Friday, 25 April 2008


Significantly early for a meeting, I made the chilling mistake of stopping at a Westbound motorway services station. I know, you can hear the Hitchcock Psycho music already.

I save the location's blushes as I describe the pitiful scene which greeted me. Shops were closed, the coffee bar was blocked off with red and white tape. The other 'eating area' was also partially blocked off but did have breakfast food and coffee. I paid the small King's ransom for a cup of frothy brown water and sat in the area which had an aroma reminiscent of incontinent camel. The jangly recreation of 1990 pop music blinged away in the background to make me feel happy, until the industrial floor cleaner sallied forth with its 97 decibels of cleansing. I looked away from the area of this noise just as the hobnailed workman arrived to start tapping the floor to the side of where I was seated.

Back in the dark ages, there used to be a song about places like this with a verse that went something like: "Watford Gap, Watford Gap, a plate of grease and a load of crap" but this was apparently expunged from its EMI long player because an EMI board member was also a non-executive director of Blue Boar (the owners of the service station).

Its author was right.

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