North

It’s been a day. I’m not really sure where to start. I’m guessing the beginning might be as good a place as any.

I was supposed to be working from home this morning. After the usual morning routine, filled with child wrangling, breakfast and lunch making, and washing up, I sat at the desk in the junk room and fired the work laptop up. Oh look – an email. Oh look – an important meeting in 15 minutes in the conference room, 3 miles away.

Crap.

I slipped my shoes on, jumped on my bike, and started pedalling alarmingly quickly against the trophy mum school run traffic that was now heading away from dropping off Ruperts and Tabathas – no doubt headed for coffee mornings and clothes shopping dates. I now know that it takes me 11 minutes to reach the office from home if I unload my legs entirely. I used to be able to do it faster, but then I used to have a bike with gears.

Also – why is it that traffic will always conspire to cause you to stop at every damn junction when you’re in a hurry? On the way home from the office I didn’t see a single car. Half an hour earlier you might have thought the Cannonball Run was being held through the centre of town.

So. I arrived home an hour later, with an hour to spare until leaving for the railway station. An hour to write a document, and to finish packing my bag. While drawing diagrams and typing furiously, Miss 16 creaked her bedroom door open, and sat opposite me, rubbing her eyes.

“Good morning!”

“Morning”

She sat quietly watching me.

“Is there something wrong?”

“My computer won’t connect to the internet – it says ‘No Signal Detected'”

I agreed to have a look after finishing the mad sprint to write the document. It turned out “No signal detected” was actually the monitor that had lost connection to the computer – nothing to do with the computer at all. One hard reboot later, and everything was fine in the world once more.

The four hour train ride north was almost entirely unremarkable. I say almost, because there seemed to be a preponderance of backpackers everywhere. It finally dawned on me that they were all headed home from the Glastonbury music festival. Note to self – buy shares in glitter, and face-paint.

After arriving at the hotel this evening I checked in, unpacked my bags, and then walked to the nearby grocery store to get something to eat. Sushi, fruit, and juice seemed like a much better option than sitting alone in a pizza restaurant on a Monday night.

I might go down to the hotel lobby later for a drink, but it’s very much a “might” at the moment. I’m not sure I have much tolerance for loud travelling salesman tonight, or pretty marketing girls who know they are pretty. If I do appear, I’ll be the quiet guy sat in the corner with the laptop, typing like fury.

It’s only 6:30pm. What the hell am I going to do for the next four hours ?

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