Oxford Drive

I’m in the green room at The Oxford Playhouse, wondering where I should sleep tonight. There’ll be five people sleeping in the flat in London. I probably won’t finish work until 2am considering it’s 10.30pm and I haven’t started yet. I’m already tired and it might be nice to wake up in Oxford, even if I’ll be doing quite a lot of that in July. But where to sleep? Can I bear a Travelodge?

They’re striking the Rotterdam set upstairs, but they’ve done it loads of times before. This time it’s uncertain when and where it’ll be used again as the tour is over, so I’ll be taking it to a warehouse on an estate near Bishop’s Stortford on Monday. This means that I don’t HAVE to go home tonight, although there’s much to tidy and put in the loft. My absence tonight though – it might make the bedroom situation a little less insane at home. Perhaps someone can crash in my bed if they’re brave enough. The sheets are clean, but getting to them involves an assault course so extreme and complicated that people who work in offices pay good money to do it on the weekend for teambuilding.

I used the opportunity to take some mental snapshots of the route from London to Oxford, so it’ll be as easy and safe as possible when I’m missioning up on the bike every day. There’s “only half an hour left Waitrose,” “slow down or you’ll miss the turn-off truckstop”… It’s good to have route markers, even if I’ve never been very good at naming things… It’s why I usually just title this blog with one or two words. “House Style”.

I hope it all fits in the van. I think it will. It’s one of the banging great Lutons from H&H. The Vandroid wasn’t there this morning so I got a much quicker check-in experience.

Meanwhile, across town, the battered old Jag was experiencing its penultimate reckoning. I tried with the poor thing. I dropped it off at Collier Street Garage. They’re a family business in Kent. I rang a lot of places before I felt good about one. They seemed to know jaguars and not be money-grubbing evil scrubs. They have plenty of work so said it would take a while which suited me well too as I didn’t really want the thing back until November. But they rang to say it’s not worth saving. The cost in parts and labour for an unsatisfying fix would be more than the price of one in good nick with an MOT. What to do?

It helps to have friends who do unusual things. Lyndon bought it off me for a photo shoot. Today I think it’s going to have white paint thrown all over it and then a model is going to lay about it with a sledgehammer. Then it’ll get towed off to the big scary crane, and turned into a cube of metal. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

I’ll likely keep paying the last two months of insurance as I’ll be wanting to extend my “no-claims”. I rarely if ever can afford to have a car for a whole year so I’ve only picked up two years of NCD in 16 years of driving. It’s chicken and egg, since the major reason I can’t keep cars is the £200 a month insurance premium. But three years NCD might help make my planned eco-van cheaper when I look into buying it in January. We will see.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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