Bags of Time | Travelling With Attitude

This is a regular feature in which readers send in light-hearted stories of their travel experiences. This article comically discusses the service stop that everyone undertakes when doing a long drive.

by Carly Frances 4 years ago

Our series of monthly articles invites readers to send in light-hearted stories of their travel experiences.  

travel, motorway, services, britain

“Why would I drive an extra 14 miles?” I think to myself.  I’m tired & hungry and my bladder won’t hold out that long.  I wonder how many risk-takers drive past the exit in 8 miles, only to happen upon a traffic jam and curse their luck?

After a further 7 miles, the Services’ signage tells me that I have the choice between Starbucks, KFC, Burger King and M&S.  I’ve struck motorway service area gold.  What a choice.  Coffee, chicken, reformed meat or stealing one of the aforementioned’s tables and eating a takeaway pasta salad.  Why don’t M&S ever provide seating in their services-based outlets?

Before I have time to ponder that 1st world problem further, I find myself in the lorry park.  I’m pretty sure I followed the picture of a 1960’s car correctly, but I couldn’t have done, because Eddie Stobart rules this car park.  I re-trace my steps and see the error of my ways…..the thoughtful designers had swapped from retro car sign to tarmac markings at the final hurdle and I had forgotten to adjust my skills accordingly.

I eventually park up, match my walking speed to my bladder requirements and head straight to the ‘ladies’.  I will spare readers unnecessary detail of the following 4 minutes, suffice to say that the experience is one-stop short of a music festival.

So….it’s now decision time.  I opt for the ‘healthy’ choice of an M&S wrap, packet of sea salt crisps (ok, not that healthy) and the juice of some oranges.  The very polite lady (of course she is, she’s M&S trained) asks me for most of my ten pound note (well it is a motorway services M&S and it’s not just any food) and I try to look nonchalant as I sit myself down at one of the Colonel’s tables.

The food is the usual quality that I have come to expect of Marks’s and I am refuelled.  I put my rubbish in the military man’s bin – in for a penny, in for a pound – and I return to my car for the next part of my journey on the 25th motorway in Britain.