At 5.10am the alarm clocked jarred its way into my consciousness and reminded me that today was one of those rare days that I had to turn my back on the rural idyll of Bradgate Park and join the (less than) happy band of commuters standing on the platform at Leicester station prior to travelling up to The Big Smoke for the day.
It is difficult to find a much greater sense of dislocation that the one I started my day with: at 6am I was driving through a silent and deserted medieval deer park and at 8am I was crammed onto an Underground train that bore more than a passing resemblance to a cattle truck. Thankfully only two stops on the Northern Line before walking up and down the City Road (it should only have been down but the culture shock seemed to throw my usually good sense of direction out of kilter) on my way to my destination in EC2A.
I always joke that I like to commute to London once or twice each year as it makes me appreciate how good my life here is. Once again I have made the point to myself and I am safely back at home feeling suitably appreciative of my rural existence. On the trip home I tried to calculate just how much an employer would have to offer me to induce me to put myself through the commuting experience twice a day, every day. Suffice to say, the sum involve is sufficiently large that the chances of my ever being lured away to the bright lights and gold-paved streets are, to all intents and purposes, non-existent.
In the words of Ricky Scaggs: “I’m just a country boy at heart.”