Return, little grove   2 comments

One way ticket.

Hi! Long time no see! I should write more, shouldn’t I? One of the things I didn’t write was a post about suffering from time leakage. Yeah.

But not this one. Over the last day or so a couple of things have happened which affected me in similar ways.

The first one was chatting with my partner last night; she suggested we go to a party. I enquired, and it sounded like it could be a fun do. I asked where it will be. Liverpool.

Liverpool is slightly more remote, and less hospitable, than Mars. NASA have, after all, sent several successful missions to Mars. Never to Liverpool.
(Edit 27/10: partner’s response: “NASA could so send an expedition to Liverpool. It’s just that there’s no earthly reason for them to want to.”)

But I didn’t appreciate this at the time, as I’ve little grasp of British geography. So I went to National Rail Enquiries and entered the trip details, and was met with the same sense of being overwhelmed, like being crushed by a massive weight, that I usually am when I ask how to get somewhere by train. By rail, the round trip would take a good eight or nine hours, involve more changes than a one-man fashion show, and have all the usual bother of having to leave at the crack of dawn, and the last train home being in the middle of the afternoon – at least, if you don’t want to sleep in a station in Birmingham or Leicester.

Even if my partner drove the trip would be the best part of six hours. Cars aren’t as bad as trains; there’s not the loss of control, or the sense of “the only way is onward, there is no turning back”. But being in cars doesn’t always agree with me, so the thought of spending 1/8th of my weekend in one didn’t do much to lift the overwhelming weight the trains had dumped on me.

This feeling’s not fear, sadly. Fear’s motivating, readying you to fight or flee, and when it’s overcome it can be exhilerating. This crushing, overwhelming… Dread? … has none of fear’s positive aspects; it dulls and unenthuses, and once it’s overcome at best there’s relief that at least it’s over, but tempered with the knowledge that it’s only ever for now.

My partner suggested that six hours out of a weekend wasn’t that bad. After all, a normal weekend would involve at least a couple of hours’ washing up. There are two problems with this. Firstly, I like washing up much more than travelling; It’s nice and warm. I can do it when I please, whilst listening to podcasts, music or watching things on the iPlayer. I can stop for tea or anything whenever I like. And, once it’s done, the kitchen is nice and clean. Two hours’ travelling, on the other hand, not only means you have to spend two hours travelling, but also means you have to then travel back home. Where the kitchen’s still a mess.
The other problem: any party involving food – as this one does – pretty much guarantees I’ll generate more than a couple of hours’ washing up before I go.

The other thing that happened was quite different. Recently I’ve been playing a bit of Go online (and I wish I could say that I’d been throwing the games against the Go bots to get a better handicap against Phil, but, well, silver linings). Tonight, I received a challenge from somebody I didn’t recognise. Argh.

OK, so other than illustrating some of my many malfunctions, what do they have in common? There’s no good way out.

If I go to the party, I have to deal with all the bother and horribleness of getting to and from Liverpool, and also the party. I was a wreck for days before the last party we went to, and that was only in London. Spending a day and night in a bizarre foreign land as well as with people I’ve never met is even worse. But if I don’t go, I worry I’ll be a disappointment to my partner (although she’ll almost certainly go without me), and also to myself; I’ve already had a couple of fun ideas for it.

Likewise, if I accept the challenge, I have to play the game all the time worrying that he (something of an assumption, but he does use the masculine form of a common Latin noun in his name, so) will talk to me. If I turn down the challenge it’s undeniably rude. If I ignore it, arguably even more so; and he can tell if I take moves in, or start new games.

I could just not play any more. That would be a shame; I was enjoying it.

Edit 27/10: the challenge was cancelled at some ungodly hour this morning. If you read this: ta! If not: phew!



2 responses to “Return, little grove

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  1. It’s 2 hours, no changes from Milton Keynes to Liverpool: drive here then take the train.

  2. Ta, I shall pass this along. Her suggestion was going from Northampton, which is a bit slower and cheaper, and possibly easier to get to, than MK.

    It still feels like a very long way, though.

    In other news: you were awake at half six on a Saturday! Long before even the F1! Gosh.

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