Bath, Bristol, and Mileage

Yesterday was, as expected, very long, and had a hefty mileage total. But it was also bloody good.

I left home by 9am, and drove over to Bath to meet up with M, a friend of mine. We then spent the majority of the next 11 hours talking (well, except for the gig itself) and having a decent day.

We went for a late lunch at the Pony and Trap in Chew Magna, a Michelin-starred pub – and it was brilliant. Their Sunday menu is just epic, and we had a fantastic meal. Heartily recommended.

From there, we went into Bristol (via a very convoluted, dark and windy route – my satnav still wants to kill me, it appears) to find parking, have a drink, and then head to St Georges for the gig itself.

The gig was excellent – Rollins was on stage and talking for a good two-and-a-half hours, and as funny and smart as usual, although with a bit more melancholy than usual because of the recent death of Lemmy, who turns out to have been one of Henry’s real friends. All told, we thoroughly enjoyed it (as did everyone else, from the look of it) and had a great evening.

Having dropped M off at her house, I was still wide awake, and opted for Plan A, driving home. A three-hour drive, starting at gone 11pm.  I’m a bloody lunatic, it’s fair to say.

Actually, the drive went really well too – despite forgetting that SatNav wants to kill me, so it kept sending me on b-road ‘short cuts’ on pitch-black roads when it had been raining heavily.  But that’s par for the course, so not too much of a concern.

I got home just after 2am, wide-awake still – and didn’t really slow down for a couple of hours, so I think I ended up going to sleep at around 4am, then up at 8am and in to work. It’s been odd, because my brain thinks I should be a whole lot more tired than I actually am – I’m sure I’ll reap that whirlwind at some point this week, though.

But yes, a good day, having covered about 400 miles…


One of the things I’ve written about before is how I navigate through, and learn about, a place.  My spatial sense is pretty good, and in general if I know the main things about a place, I can navigate by effectively holding a three-dimensional model of it in my head. When I’m not sure where I am, I can look up, find some significant points, landmarks etc., and orient myself based off that model.  That’s not a perfect description, but it’s how I visualise things in general, so it works for me.

My map of London is generally pretty good – it’s ridiculously rare that I get lost at all there, even in the more outlying areas. Indeed, I think the last time I got seriously mislaid was when I was relying on shit satnav to get me across south London (which turns out to be May 2009) and even then, once I’d given up on the satnav, I navigated and found my way to where I needed to be pretty damn quickly. (And far faster than if I’d stayed reliant on shit-nav)

The other side of that is that sometimes I miss out on connections, or need to wander around to find those new connections that allow that map to improve.

Tuesday’s London trip was a perfect example of that. To get to CMH, I went to St James’ Park tube station (which I used to use daily while working with one of the agencies in London) but going to the other exit from the one I used when I was there last. I knew where I was going, but I hadn’t connected the two areas in my head – and it turned out that they were both ridiculously close, only I’d never realised. (It also turns out that CMH is also dead opposite the QE2 conference centre, where I attended one of the @Media conferences)

It also turns out that we walked back into Central London via St James’s Park, and went on a different route to the one I knew, so we also went through Horse Guard’s Parade, and past Downing Street without me knowing. Typical.

Anyway, as well as having a fantastic evening, it all meant I also got to add new bits to my map. Never a bad thing.