Archive | December, 2012

Time is on my side…

4 Dec

Anyone who has followed this blog will know that there has been a barren month or two. No reason beyond sloth…and just better things to do. Today, however, as I was driving, unhurriedly, along the M25, musing on what my release from full-time employment has done for me, I caught sight Clacket Lane services looming on the horizon.

A year ago I would have sped past. Now I rather revel in scoring service stations under a variety of headings: parking; toilets; range of food and drink outlets; number of cold air vents which chill the Costa coffee experience; ATMs that charge you for cash; poor internal layouts so you hit dead-ends when you want to exit and have to retrace steps. The categories are almost limitless and many too politically sensitive to mention. Clacket Lane is unsalubrious but familiarity has bred fondness. I like the coffee-plus-muffinfor-a-£1 deal from HotfoodCo, even if the service on the anti-clockwise side of the motorway is far superior to the clockwise.

Today I had time to buy the i (why spend more than 20p when this offshoot of the Indy does the job of The Week in a day?) and settle to Dominic Lawson’s mostly right of centre but very readable take on an issue of the day. Starbucks and Amazon would have enjoyed his support today as Cameron’s bonkers volte-face did last week. Owen Jones takes it in turns with Dom to provide thoughts on things that really matter to the rank and file – and he’s more likely to throw a leftie spanner in the works. All good stuff and, more importantly, I have time to breathe in the oxygen of the world near and far. Some of it’s polluted , of course such as the stories on Sir James Crosby who, as chief exec of HBOS offloaded his shares in the ship as it was sinking. ‘I was balancing my portfolio of assets,’ said the Knight of the Realm, who had already made £8million from the merger between Halifax and The Bank of Scotland. The ‘Green Debate’ continued my pollution theme – I hear so many horror tales about the huge cost of wind farms that my scepticism over this form of eco-benefit knows no bounds. There was a grim article about students turning to the sex industry to meet the costs of their education. Not very clever, really.

There was plenty of upbeat, though. Kate and Wills dominate the headlines and who would have thought that a story on puking would have been uplifting? Nice coverage of the Parafest – that jamboree yesterday for disabled wannabe athlets for 2016 to test whether they have what it takes. Finally I was particularly drawn to the research that claims to have identified the binge-drinking gene. I knew it wasn’t my fault.

The double-shot cappucino was working its way through my system, nicely. I was relaxed. Time was not of the essence and I reflected on what I read, who was around me, where I had come from and where I was heading. The more I find time to isolate myself at Clacket Lane (or, further on, the new and very sexy Cobham services) for a precious 40 minutes, the more I feel in touch with myself and the world about me. The anonymity is wonderful and everyone seems held in a few limbo minutes of  relaxation.

The best moment was yet to come, however. Ken Bruce played the Monkees’ Daydream Believer as I headed towards Reigate. Full volume. Happiness in a simple song. Cheer up sleepy Jean/Oh what can it mean?

Time can, occasionally, be on your side.

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