Tuesday, 23 May 2017

An ode to Tamworth Service Station

Before I start this blog, I just want to pay my respects to all of those affected by the attack on Manchester Arena last night.  As a former resident of Greater Manchester, and as someone who has attended a Peter Kay appearance at the same arena, I feel personally attacked by this incident - and my thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.  I am not, however, surprised by the huge community effort that then swung into action.  As someone said, there is far more good in this world than bad and we should hold on to that with a tight grip.  I pray that all parents and children are reunited and that the injured recover well.

My day was, thankfully, less traumatic but one that starts the final few days of Mum and Dad's move north.  Leaving at nearly 7am, I drove down to Hopwood Services to meet up with them and collect their dog, Maisie.  The removal vans are due to turn up next Tuesday and start loading up - the process will be so much easier without having to worry about where Maisie is all the time.  Given that they may not be able to move in to their new house straight away, it also gave them an opportunity to load my car down with more vital "stuff" (mainly dog food and paraphernalia as far as I can tell - although there was a lovely hanging planter!)  As we finished catching up and having an early lunch, a police car went past with flashing lights and then the alarm started in the service station.  Let's just say that the evacuation was orderly but we couldn't help but think about last night in Manchester!  I have no idea why we were evacuated - possibly just burnt toast! - but the staff were going back in by the time we left.

I then decided to stop off at Tamworth Services to use their facilities IYKWIM!  Tamworth Services has been the stop of my choice every time I went down to visit Mum and Dad in Devon and, as I admired their newly furbished toilets, it came to me that, for the past 26 years, I have stopped here at least 6 times a year, walked 4 different dogs, seen shops come and go, conversed with many a hungover youngster on New Year's Day and drank gallons of Costa Coffee - the highpoint being when I realised that my AA card would give me 20% off my coffee and 10% off my M & S shopping.  It is only a small station but it's a friendly one and I would hate to think that I will never use its facilities again.  In the words of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons:-

I'll be strong
I'll try to carry on
Although you know it won't be easy when you're gone
I'll always think of you
The tender love we knew
But somehow I'll get through
So don't you worry 'bout me

On a totally different note I will refrain from giving a review about last night's musical.  What I will say is that my friend was traumatised - why?  Maybe it was a religious conversion?  Was it Judas hanging himself or Christ being crucified?  Nope - it was the shrieking that was supposed to pass as singing -I will say no more!