The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “services”

Motorway Service Stations

Driving as I do around 20,000 miles/year sadly I am sometimes forced by circumstances to stop at these appalling places. My childhood recollections are of stopping late at night often on the way back from football games at wonderful places such as Barrow ( and I mean that, Barrow is a wonderful proper real football ground, the simple fact that it borders on Mordor and takes weeks to get there should not detract too much from that) and finding cold service stations, long queues and smelling vividly of fried food. Sadly not much has changed except two things. In the main they are all outlets, Burger King, Costa ,Waitrose etc, they are all incredibly expensive, but the queues have gone as no-one wants to or can afford the extraordinary prices.

Today typified things. Mug of tea 2£. Served as tea bag floating in mug. Go on a hunt to find milk, spoons etc. Served by the eternally damned or at least they look that way. No hello, no smiles, no thankyou’s. The atmosphere was dire. The tables looked like they had been sourced from a car boot sale selling ancient tables from a closed down club. Dirty. Smelly. It must have taken the last 20 years to extract every last ounce of atmosphere, pleasure, call it what you will. These places are devoid of anything resembling humanity.

Then the shops. Selling a selection of things that non-one in their right mind wants or needs. Buy a paper and one gets asked if one wants to buy two packets of chocolates for £4. The petrol station. Anywhere on this island diesel costs around 133.9-135.9 pence/litre. The more greedy local garages might ask for 137.9. The service station today was asking 144.9 pence/litre. This equates to an extra £7 a tank if I were to buy there.

Service stations are doomed. Only the desperate stop there in increasingly smaller amounts and the reasons above are why. Either charge a fortune but serve excellent stuff or charge reasonable prices in a reasonable atmosphere. Doomed unless you fancy buying one of these nice coats for sale in the shop. I am being serious…….

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Carshalton 0 Canvey Island 2. Ryman Premier

On a damp day 208 souls turned up to watch an entertaining game which until Canvey scored their second goal could have gone any way. Carshalton are currently bottom of the league and the second goal deflated them as did the sending off of one their players for a rash and bad tackle. the first half saw Canvey score in the 3rd minute and by half time Carshalton should have at least equalised , missing 3 relatively easy chances. But a good game with good banter from the crowd. For the remainder of the season? Carshalton will struggle. their defence was not solid and they did not take chances in front of goal, but their effort levels were high and a run of decent results could get them out of trouble. The run needs to start soon. Canvey looked a strong and solid side who will be in the top half of the table. Carshalton also do an excellent burger and Chips. Thanks to Parcelforce however there were no programmes today.


Why do Marriott hotels not give Wi-fi free? Selena Gomez

After 2 hours of an unspeakingly dreadful junior Disco, well for me not the children who shrieked their way through 2 hours of songs that bore no relationship to the term that I call music.  A cold walk home. Whatever they say the temperature is it feels like minus 10. Most lower league football has been called off tomorrow so no Brentford and yet another game to re-arrange. All kind of dull really.

So todays rant must be against hotels and in particular the Marriott hotel in Leicester. This place is not cheap. In fact bed and breakfast is 149£/night. The pleasures of wi-fi are only available in the ” bar and restaurant” areas. Otherwise broadband costs 15£/night. This is roughly what virginMedia charge me for a whole month of excellent connection. They then charge 5£ for parking and there is no other option so really the overnight cost becomes £154. There finally is the option to eat in the bar area and a sandwich will cost around 8£ and a burger around 14£. These are disgraceful prices. No room was also available for me when I arrived past the check-in time to compound matters. The hotel is also souless and the staff look like a dose of ECT ar around 4000 volts might be needed. End of rant. But there again, things might get worse and they did. Do not ever be tempted to eat or stop at Newport Pagnell services. They are well beyond awful. Sausages and mash, served to me who eats football ground fare , were appalling, served on a cold plate, the food looked like it might have been cooked this week, possibly. A dreadful waste of 7£. I make all these points and for me the cost is borne by my employer, but I would never spend my own money at either of these two establishmnets again. No camera with me so an old photo to keep you going today. So to finish the evening some music from one of my more unexpected artists, Selena Gomez. Very underated.

Even the heat of a candle is welcome tonight

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