One of the joys I have to deal with is that my lovely home - Buchan Acres - is some 500 miles away from The Client Who Cannot Be Named. So I regularly have to trot down to my other office and put in some facetime. Working from home *all* the time is seriously bad for mental health, as well as keeping track of office politics (something I take great pains to avoid). So. My commute runs like:
- 3am. The alarm goes off. I ignore it. SWMBO elbows me in the ribs. I get up, stagger to the shower (which is surprisingly open-plan at the moment after I ripped all the walls out of the 1st floor of our house), get dressed in the dark (which sometimes leads to amusing suit jacket and trouser mismatch issues) and get into my lovely lovely car.
- Drive 100 miles to Edinburgh Airport. In order to stay awake, the trick is to have a talking book or podcast to listen to. Terry Pratchett audiobooks are particularly good. The other trick is to have a very nice car - one that brings a happy smile to your face, and one you enjoy driving. Not some POS that threatens to break down all the time.
- One I get to the airport, the trick is to park the car in roughly the same spot each week. My strategy is to go for the topmost floor of the car park, nearest the lifts. This means I dont have the issue of wandering around for half an hour in the rain looking for the damn car.
- Leave the car, pile everything into the backpack (including suit jacket), carry only the boarding card, and walk through security. Edinburgh now has a 'express' lane which keeps most of the tourists/amateurs out of my way. Sleasyjet Speedy boarding - an extra six quid - gets me in this lane. Money well spent.
- This means I have an hour before the plane goes. I can think of nothing better than sitting at table 43 in 'The Gathering' at Edinburgh Airport, checking my mail (no wifi at that spot, but the view - a corner glass wall overlooking the runway - makes up for it). They do a rather excellent cooked breakfast, fried eggs, and black coffee for less than a tenner. I usually give them the order whilst walking in, and give them the cash when the meal arrives - which means I can be in and out in under 15 minutes if I want.
- Sleasyjet speedy boarding ('needy hoarding') and then a seat at the emergency exit, trying hard to look extremely fat (not particularly hard) thus deterring anyone from sitting by me. I'm doing them a service. And then sleep. I've had to be woken up at the other end in the past - such is my ability to sleep in uncomfortable places.
- Stanstead this morning, so I get on the train, open the laptop and scan the blogs. Sometimes I'll write some such stuff like this.
- And then after all that, at my desk in the City for before 9am. Just enough time to blag a good desk, and nip to the toilets to change from my T-Shirt (This morning: Mr Perfect. but 'I've beaten Anorexia' is good for a giggle too) to my Shirt, Cuffs and sometimes (if I'm feeling particularly evil) a sombre tie.
- Accommodation is now a friends flat - no more hotel roulette - which rather cuts down the amount of rubbish I lug around all the time.
Is it glamourous ? Like a night-bus in London is glamourous. Could I do this forever ? Well, I've been doing a variation on this theme since 1995, so I guess I have a system that works.
Would I consider moving to London ? Not really. Its nice to visit, but I cant see myself, SWMBO and the herd of cats living in a two-bedroom tiny flat in some obscure part of the capital. I do like my space.