Tales from the A1: The One With The Blue Moon

My new project at work requires a new commute, straight up the A1. 3 hours on a Monday, 3+ hours on a Friday. This road is a fairly maligned road, and people generally don’t have anything much nice to say about it. I thought that, seeing as I have to do this drive no matter what, I may as well liven it up as best I can. To that end, I’ll be stopping at a new place along the A1 each week and writing about what I find there. Sometimes I may choose the place based on careful research and planning, sometimes on a whim. I can’t promise it’ll be interesting. But it will all be true. Also see: {Part 1}

This post was very nearly called The One With The Service Stations, because that’s literally all I did last week. I did say I couldn’t promise it would be interesting. However, whilst I was at my second service station of the night I looked up. Now, perhaps you are up with your current affairs and know that last week was the first blue moon since 2010. I was not, and was merely mildly interested in how nice and big the moon looked. 

Let me explain. This particular commute home took place a little later in the evening, as opposed to mid-afternoon, and was at the end of a slightly stressful week. Honestly, I just wanted to get home. Nothing was open. The roads were busy. It was cold. 

I thought to myself, as I pulled into my first service station, what better way to illustrate the bleak and banal nature of the British roads than this. The British service station. 

Formica tables and hospital waiting room coloured chairs, the faint whiff of toilet cleaner in the air. Some trees had been optimistically planted in the centre of the eating area, but I just felt sorry for them. What a life, to be surrounded by lorry drivers eating their pasties 24 hours a day and never feeling a real breeze. The clock was an hour and a half fast, and I wondered whether some bored employee was trying to mess with the motorists. It certainly worked on me. 

And what better way to capture the mundane than the sight of my dinner. This here is the only gluten free food I could find in the place. Yes, that’s a large serving of fries and a Diet Coke. And my audiobook, which was the only thing keeping me from throwing in the towel and running screaming out of the door.

The architects had obviously been going for a light and airy effect, way back when this place was designed. The whole thing just felt a bit neglected, now. The automatic doors slid open and shut. Open, and shut.

I decided to take my pudding to the car. I’d saved a gluten free brownie from Filmore & Union, which I enjoyed to the sounds of my audiobook and accompanied by my still classy Diet Coke. I’m listening to The Last Summer by Judith Kinghorn, because the new Stephen King book was just too stressful. So far, it’s ok. 

I forged ahead, the sun sinking slowly into pinks and oranges. It was quite pretty really, over the gantries and concrete bridges.

As I pulled into the second service station of the night, the last of the sun directly behind me, I saw it. I sat and stared. It seemed so huge. I took a photo. 

It looked pathetic. I must have some magic, blue-moon-shrinking camera because every time I tried to photograph it, it just looked miserable.

Oh well. I’ll leave you with one last unimpressive blue moon shot.

Shoutout to the Eddie Stobart lorry! A true British institution.

Until next time….


-Rachel

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