So I was hoping a work trip to Maidenhead would reveal a hidden treasure that I had previously failed to find. It’s the constituency of our former PM, Theresa, who clearly likes the finer things and the surrounding villages are both delightful and upmarket. So surely it couldn’t be that difficult?
Cue hideous multistorey carpark, a building site and my inability to get from A to B without hunting for and having to use the sort of under passes you know you should not use as a women on her own, especially late at night, carrying a backpack.
Things didn’t start well when I realised I had left my phone charger on the train and more annoying than that, I had somehow failed to charge it. I have a ritual checking process with hotel rooms, to deal with my scattiness. Unfortunately it didn’t extend to searching under the table in the train carriage and this time I had no spare. Valuable lesson learned. The hunt was on for usb-C lead after most of the shops had closed.
So I headed to a large Sainsbury with late opening. After checking the various areas displaying electrical items and venturing up the escalator to find a carpark, I saw the Argos concession. Triumphantly, I took my order to the till but it was shut up with nobody there. Phone charge was now on 1%.
I made one final check round the shop, past all the chiller cabinets belching their freezing air like someone though this was the antidote to global warming, not the antithesis of it. Then, as if by magic, a lady appeared at the till in Argos. Apparently she had been in the stock room, had heard my order come through and gone to find it. That was why the tills were closed up! Grateful I paid for my overpriced lead and plug adapter and made a swift exit.
Retracing my steps carefully to get to my hotel, I went the wrong way to avoid a menacing group and this took me past The Bear, Wetherspoons. It felt wise to keep on walking…
I arrived at about the last place for a drink before retreating to the Travelodge. The Honey Pot, ah that sounds nice. Maybe I had found my hidden treasure in Maidenhead?
Realising the women, most welcome in that establishment, were of the performing variety, I retreated rapidly to my hotel and passively handed over the requested ID. Yes I needed ID in a Travelodge!
Remembering the reason I came to Maidenhead, I ran through my demo for the following day. It centred around the role IT would play in the life of Roland the rat catcher and Cyril the cesspit emptier. It seemed somehow fitting….
Maidenhead again, next month, I think I need help to find the good in it…