Back to the smoke

Up in the Ayrshire morning and for a few hours I’m Julie Andrews, dancing around my little IKEA flat packing bags and cleaning up. No bin bags anywhere so a neat and guilty pile of empty Kronenburg cans by the bin. Two half finished bottles of red wine down the sink. Everything else into my case and then off into a sleety morning to pick up the ancient scientist again. He’s a brilliant human and his wife comes with him adding value. We notice and comment on similar things, Peter and I. The silhouette of a crow on a traffic light. The behaviour of a woman at the petrol station. We would be friends.

His wife gives me his card and I’ll look them up if I’m in Turin. I drop them at Edinburgh airport and then nothing remains but to get myself to Glasgow. My journey there is slow. I listen to music, stop for a long contemplative sandwich, gently dispose of all the detritus that has accumulated in my car. Detritus… I was roundly corrected at school for pronouncing that word debtrit-us. At the time I complained that deTRITEus sounded American. But I adjusted my pronunciation. Peter said it in the car the first way and now I’m thinking my way might be the English way and the people who corrected me were steeped in American English… but I digress.

So I got rid of all the crap and dropped the Suzuki back at enterprise after just shy of 3000 miles together. I even ripped off the Frankenstein’s ariel I had improvised for the second race running. I left it on in Uruguay, reasoning that a Uruguayan car rental employee was more likely to appreciate a hot fix than to raise an issue about health and safety when they see a copper rod gaffered to the car roof.

Then I flew to Gatwick, got the train and a cab to Shoreditch and met some new people. Now I’m in a pod. It’s 11pm and I’m up at half six. I won’t be driving anywhere though which makes a change. Some of us went for drinks in the bar. I had one pint, started a second one and realised I couldn’t. I’ve taken the glass back to my pod. It is rebuking me from the only tiny surface I’ve got in this room. I’m gonna waste it. My brain and body want to shut down without processing anything else. I’m listening to them.

This pod is run by Premier Inn. If it’s the future I want out. It’s all touch buttons and beige and you have to put your own duvet down and the loo is just behind your sleeping head through glass and there is a constant low level static noise plus the rumble of trains and if you turn off the air conditioning it is quickly very stuffy but you have to or it keeps you up all night. I’m here to work though. I’ll miss my little apartment in Ayr with the little living room. I’ll miss that nippy little Suzuki. And I’ll miss the spirit of the people working that Extreme-E gig. They’re goodies. Motivated and kind. Trying to be part of a positive change.

This event is managers having a jolly. The team is lovely but a very different head will be required.

I’m glad to go from job to job but a crash is coming. I only need to push it back a few more days…

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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