Monday, April 25, 2005

I Left My Bag In Newport Pagnell 

There is a white grand piano in the hotel restaurant. Like a streaker just before he takes to the hallowed pitch at The Oval, or Lords, or wherever, I contemplated my chances.
How much of my widely loved rendition of Hey Jude would I be able to get through before hotel security dragged me away, to work me over with a baby chair in a distant back room where no-one would hear my screams?

Stella has sent me Darn Sarf on a job. Today’s part of the operation went smoothly - getting here - although the bit after the toll booths on the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge was as hair raising as ever. X many lanes of post-toll booth traffic quickly merge into three lanes of motorway, and for about twenty seconds, high speed anarchy and recklessness prevails. It’s quite invigorating, in a blokey ‘I’m not arsed, this is just a hire car’ kind of way.

I’ve already made use of the hotel gym - 30 minutes on the running machine, 3.2 units of distance, miles I guess. My legs are still full of lactic acid from Thursday’s run, though it could be citric acid or sulphuric for all I know.
The bald headed bloke in the Status Quo T-shirt may not have realised I was engaging him in a battle of body and mind for the grand title of Man Who Can Stay On The Longest, but I was. Not only that, I won too. And that’s what counts.

The head waiter was business-like, authoritative, not overly matey. He didn’t crack a smile.
“Did you enjoy the main course, Sir? Very good, Sir. Would you be interested in dessert, Sir?”
A bit like what policemen might have been like in our grandparents’ day. Polite and respectful, but no soft touch. A Dixon of Dock Green for the dining room.
I could tell he knew what I was thinking - and I could also tell that he knew that I could tell he knew what I was thinking, and so on - so I resisted temptation and decided not to try and make a break for it.

“Take a sad song, and make it better. Remember - ouch! - to let her into your heart - get off me, fascist! - then you can start - not the face! Not the face! The cheesecake was excellent, by the way. Can I have the bill please? Ouch! - to make it better.”

Girlfriend would have been proud of me.

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