So I left home at 9:30 and here is my first photo joining the M1.
I would like a £1 for every time I've been up and down the M1, all those years up and down it as a trucker.
As I was a bit on the early side, I decided to stop at Scratchwood services for a cup of tea, Scratchwood services, I can hear your brain gears churning, where is Scratchwood services? well it used to be a motorway services very close to a country park in Mill Hill called Scratchwood. Seems like it is not there anymore, well it is sort of there, but under an alias, it is now called 'London Gateway Services' now I get the London bit, after all London is just up the road but Gateway, gateways are all over the place, perhaps there is a special gateway nearby but I doubt it. It is more likely, some idiot in a suit, gets an enormous ego buzz going around renaming everything. I can also imagine the enormous confusion this behaviour causes. Like two people arrange to meet, one says "we could meet at Scratchwood services at the beginning of the M1, you can't miss it". So the poor bugger gets on the M1 and hits Toddington, whilst still looking for Scratchwood services. Well I don't care what some suit says, for me it will always be Scratchwood services, there ought to be a law against it!
Anyway a couple of pictures of SCRATCHWOOD services.
Driving through the teeming roads of London bought back tons of memories.
In the distance can be seen St Paul's
Arrived punctually at 13:30 then my problems started, I could not find Quintiles Drug Research Unit, 6 Newcomen Street, I found Newcomen Street fine, but there appeared to be no house numbers anywhere. Why give house numbers to an address if they are not on the buildings?
They did a fantastic job of hiding the research center.
The arrow points to the sheer length of Quintiles Drug Research, from a layman's point of view this looks like a load of separate buildings no, believe it or not, it is only one building!
The miniscule sign for such a vast building, the arrow on the picture above this picture points to it. Note the lack of a number
After spending well over half an hour trudging up and down Newcomen street looking unsuccessfully for some house numbers. I asked an attendant in St Guys hospital, next door, did he know where number 6 was, "no mate" he said. By this time I was more than a bit fed up, one of the things about COPD is, you don't just get out of breath like a normal person, you start to fight for breath which is much worse. So then I asked him did he know where Quintiles was, "yes" he said pointing at the building on the far right of of the picture, so back up Newcomen I went, when I looked at the building he pointed at, it looked abandoned, and the front door looked like it had not been opened in a hundred years. So I carried on up the street heart in my boots. Finally I get to the other end of the street and saw the sign on the wall. I was there at last.
When they built the drug research center, to get planning permission, they were probably told they must keep front of the building looking exactly the same, I ask you, it does not look much an architectural masterpiece to me.
Finally they did the tests, and I was informed by the doctor, that there was not actually a study! But I was in the database in case they actually do a study, so all this rigmarole for nothing.
Tests done, I left Quintiles for the drive home, when I reached my car I discovered to my annoyance I had been given a parking ticket.
I was parked in front of the red car, the dopey thing is, my blue badge allows me to park on a single yellow line or a double yellow line for three hours. so if I had parked on the other side of the road where the single yellow line was, I would have been ok. Finally arrived home around 7 at night totally exhausted and fed up because of the parking ticket.
When the letter from Southwark arrived this morning my heart sank thinking my fine had arrived, my expedition to London was a failure, my pleasure at discovering they had accepted my appeal against the parking fine and cancelled it, is the reason you are reading this.