unions exist, and I understand why people go on strike, but in this case I have little or no sympathy. I’m not going to get into it here.
My journey will take me around the country to avoid London now. I did think of just carrying on as-per-normal and walking between Paddington and Euston (about 45 minutes on foot), but then looked at the weather forecast and discovered I would probably need to wear full waterproofs. Nope.
I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to be working on throughout the week – I’ll find out when I arrive in the office on Tuesday morning. I do know I’ll be staying in a hotel I’ve stayed at many times before though. It always raises a smile when they ask at reception “have you stayed with us before” – then sometimes they look up and recognise me.
My bag is still packed from last weekend, and the aborted journey to Manchester. I suppose I should really get the shirts back out and iron them again tonight, rather than turn up looking like I slept on a park bench.
I used to look forward to travelling with work – staying in hotels was very much out of the ordinary, and was somehow exciting. Over time I wouldn’t go as far as saying I hate it, but the magic has certainly been worn away. You might think you would get to know hotel staff, and would pass the time of day with them – the reality is that they rotate so quickly that you never see the same person twice at check-in, and you are never served by the same person if you go out for a meal at a nearby restaurant.
Being honest, I rarely eat out when travelling on my own – I much prefer to get somewhat healthy food from a nearby supermarket, and stay in the hotel room. Yes, I could go to a bar to drink the night away, but not only would I feel like an idiot sitting drinking on my own, I would also feel like my head had been run over by a truck the next day – not the best idea when I’m essentially there to “be clever”.
I expect I’ll take the Fire Tablet with me – it’s a life-saver on trains, and in quiet hotel rooms. I typically find a TV show I’ve not watched, and download an entire season or two. Or a few movies. Finding half-decent movies to take generally takes hours though. I do have a Spotify subscription now though, so I guess I could take some music with me too.
Right… dinner time approaches. I better go help.