Friday, 19 March 2010


I'm on a Eurostar train that smells of fresh fart. I'm in my allocated seat near the window, and to move anywhere I'd have disturb the lady next to me. I'm looking around the crowded carriage trying to figure out who the guilty party is. Not that I will be able to do anything about it but sometimes it's nice to know who to blame for one's discomfort.
There are two men, clearly colleagues, sitting at the opposite window. They've been discussing at length, and at a not inconsiderable volume, the deals that they nearly did, but didn't.
There is a couple nearby in which the man is clearly dominant. He's not just talking to his wife/lover/colleague, he's broadcasting to a wider, disinterested audience.
There's a young guy opposite me whose rucksack is spilling into my space while he reads a book titled Mijn COUNTDOWN. I think he might be a student because he's covering the pages of the book with orange highlighter and pencil. Oh, and he has one of those little triangular beards immediately below his bottom lip. It's less beard, more tuft and I think he thinks it makes him attractive. He's wrong.
I would quite like a cup of tea if it weren't for the fart smell, which is being refreshed quite regularly, and the long walk to the bar, and the fact that the lady sitting in the aisle seat next to me is asleep.
I wonder what I'd be talking about if I had someone who'd enjoyed the same conference as me, sat next to me.
Would we discuss the shared experience and reflect over the last couple of days? Maybe we'd share iPhone applications or talk about what we had planned for the weekend. I wonder if we'd complain about lack of time, resource and corporate will to implement any of the interesting ideas we've seen over the last two days, whilst secretly making plans to leapfrog the competition.
Student boy is eating a floury bread roll with white chocolate which, to my mind, confirms his student status.
The noisy businessmen have tired of one another and have fallen silent avoiding eye contact.
I haven't bought my guilty mother gifts yet. I looked but couldn't find anything. My children didn't want me to do this trip. They didn't want to go to the Breakfast and After School clubs. Ethan kept asking me why I had to go and, when I explained, he told me I should be more assertive with my boss. It's difficult to explain that I did and didn't want to do this trip.
The information gathered is very valuable and I have a long memory for this type of presentation. It does help me with my work and I would like to spend more time learning and understanding.
But I miss home and I feel so guilty about disrupting the weekly routine. My husband has taken some time off, I've missed Hannah's parent's evening at school, and the children have had to spend time in a club that would normally be home time.
So I will probably stop at Bluewater on the way home to buy the guilt gifts. But if I do that I might miss the children before they go to bed. I don't think I can win. It's a lose lose situation all round.
Thank God it's Friday.


The Ample Cook said...
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The Ample Cook said...

You poor thing. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Really sniggered at the fart smell. Although I do realise it must have been thoroughly unpleasant.

Hope your weekend is good. Crack the wine open.

Ann said...

The fart smell was truly awful