“How are you?” The Whatsapp message from MediaChap buzzes as I switch on my phone this morning.
“Am not being annoying on purpose but please let me know when you hear about hotel so can book train ticket,” I reply. Both the parentals have been pointing out that train ticket prices double every five seconds. MediaChap has promised to let me know whether the hotel booking is confirmed and has asked me not to buy train ticket yet.
“Have not heard from friend about hotel booking. Getting a bit anxious as not sure what to suggest. Or he could just be busy organising stuff,” MediaChap says.
“Ask him?” I say.
“Have asked him. I haven’t heard back from him yet. So don’t know what or where the hotel is or even if it’s definite,” MediaChap replies.
“Let me know about hotel and am sure can find time in my hectic day to book a hotel room if you let me know where the party is,” I say.
“What shall we do about Bristol?” MediaChap says.
“See above,” I say.
“Yeah but if I don’t get an answer from him and you need to know,” he says.
“Well all I need at this stage is to know that you are going so can book train ticket today…” I say.
“It’s nice of you to be up for it and was meant as a gesture,” he says.
“Fingers crossed that hotel is booked,” I say.
Hey, wait a minute: what does he mean ‘it was meant as a gesture’ I think. Maybe he has changed his mind and doesn’t want me to come. Had better ask.
“Anyway. Tomorrow: tomorrow, if I go, my bus gets in at 5pm. I’ll try and get hold of friend by this evening,” MediaChap says.
“Yeah. Hopefully he has done what he said he would and all is fine,” I say.
“Hope so,” he says.
Right. Steeling self to ask.
“What do you mean ‘it was meant as a gesture’? Do you not want me to come?” I say.
“No, I mean it was meant to be something nice. Don’t want it to become a stress for either of us,” he says. “Chat later, brain box hot cakes.”
Not sure why: but am not feeling stressed. Am excited about the trip and meeting his chums and having a little bottle of wine on the train and gazing out of the window. Only anxieties, up till now, have been:
1. If will be able to find the pub when arrive at Bristol in the dark.
2. If train breaks down.
3. If won’t be able to sleep.
4. If the food at the party is horrible.
5. If his friends are not welcoming.
These are all minor things. Still determined to enjoy trip. And he called me ‘brain box hot cakes’, which is nice.
But the exciting weekend is now in jeopardy. In the time it’s taken you to read this, the price of a return train ticket to Bristol has overtaken that of a first class flight to Australia. By the time you’ve pressed the ‘like’ button it will be cheaper to fly into space than to clatter economy class from Paddington to the West of England…
*Have used this title before for a different post.