The Pretty People Theorem

The Pretty People Theorem

I woke with a start at 6am when the alarm went off on my mobile phone. I have vague memories of a riveting dream, but it’s entire subject matter seems to have removed itself from my memory. Perhaps our brains really do work like Snapchat ? After a few moments remembering that I was in a hotel, and that I didn’t need to get up and summon children from their beds, I fell asleep once again – and had another ridiculous dream. Again, all I can tell you is that it was really very good, and that I cursed when my body clock kicked in half an hour later – telling me that I needed to have a shower and get dressed if I was going to make it to breakfast for 7am.

I’m not sure how the “making it to breakfast for 7am” thing started. Germany probably. No matter how early I got up while working in Germany, there would always be Chinese people, Japanese people, or construction workers busy tucking into the bacon and eggs before I got there. This morning couldn’t have been more different – from the moment I arrived until I left to get ready for the office, I was the only person in the hotel restaurant. I started to wonder if everybody else knew something I didn’t.

Breakfast at this hotel is free – and unsurprisingly you get what you pay for. I’m being unkind of course – the coffee was good, the sausages were good, the bacon was wonderful, the baked beans were baked beans, and the scrambled eggs were… yeah – let’s not dwell on them. You could probably have used the scrambled egg to fill holes in walls. That might have been what the scrambled eggs actually were – wall filler.

I can’t really tell you anything about the middle part of the day. I learned that particular lesson a long time ago, after retuning to the office and being invited for a “quick chat” with HR. I will of course deny any similarity to Sheldon Cooper’s numerous “quick chats” with HR.

After a day spent inventing things (yep, that’s right – I’m inventing things this time), I was released back into the wild a little after 4pm this afternoon. I made straight for the hotel, and was somewhat dismayed that the same girl wasn’t on reception that had greeted me on my arrival late last night. She has an epic Joker tattoo on the back of her left hand that I wished I had the courage to ask about. All I saw of it during check-in was an insane toothy grin across the back of her hand.

Rather than hide in my hotel room for the entire evening, I made my way to the pizza restaurant next door, and wondered what the hell was going on. Either I had hit my head and was dreaming spectacularly, or the world had become filled with models in their late teens and early twenties. They were everywhere. There is a function venue just around the corner – I can only imagine some sort of fashion event was going on. There appeared to be a dress code of sorts – nearly all of them were wearing little black dresses, and black coats. One dark haired girl had a burnt orange lyrcra dress – I can only imagine she didn’t get the memo, but got away with it anyway because of looking like the re-incarnation of Yasmin Le Bon.

I noticed something while shovelling pizza into my face. I was busy watching the various hipsters wandering past outside, and looking back twice at a girl that really wanted to look like P!nk, and had pretty much pulled it off, when I realised something. Now forgive me if this is a thing that I’ve been blind to since – oh, forever. Could it possibly be true that the girls who win the genetic lottery in terms of facial features wear far less makeup than those that don’t? I started watching each group of girls walking to and from the venue next door – and pretty much wrote an entire scientific paper on it in my head. It’s not just the girls either – young men seem to make much more of a statement with their clothes or hair if they think they have to compete with their Arian peers. The really good looking “pretty people” don’t try – and it sort of has a cruel humor all of it’s own.


I paid for my pizza and left. Rather than pay for a pudding at restaurant prices I walked to the supermarket and bought all manner of junk. I couldn’t help smiling as I walked back through the crowds of models with a 500g bar of chocolate, and a bag of crisps in my hands. I’m such an inspirational role model for young people.

I had planned on eating the chocolate while watching a movie later, but ate it the moment I got back to the hotel room. It wasn’t a pretty scene. I don’t have a chocolate problem, honest.

Preparing to Travel

Preparing to Travel

It’s just gone 2pm. My other half is at a rugby tournament with Miss 15, Miss 18 is in her room filling out various health and safety assessments for her new job, Miss 13 is in the lounge playing monopoly with a friend that has stayed with us the entire weekend, and I’m packing a bag to travel to the other end of the country for the better part of the week. Oh – and the clocks went forwards this morning, so getting up at 8am wasn’t really sleeping in after all.

I need to get to the railway station by 4pm. The first train will take me to Maidenhead, then a second to Paddington, the underground through to Kings Cross, and finally onwards to Leeds in the north of England. I’ll be staying in the Holiday Inn Express at the “Armouries” – a huge museum dedicated to various methods of fighting and killing each other the years (fun!). I’ve stayed there countless times, and never set foot in the museum itself. It’s always shut when I walk past.

It always amuses me (or rather annoys me) when people presume that travelling with work means seeing anything of the world. Over the next few days all I will see is railways stations, packed trains, my hotel room, a number of conference rooms, and some busy roads I try to cross in a major city without getting run over. Oh – nearly forgot – I’ll also see the supermarket just along from the hotel, and the pizza place around the corner.

I’m always a little torn when travelling with work – while staying in my room with pre-made food from a supermarket is an attractive option (in a “can’t be bothered to deal with the world” kind of way), I know that sitting in a restaurant alone will provide endless stories to tell on the blog – even if nothing happens, you can always imagine the back-story of people that cross your path.

Anyway. Time is marching on. I should make sure I’ve packed everything.