(or “Oi! I’ve got a laptop now so get it right round you!”)

Yup it’s true, I’m writing this miniature missive as hurtle (or given the speed we’re currently doing, limp) out of the sprawling metropolis of Manchester. I’m sat backwards (I specified forwards) at a seat with a tray (I specified table) and no power socket (guess what I specified?) and not even a bloody window!

Yes, friends, not for the first time in my life, this experience with a Virgin has been unfulfilling to say the least… and we’ll leave that anecdote right there, thank you very much.

It’s occurred to me today how much travelling has changed. I remember days gone by when if you were off on a long haul journey, your essential travel item was basically a cheap paperback and a Twix. Now? Laptops, wi-fi enabled phones, USB cables, Bluetooth adaptors, MP3 players… it’s all a blue of gadgetry and bemusement to some folk.

I’m as bad. Earlier to day I had the joy of a 4 hour bus journey on the in-no-way-accurately-named Mega Bus. As it was busy, it was sardine territory and no room to avail myself of my travelling comforts. In short, I had to resort to – shock & horror – a newspaper, a magazine and my imagination!

Sounds awful, especially given the thoughts that usually rattle around the vast, cobweb filled space that passes for my brain, but no, this wasn’t too bad. I had my tunes thanks to my mobile; I took the liberty of purchasing a bottle of Scotland’s ginger nectar, Irn Bru (OK this may be a little too much detail, but thank your stars I’m not John Grisham, or you’d have had a full run down of what kind fo shirt I’m wearing, how I buttoned it and the amount of steps from my front door to the bus station) and I generally chilled out.

Bar the odd text and a brief update of Facebook on my phone, I didn’t miss being cut off from the technological world. It was rather relaxing to be honest… I think these days, a little bit of peace and quiet – “you time”, if you will – is something that a lot of people take for granted, and I include myself in that. It’s certainly made me want to set aside some time to sit and read again, rather than just shoe-horning in a few lines of the newspapers here and there.

Folks, this is a fast moving world. Sometimes, it pays to slow down and take it all in. Try it, you won’t regret it. Trust me!

— T

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