24 hour contrast

Thursday was hot. I mean really hot. And humid. Almost opressively so. I was working in Central London that day. With the office a stones throw from Trafalgar Square I took a leisurely stroll in the late afternoon. Picture if you will, a scene where tourists are sitting around, enjoying ice-creams, dipping there feet in the fountains in the square – and generally just enjoying the great weather in the heart of the London. Even the pigeons seem to be going about their business in a laid-back fashion.

Idyllic in Trafalgar Square
Great weather, laid-back atmosphere, everyone feeling good.

Now – advance forward by 24 hours. I had to attend a wedding reception in Essex Friday evening. Not Essex as in that desert-like land that suddenly appears as you drive past the the “Welcome to Essex” sign on the A13 heading East out of London – but a beautiful part of Essex – near a cute little town called Saffron Walden on the northern side of the county. Only getting there was no fun at all. In fact it was DREADFUL.

I left my office in Slough (by car) at 4pm – thinking that the best way to get to the venue was to drive the M25 clockwise round to the M11 – and then go North from there. I had to be there for 6.30pm – so although I was expecting some stop-start traffic on the M25 – I figured that 2.5 hours was plenty time and, if anything, I should actually get there earlier.

How wrong I was. How very wrong.

I joined the M25 at the Heathrow junction (not far from Slough) – and two and a half hours of miserable grey sky, heavy rain, foot-ache, shoulder-ache, neck-ache, and severe driving-nowhere-stress later – I was still on the M25. I got to the venue at around 7.15 – so I missed some of the wedding-recption action – but by that time I was absolutely shattered – and frankly wasn’t feeling too well as a result. I stayed for just 20 minutes and then went back home. This time I took the M11 right into London and took the North Circular to get home instead. Got home after 9pm – and went to bed soon after.

(A painful reminder of why I hate the M25)

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