Well, that’s my sojourn in the city (Embra) over. Did I enjoy it? I did, I did, I did! Loved it. Well, apart from the chaos on the roads.
This was for the trams extension. But, all week, I never saw anyone working on that.
One day, I nearly got into a right mess. I’d found a way out from my hotel that took me further up the way from the nearby pandemonium of blocked-off roads.
So, this day, I went back that way. Should have known there was something wrong. There was a massive queue of cars backed up on the opposite lane. I was the only one in mine. Then I hit the buffers.
Aaaargh! Stuck in the roadworks
That lane was completely cut off. Luckily, there was a big industrial plant just opposite, and I was able to cut across, after a kind driver made room, and turn around in the entrance yard to join the queue going the other way.
Otherwise, I’d have had to reverse three-quarters of a mile, and I can’t reverse three-quarters of a yard in a straight line.
Tell me straight: do you get emotional when leave a holiday cottage or hotel room that has has been your home for a week or two? I know I do.
This has been the HQ for your quest. And that quest has now ended.
You remember your arrival and all the happenings thereafter: in my case, in between still working, going for meals and pints with my pals.
I must have put on a stone, and the harsh light in the hotel bathroom told me that, rather than the lithe, “good for his age”, gym-honed Adonis I see in the mirror at home, I am in fact a fat, wrinkled old git. Ach weel.
The changes in the city
Certain behaviours changed while I was away too. I had porridge pots for breakfast – the kind you pour boiling water on. That became one theme of my trip.
Another was that I shaved every day. Just my cheeks and under my chin: makes me look right sleek, ken? I guess it was because I wanted to look smart for folk I hadn’t seen in a while.
Back home, I’m lucky if I wash my face on a normal day. What’s the point? Naebody sees it.
A third strange thing I do when away is that, before leaving, I give my room a thorough cleaning, which rarely happens at home. I guess I don’t want the hotel folk to think I’m a slaister.
Shops are different now
I had one afternoon of retail therapy, at B&Q, Markies and Argos.
One thing you notice now is that shops seem to be acting as mere windows for online purchasing. Everything I wanted at Argos was “out of stock”.
Though there are bigger branches in the city, the Markies I visited had a very limited choice of men’s clothes.
And they don’t do knee-length socks (a thing of mine) any more. Disgraceful.
Anyway, I still came home with a car boot full of towels, pants, an exercise band, interesting shower creams (very limited where I live) and bits of wood.
So, all in all, I had a grand time in the city. Not sure I could live there, though.