For some reason I thought staying away from home in a hotel in London for a couple of nights would give me lots of spare time to write. This has not turned out to be the case, although thanks to East Coast trains I will have an ‘extra’ hour on the train since today the journey from London to Edinburgh will inexplicably take 6 hours instead of 5. Whether I use it to write or not is extremely doubtful! Though if I get the chance to upgrade to 1st class I might do a little light editing.
What I hadn’t allowed for in my estimates of spare time was how much longer everything takes if you’re travelling or staying away from home. Eating in a restaurant takes longer than it does at home, and there isn’t usually room on the table for a computer as well as the food. At home I usually relegate the food dishes to the top of a pile of magazines next to my favourite chair but there isn’t any suitable pile of magazines in most well-kept restaurants. And although hotel ‘rules’ don’t usually ban you from going down to breakfast in your nightie and using Facebook on your computer as you eat, there is a sort of unspoken agreement that you won’t do that kind of thing.
Getting washed and dressed takes longer when you’re away from home and don’t know where anything is, and the top you want to wear is underneath everything else in your bag, or, if you’re really unlucky/disorganised, still in the washing-machine at home!
And of course, there was the reason I came to London in the first place, which was for a meeting. How annoying to have to spend a whole day indoors talking about museums when you could be out in the park in the sunshine with your computer! (Not that the meeting wasn’t very enjoyable and useful in itself, and the people very nice)
So on balance I am glad to be going home today – and I still have the journey to ‘look forward to’.