I got some well-deserved earache from my sister-in-law via email.
One of the pleasures of working away from home in the winter is the long drive home in the dark.
Yes, that right - I said "pleasures".
There's something about a long drive at night. Obviously the UK isn't the ideal place for driving, which is why all the best Road Movies are set in the USA.
- UK Road movie : Ford Focus diesel up the M6 from Rugby to Carlisle
- US Road movie : Dodge Viper along the Historic Route 66 from Chicago to LA.
Even so, I do tend to enjoy myself. For one thing there's the music. A long drive in the dark is one of those rare occasions when you can crank up the music and really listen, rather than just having it on in the background.
I listened to "Every Day Hurts" by Skunk Anansie about a dozen consecutive times. Mrs. Stan has a degree in music, so when some piece gets to me I usually run and get her to break it down for me : why is this so marvellous ? Usually she smiles and tells me that it's always the same sort of music that gets me :-
- Syncopation : the stress is on the off-beat : one TWO three FOUR
- Tension between the rhythmn instruments and the solo creating a "surge" in tempo
- Bass - and lots of it
Thanks to traffic delays, I also had chance to reacquaint myself in some detail with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" by Pink Floyd and "Salvador" by Jamie T. I fear that these may turn out to be musically isomorphic to "Every Day Hurts", but I don't care - great tracks in their own way.
I also enjoy overtaking trucks at night - I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe because it gives the illusion of speed. Also each one's different and it's going to strange places with cargo hidden from sight. There is something awesome about 40 tonnes travelling at 60 mph mere inches from your window.
I do like the service stations too - which I associate only with pleasure. Bladders are relieved, aching limbs stretched, children eat sweets. Wonderful places and greatly underrated.
But the best bit is arriving at my destination.