Four Trains and a Taxi

You find me sitting in a hotel room, the better part of three hundred miles from home. The room is clean and tidy – or rather it was tidy until I arrived. I’m being unfair on myself of course – I typically leave hotel rooms exactly as I find them, which probably causes the cleaning staff all manner of questions about their own sanity.

There is a pub next door to the hotel. I could have gone there for dinner, but chose food from the supermarket across the road instead. It probably says a lot about me that I would rather buy some Udon noodles from the supermarket, and sit here writing this blog post, than sit in a pub with strangers, sipping beer and eating pie and chips for half an hour. I might also admit to buying a box of tea, some wine, and a massive bar of chocolate that was on offer. I’ve told my head that it will last all week. My heart knows differently.

It’s worth mentioning that reaching the hotel across the road is quite a challenge in and of itself. The hotel and the supermarket are on opposite corners of a huge road junction – with six lanes of traffic coming into the junction from each side. There are pedestrian crossings for each part of the junction, but if you used them it might take you upwards of ten minutes to get from one side to the other. If you take your life in your hands and predict the sequencing of the stop lights, you can pretty much walk straight across the junction. I’ve never actually seen anybody use any of the crossings properly.

The journey here – referred to by the title of the post – really did involve four trains, and a taxi ride. In times past I would have written endlessly about the strange characters surrounding me on the train, but this time that never seemed to happen. I did make a spectacular ass of myself while leaving Reading station though. I was fiddling with some new bluetooth headphones, and wondering why they weren’t very loud – and turned my phone volume up to maximum while frowning, and fiddling with it. Then the penny dropped – I didn’t have Bluetooth switched on within the phone, so was treating the entire train carriage to the opening thirty seconds of “Kyrie” by Mr Mister. At full volume.

I looked out of the train window for some time after that, pretending that I didn’t exist.

I switched the TV on in the hotel room a few minutes ago. I never normally watch TV in hotels, and realised why after being sucked into some kind of crappy auction TV show for about half an hour. Thankfully I have a laptop with me, and an unlimited internet connection – Netflix and Amazon are my friends (and a plugin for Kodi called Exodus, but we’ll keep very quiet about that indeed – anybody who knows what I’m talking about just spat their drink across the room and started laughing).

Of course the likelihood is that I will spend all evening reading and commenting on blogs, because that’s what I typically do while holed up in hotels with work. If you see comments, hearts, or likes from me, now you’ll know why.

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