2 reasons to travel

Posted on September 29, 2016

You’ve got to travel a bit, every day. Very often it’s no fun at all.

This morning, someone tried to cut me up on the A3. I held my line, tooted hard and got in front. But the rear view mirror displayed a few hand puppet animals I hadn’t seen before. I think one was a snake’s tongue and the other one the snake itself; maybe a worm. I couldn’t see the shadows, just the fingers making them. She overtook me 200 metres later.

For a while now I’ve been commuting to Epsom from Saffron Walden. Get up at 6, drive to Audley End (because Saffron Walden doesn’t have its own train station), race to your seat on the Liverpool Street service, walk to Bank, because the Central Line is mobbed, Drain it to Waterloo and train it to Epsom. Walk to the office. You see the same faces, listen to the same voices and hear the same keyboards tapping.

I could do without almost all of it. It’s tiresome, literally. But there are gleaming jewels. At Liverpool Street station, there was a brass trio, playing for free, promoting their tour. They were excellent and dozens of people interrupted their journey just to stand and listen. Needless to say I bought their CD, like the one from the guitar player sitting outside Embankment about midnight. They’re both in the same place now, of course.

When I get back to Audley End station, properly called Wendens Ambo (both the Wendens in case you wanted to know), Mabel takes me to The Bell Inn. You need a drink after that journey. What a beautiful pub; it has everything you want in a good pub: you have to lower your head as you go in (and forget on the way out), the beer’s great, there’s a Labrador after your nuts and it’s old.

I’m fond of those two experiences. If you don’t travel, you miss out.