My day starts at midnight, as I’ve been working the 1400-0000 Duty Editor shift at work. This week, I’m in London at Broadcast Centre, which is infinitely more glamourous than our tiny Cessnock office. It’s been a quietish evening, so despite some last minute disaster recovery, I’m out the back door at 0005.
A car is waiting to take me to the hotel I’m staying at, the K West in Shepherd’s Bush. It’s well-known for being popular with bands and trendy media types and it has what younger people than I might describe as a “happening” bar in the foyer.
The car that’s been sent for me is inexplicably a chauffeur-driven brand new Mercedes and the guy even comes out and opens the door for me, once he’s driven me to the door of the hotel. This sets off a chain-reaction of servitude and the burly bouncer on the door unclips the velvet rope and sweeps me through. I am mortally embarrassed to see every face in the bar turn to see who it is – just me, with my hair a mess and a hole in my leggings.
The hotel is pretty swish but due to a mix-up with my booking, I have got the worst room in the place – a million miles away from reception and overlooking some skips round the back. The walk to my room literally takes over 2 minutes of striding down a long corridor which feels like you’re walking to the end of the world. It’s so long that there are TVs in the walls at strategic intervals and a vending machine halfway. The vending machine isn’t working, bah.
Get to my room and I try to switch the TV on but that doesn’t seem to be working either, so I potter about a bit and then get into the comfy bed and finish my book.
I have a game of Zoo Keeper on the DS and then decide, at around 0200 that I should really get some sleep.
I wake up at 0755 and get out of bed immediately as I have to be at work earlier today and also as the curtains let light in. I have a shower and wash my hair in the harsh London water that my hair really does not like. I struggle to get ready, there’s no mirror to dry my hair at apart from one that is behind some glass shelves in a really inconvenient location. The hotel, upon reflection, is pretty masculine. Then I pack my stuff up. I like packing my bag to come home, it’s exciting to know that I’ll soon be back.
Realise that by the time I get to work, it’s going to be a bit late for breakfast, so I eat the speculoos from the hospitality tray and gather my stuff and check out. The hotel try to make me pay, but I point out that the company has already paid. Chancers. When I’m checking out, I see one of the bands that were staying outside, loading all their stuff into their tour bus. I later deduce that it is White Denim, indie rock fans. I wasn’t all that impressed with the hotel but it’s still better than the one I usually have to stay in.
I head to the Tube and hop along to White City and walk up to the Media Village. This trip, I have spotted the grand total of no celebrities. One day, I’ll meet Huw Edwards though and be over the moon.
I get to work for 1100 and there’s not much for me to do, as I am pretty much there to finish off my training, which I have already done. I talk to some colleagues and then we watch the athletics and look at Usain Bolt running fast in wonderment.
I chat to my colleague Jane who is Duty Editor today until she finishes at 1400 and get her tips for success. I like my colleagues a lot. Jane is very funny. Around 1415, I gather up my things once more, say cheerio to everyone and head back to the Tube at Wood Lane.
Wood Lane Tube reminds me of the Bangkok Skytrain, especially when it’s as hot and sunny as it is in London today! I take it to Euston Square, which is more scenic than the usual route I take. It passes Portobello Market which today smells of fried onions – which reminds me, I am starving!
I get to Euston Station and look at my lunch options. Discover to my delight that not only is there a Krispy Kreme stand but an Ed’s Easy Diner, too, in a kind of plaza I’ve never found before – hurrah!
I have a hamburger and some onion rings and then go and buy some books and a drink and some donuts to take home, as Lee’s never had KK before and I am nice like that. I have to wait what seems like an age for my train and I am very tired indeed.
Eventually, the platform is called and half the station swarms like ants to platform 6. I find my seat on the train and settle in next to a hot guy – literally, hot, as in radiating heat like he’s on fire. I am very sweaty. Once the train gets moving, he hops off to find another seat so we can both spread out though, so it worked out pretty well and I got to stretch a bit.
I spend a lot of time people watching the couple across from me who have packed for this train journey like they were on some sort of Arctic expedition. They have pretty much brought a 3 course meal, laptops, iPods, books, cocktails and a change of clothing. I also listen to the Chinese couple behind me synchronise their diaries until literally new year 2012. She’s taking him home to meet her parents for the first time and he recently bought a Shaker style wardrobe that cost £595.
When we get to Lancaster, I am pretty much near death. The Pendolino train is making me feel a bit queasy which is making me even sleepier but I am too tired to sleep much it seems. We are delayed slightly by some idiot dicking about on the tracks but get back underway and eventually we crawl into Glasgow just before 2300. Lee has come to pick me up and we stop on the way home to pick up something for me to eat before we have a quick exchange of news and then I collapse into bed just after midnight. Zzzz. Thank goodness I’m off work for a few days – I’m exhausted!