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