Day Two: You Are What You Eat.

by | Feb 2, 2024 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

I negotiated the mini spaghetti junction that was Didcot services and picked up a McDonald’s wrap and side salad.

Today is as much about food as it is about travel, to quote the successful radio series, now a Netflix TV series.

I woke from the fitful sleep in my creepy annex, anticipating the continental breakfast I’d ordered. Having stayed in hotels for seven nights, the full English had lost it’s greasy charm. I showered in the tiny cubicle, standing in three inches of water by the end – how hard is it to unblock a plughole?

Dressed and refreshed, I made my way across the heavily potholed carpark to the pub next door. It was empty, just yours truly to break the fast. A young man greeted me and I gave him my order, which I’d decided on using the card in my room.

“A croissant from menu one,  bowl of fruit and fibre and yoghurt with berries and honey from menu two. Coffee and orange juice please,” I said, pleased I’d recalled everything perfectly.

The young fellas face fell half way through my order.

“I’m not sure about the yoghurt with berries and honey, I’ll just check.” With that he turned and entered the kitchen behind him. He returned a few moments later, shaking his head in transparent regret.

“I’m afraid it’s off, we’re awaiting a delivery of yoghurt, berries and honey.” He frantically tapped away at the screen in front of him like he was playing a computer game.

I imagined one of the many juggernauts I’d overtaken, laden with pots of yoghurt, bags of those frozen berries and millions of jars of honey. It was thundering towards us as we spoke, but too late for me.

“Can I have toast, white from menu one in that case please?” I knew this wasn’t allowed, the French pastry had been my solitary choice from there. The young man shook his head and pulled at his tiny wispy goatee.

“Well, I guess on this occasion, I can make an exception,” he replied magnanimously, as if he’d given me a golden egg – lightly boiled.

The resulting breakfast was the worst I’d ever experienced. The croissant was at least three times reheated and the toast was soggy and limp to the point where it resembled the texture of beef jerky. The coffee came, lovingly prepared, at the press of a button behind the bar. The only edible item was the fruit and fibre, which originated in a tiny box!

As I packed up, ready to head south, I was beginning to rue the nomadic life. However the smooth drive which Shimmie gave me to my half way point, made up for it. I negotiated the mini spaghetti junction that was Didcot services and picked up a McDonald’s wrap and side salad. Not before avoiding three collisions in the chaotic parking system.

Like the car park in Sainsbury’s, one is three times as likely to have an accident than travelling down a busy motorway at seventy. Add to that the tens of delivery boys with their electric bikes and brightly coloured cubes and you’re an accident waiting to happen.

A further hour’s drive through a countryside as bland as its food, and I arrived at the mouth of the Solent. I checked into the Premier Inn using the only working self check-in of three, while six other people managed to do the same with the human equivalent. Technology, eh?

This time tomorrow, I’ll be checking in to my final hotel. The Campanile Caen Est. At least my continental breakfast there would be, well, continental!


  1. Kenneth Childs

    Bon Voyage Brian.

    • brian

      Thanks Ken 🙏🏻


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