Monday 23 June 2008

Wrong choices at every turn

Still in a state of blissful ignorance about my weight; 13.5 units of alcohol yesterday; 1,321; Lithuania and Smithfield.

This was a quiet day after my feast of culture and high living in East Sussex, though it could so easily have been anything but. Luckily for me, though, the Lithuanian builders who had largely demolished my friends’ Lewes kitchen on Friday (deliberately, I should add, and at the owners’ request) were late turning up, so I was able to enjoy a peaceful breakfast in the sunshine on the terrace. Then I was driven to the station before they set about the remaining load bearing wall with sledgehammers. A shame in some ways, as I had been quite looking forward to seeing how my friends’ daughter’s bed looked in the middle of the kitchen, after it had come crashing through the floor; and also, of course, to learning the Lithuanian for “f***!”

Now I suppose I shall never know. I did hear the English for it, after some idiot pulled the wrong lever (or these days, perhaps, flicked the wrong switch) for the points at Hayward’s Heath, so that my train to Victoria was on the wrong track for linking up with the other train that was meant to join it there. As the driver moodily clumped back and forth through all eight coaches to reverse the train back through a tunnel and try again, I could not help hoping that the incompetent signaller was not contemplating a career move into air traffic control.

There were three other people in my first class compartment, making it much busier than usual, but at least we had enough critical mass and combined English froideur to deter the crowd of young foreigners who were packed shoulder to shoulder in the vestibule from Gatwick Airport from coming inside to join us.

I had arranged to continue my journey to Northumberland on an evening train from London, fondly imagining that someone might like to have lunch with me to make the intervening hours fly by. But, in fact, absolutely no-one did. So I scrounged a space to work from my old firm in Smithfield and sat pointlessly tapping out this blog.

I caught the 17.30 to Morpeth and toyed with the idea of dinner in the restaurant car, then rejected it on the grounds of both cost and my waistline. So on the first run through of the refreshment trolley before Peterborough, I purchased a sandwich instead: a triple pack of egg and cress; smoked ham, cheese and pickle; and roast chicken with stuffing. All of which tasted much the same, and not particularly nice. Rather more surprising was the information printed on the packaging, which included three red traffic lights for fat, salt and “salt fat”, whatever that is, and a total calorie count of an amazing 729. Plus another 263 for the accompanying packet of cheese and onion crisps, to which I had decided I could treat myself as I was “only” having a sandwich for dinner. Memo to self for the future: if in the slightest doubt, always go for the three course dinner with wine option, as it will be so much better for your diet.

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