Heading to sleeeep

Now I get to be peaceful, just for a moment. Still no towel and I forgot my toothbrush until I wrote this sentence. It’s coming up to midnight and I barely slept last night. Bedtime.

I’m staying in this Airbnb in Stoke. Even though I’ve got no towel, it feels like I got lucky compared to some. Apparently half of our group were so pissed off that they dug their heels in and ended up in a Premier Inn after they felt unsafe. Bullet holes in the walls? Yuk.

I get it. I arrived here last night still wearing a suit and a dicky bow, after the corporate entertainment joy. I parked my car and immediately assessed the area and took off the bow tie. Cold or not, I didn’t want to be seen coming out of a car that would be sitting there overnight wearing a costume that makes one look like a legitimate after dinner entertainer in London and a target almost anywhere else. I covered my suit with my coat and shuffled in.

I’m back with our cohort of young engineers. It’s a brilliant group of people and it really feels like we can be part of building the future. I wish I was as focused as they are, these young women and men. I’ve been interviewing them all over the course of the day. That’s been my primary job.

I’m asking them about the things that matter to them. Poverty is a big thing in many of their concerns – there really is a yawning gap up here. These young men and women have been given this chance and it might be enough. Talking to them, their interests are so varied. Some are into designing fighter jets for war, others are trying to find models that stop greed and start to push towards societal models with less selfishness. All of them are excellent at maths and are very much involved in seeing how equations work out in the real world. This is an extraordinary group of young people to be working with.

Driving up last night was almost a bust, but getting here was worth it for being able to help these students grow. I’ve somehow managed to combine engineering with acting. It fell out randomly with me and was likely fuelled by the fact that my best friend at school was pulled into an engineering programme by IBM in Romsey and I made some great friends out of his contemporaries. I never wanted to be anything other than an actor, but my friends and family were scientists, so it probably infused my worldview. My brother is a scientist. There but for the grace of God… Either way, the world is big and life is long, and I’m very tired. Bedtime.

This is the sign outside our home…

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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