I’m starting to go off weekends.
As a concept, the weekend has rather passed me by over the course of the last ten or so years, as I suspect it has many people who work in any kind of service industry. It doesn’t especially bother me, but over the years I’ve had to adjust to my “weekend” cropping up in the middle of the week, or split over two disparate days. Having never held a traditional Monday to Friday “nine to five” job, I reassure myself that I can’t really miss anything I’ve never had – and besides, complaining that my days off aren’t the same as those of a lot of other people is such a First World problem I almost feel uneasy typing it. Continue reading
“Plan”. What a vile word. Sure, it may look innocuous enough on the written page, to the point of appearing exceedingly dull and unassuming, but just try saying it out loud. “Plan”. “Plan”. “Plaaaurghn”. Bleurgh. Things start off well when I try to form this word with my mouth – you know, in that way we do when we want to speak a word using our voice – but then I hit that third letter and I feel the bile rising in a way usually reserved only for particularly-Welsh town names. By the time I reach the “n”, I’m practically spitting the word out, anxious to release it into the wild and get away from it as fast as possible. It’s not a word with which I have ever been eager to associate myself. Continue reading
As was noted some time previous, the initial plan for this holiday came from a simple desire: to travel on a sleeper train. Once in plentiful supply, only two such services now remain: the Night Rivera, on which one can snooze one’s way to the West Country; and the Caledonian Sleeper, for people who prefer to approach Scotland with their eyes shut. Both destinations appealed to me, but with Scotland offering itself as an entire country in which my hand had never set foot, it was decided, relatively early in proceedings, that the Caledonian would be my sleeper of choice for this trip. Continue reading
One of London’s less desirable attributes is the laziness it tends to inspire in me.
In the course of the average week, I make a point of travelling, where practicable, by foot, feeling more than a little guilty if I resort to using public transport for a trip of, say, only a couple of miles or so. One of the reasons I decided against keeping a car when I moved back to Aberystwyth all those years ago, along with other tedious factors such as cost, the ready availability of an extensive public transport network and the like, was that I was concerned it may become an “easy option”, engendering laziness and adding needlessly to my carbon footprint: would I, for instance, walk the one-and-a-bit miles to work each day when I could just as easily hop into the car and save my legs seventeen minutes of bother? Even in the most inclement of weather, when taking the bus would the obvious option for any sane person, I tend to feel a little guilty, as I sit there, that I’m letting myself down by avoiding the exercise of a brisk walk through the wind and rain. Continue reading
London. Ah yes, London. That London. I haven’t really kept tabs on exactly how many times I’ve visited this, the capital city at the very heart of English infrastructure – if distinctly removed from the country’s geographical heart – and, as such, it was very much the odd man out in this holiday, my other destinations being comparatively unknown quantities to me. London, by contrast, I felt I knew like the back of my hand: back in Norfolk, it was only a short trip along the Fen Line away from me and even from Aberystwyth, it remained surprisingly easy (and cheap) to head off to London (single tickets start as low as £7.50, making it cheaper to travel from Aber to London than to Birmingham, rather amusingly). Continue reading