Some pointlessly funded research tells us that January the 24th is the most depressing day of the year. This so called extensive analysis of all things that makes you scream “aaarrrgghhhhh, I can take no more” and switch your diet to any liquid best shown off by a brown bag, has clearly been nowhere near our house when the relatives pitch up. That’s a day which starts with a downer and is grimacingly subterranean by the time some twisted individual suggests a game of Charades. An entertaining pastime, I’ve come to think of as a cheery alternative to disemboweling yourself with a blunt soup ladle.
And back in 2006 that research was wasted once an unwanted pantarectemy reminded me of the huge importance of packing items to clothe your nether regions. Since then, not a day has passed without a frission of excitement as the commuting bag of doom gives up its’ bounty of hastily packed laundry.
Not that I’m actually doing much commuting at the moment what with the medical predicament that only I can see, and a plethora of fine reasons to avoid travelling to London. Last of these was a fun packed two days with those suppliers of computer software whose corporate motto goes something like “fuck the competition laws, we’ve got better lawyers“. These may not be the actual words but I think I’m pretty much at the heart of it there.
I cannot begin to discuss what we talked about; firstly because under the Non Disclosure Agreement they get to do the ladle/internal organ thing if we do, but more importantly because it’s of similar interest to a slideshow I was once forced to endure cheekily entitled “Tomato Propagation – the Inter War Years“.
But I can tell you about the Hotel although that’s a word I’d not normally bestow on a glorified B&B trading expensively on faded glories. Located in a twee village itself rather interested in permanently staring up its’ own fundament, this rambling collection of drooping buildings appears to have expanded through the simple expedient of buying up the neighbouring houses. And then doing almost nothing to them other than polishing up some naff brass fittings and changing the locks.
My room was just about within the blast zone of the steaming kitchen although reaching it did involve a suicidal road crossing and an extended battle with an entry system dreamt up by a man understanding neither Entry or System. A dark and dank corridoor closed in around me and only the dirty light cast by the emergency signs provided any distinction between door and wall. Passing through ever reducing doorways, it took an audacious limbo move to crash through my door crazily swinging my luggage for balance.
Once my whirling dervish of laptop, arms and overnight bag had sufficiently calmed, I was then plunged into darkness on accidently deactivating the only obvious light source. A desperate search for the switch successfully illuminated a locals recently vacated front room with a shower stall grafted on. Still the bed worked and the showers power was clearly the reason most of the tiles had long gone but nothing could prepare me for the radiators.
The room was floating about an inch over the Earth’s mantle superheated by the molten iron core. No amount of twiddling with the baffling controls of these bastions of nuclear fusion could reduce the temperature to anything under about a thousand degrees. So in desperation I opened a window whereupon horizontal rain poured in and one second later, the television exploded. Still – as my rather metrosexual colleague wailed – it only has five channels and what the hell was he going to watch as ‘Lost’ wasn’t on any of them.
When the going gets tough, the tough go drinking and even faced with a bar the size of a well appointed airing cupboard and beer that was more pipe than hops, we put in a decent performance. I’ll never tire of the glorious warm feeling that someone else’s expense account brings. Only when suffused in the glow of many different drinks imbued over a long period can a bottle of Champagne with a lager chaser ever seem like a good idea.
It didn’t look like such a good idea in the morning but since old goodtwoshoes here had naffed off to bed early – via two inadvertent headbutts on the dwarven doorframes and a brief but invigorating rain shower – I was in excellent shape to tackle the first of two breakfasts.
You know how it is, someone else way paying for it.
I’m not having much luck with hotels lately but thankfully a month of office bound commuting awaits. During the coldest part of the winter and facing the lonely prospect of a postponed diet and fitness regime.
No wonder I’m bloody depressed.