Tuesday, July 1, 2008

There Is Only One Sale

I know many people do not particularly like to travel by train. As far as I am concerned, it beats the car and the plane by miles. If I am in the car, then I am the one driving, and the best I can do is either talk to a travelling companion (if I have one, which does not happen very often), talk to myself (which I do often) or sing (regardless of whether I can do so decently or not, very democratic). If I am travelling by plane, I cannot take the knitting in case I stab someone with the needles, I cannot take the tweezers in case I tweeze someone to death, I cannot take a selection of books in case they are too heavy for hand-luggage, I have to turn up hours before for flights that are usually delayed by hours and sometimes I even have to fight the hordes of 10p a seat holiday-makers that clog the airport-sphere. Crickey, if you really can only spend 10p per flight (and £ 150 tax on top of it), should you really be going on holiday in the first place? Oh, to have lived when travelling by plane was the privilege of the white linen-suited few instead of the plastic flip-flopped many. When I take the train, time and landscape live with me, they are not dragged around by the car or suspended to the point of non-existence in the plane. Today was an absolutely lovely day to zoom down the countryside on the way to London.

Only snag was the work meeting I mentioned yesterday. It was not half as painful as I had expected it to be, and this is probably because I had brainwashed myself with knitting beforehand and with the idea of a hop to the Harrods sale afterwards. I wanted to conduct an effective meeting so that I could escape quickly and continue the day doing something valuable, keeping the economy going.

Still, by the time I left the office at midday, my heart heavy in my chest and my eyes welling with repressed tears, all I really wanted to do was sitting somewhere in trance and going absent without leave until my face too would eventually flash on SkyNews, even though I am not half as interesting, young or pretty as an abducted child. Even the people I know would probably hold back the reins on the search team on the grounds that the disappearance would actually be one of my many stunts. I recall once coming home at almost 11 pm after an 8-hour stint with horses, a little hurt that Rick had not even called to check if I was ok. He justified himself by saying that he had expected I would sleep out with horses eventually, he just thought the day had finally come, and why was I home so early anyway?

So where was I? Ah yes, the heart heavy in my chest and all that... For a moment I even contemplated coming back home but then refuted the idiocy, hopped on the tube and emerged shortly afterwards at Harrods. There is something funny about Harrods (and indeed Harvey Nichols and Selfridges). You know when you read the magazines or the online news, when you turn on the TV and are blasted with the doom and gloom of the downturn in the economy? When you go to these places you really do not believe it exists. Even I feel in possession of a bottomless AmEx, my sensible 'I am only going to browse', replaced by the equally sensible 'it would be a crime not to get this, it's so cheap'. And so I went and got myself a couple of essentials. I also came back with copious amounts of La Maison Du Chocolat chocs and Ladurée macaroons (vanilla, chocolate, coffee and caramel if you must know) which, really, are also essentials, especially when one feels down for whatever reason. And you know how the old adage goes... those who say that money cannot buy happiness, do not know where to shop.
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