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Living the Dream

My dreams are often mad, but usually in a pedestrian way that I manage to forget by the time I reach a keyboard. Tonight, however, I found myself telling a Mossad assassin that he would not reach the Commissioner tonight as he was even now on a train to Istanbul. Strangely, I was aware that this would stall the plot since mobile phones had not yet been invented, but proceeded anyway.

In any case, I’m not sure why this conversation was taking place on a housing estate in Shropshire, but I’m sure that Childers or Buchan would not have squandered this opportunity to play a part in the Great Game, on the Big Stage. After all, their authoring opportunities were largely restricted to endeavouring to avoid massive ‘conventional’ conflict across Eurasian borders. If I were to pursue this them in (probably virtual) print this morning, it would probably turn out that the story presaged the last days of the human race. Perhaps all stories do, at this point.

In any case, my progress towards a rational denouement was impeded by my pre-senile bladder, which woke me in order to send me to the bathroom. However lively my dream life may become, it seems that authoring an adventure novel would be an over-ambitious late addition to my bucket list.

David Harley

Random Thoughts of a Professional Traveller [1]

[On the way back from a conference in the UK in September 1012: originally published on Dataholics]

“The onboard shop is now open for hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, and sex.” Either my hearing is going, or Virgin Trains is really going all out to provide a comprehensive service to travellers before handing over its franchise to First West Coast.

In fact, it’s not just my hearing that’s deteriorating, but my tolerance threshold. The hotel I just left, though further from the conference than I’d expected, was fine: clean linen, good breakfast, excellent shower, and the TV had more than four channels. What more can you ask?

But why must cheerful, friendly young members of staff insist on saying “No problem” when they take my order? If I’d thought it was going to be a problem to order something from the menu, I’d have ordered something else. While resolving never to stay at Fawlty Towers again.

So now I feel obscurely and irrationally guilty at have made them waste time on serving me when they could have been in the corner working on their first novel, or their patter for “Britain’s got talent”, or working up courage to ask the receptionist out for a drink. Not to mention the resentment I feel at seeing myself turn into the sort of curmudgeon I laughed at when I was their age.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World