I am traveling. Not proper exploring travel but boring and tedious business travel. Five hours in the car each way for a two hour meeting. I bet you are jealous beyond belief. Imagine if you will a Jack Kerouac character who has grown old. A middle range suit and a Volkswagen full of Red Bull cans and chewing gum wrappers. I should perhaps have a piece of torn tissue on my chin stemming a shaving cut. If you look closely there’s a bit of a paunch growing. It’s not hanging over the belt yet but days at the beach will produce a red face more from holding my breath than sitting in the sun. Am I painting an attractive picture?
Evening found me in a cheap (not cheerful) hotel on the outskirts of the beautiful city of York – This is York, England. You might want to think of it as Old York. So good they invaded it twice – The Vikings that is. The outskirts of York do not shine with the beauty of the centre of the city. I have a ring road to look at and a pub that, well, a pub that serves beer. Sort of.
I’ve a TV. It’s brilliant. It has five channels and there’s obviously a button somewhere that makes subtitles appear and disappear. I think the button must be broken because the subtitles won’t go away but they are proving hilarious. Football fans in the UK will appreciate that last day of the transfer window represents a frenzy of buying and selling players. In itself it is not gripping but the many South American and African names that are being discussed have sent the subtitles machine into meltdown. Bennoit Assou-Ekotto and Genseric Kusunga just don’t translate easily when you are a little bit of software desperately searching for a match.
There’s a dawn chorus of flatulence and creaking bed springs. It really isn’t a quality hotel. Taking a walk around the car park reveals three curious things.
- My car is still there and the windows are intact. That’s only slightly curious.
- There’s a spilled glass of orange juice with ice in it and a wasp is eating the ice cube rather than the juice.
- Best of all I came across an old lady. Sitting on a stretch of lawn, still in her dressing gown and busily working through her rosary. She looked so contented and peace with her world.
The old lady has given me hope for the day. What more can a chap ask for.