Titchfield UK30 Jul 2017 | UK work
The third and final leg of my work trip was into the Office of National Statistics in the UK. They are located in Titchfield which is roughly halfway between Portsmouth and Southampton, and consequently a pain in the arse to get to from Heathrow. A coach followed by a train later I arrived into Fareham station - around 1pm - for the quick cab ride to the luxurious Premier Inn hotel.
I had made tentative arrangements to meet up with Denise’ parents in the afternoon - as they are only about a 50 minute drive away and I had the rest of the day free. We planned to meet at 2pm and after a quick refreshing shower and change I took some biorythm resetting sunshine and waited. They had got a bit lost - and so by the time they arrived we agreed to just sit outside in the sun at the next door chain ‘TGI Friday’ “restaurant” for some drinks. They had brought Denise’ uncle Brian who’d I’d met a few years earlier and who lives just out of Portsmouth. Whlst the in-laws had coffees, Brian and I grabed a pint, and I got a late lunch snack. It was pretty hot in the sun, and we had a good catch up - and fortunately I felt mostly awake and human after an overnight trans-Atlantic flight. We actually had to move due to the direct sun and heat - what a novelty! After another round of drinks we said our goodbyes - and I think all really appreciated the catchup and conversation.
I wanted to use the remaining afternoon to go explore with a run before diner and an early night. After the food and a few beers - it didn’t feel great to begin with as my stomach bloated and churned. But it was delightful to quickly find a commons and a patch of trail and trees wedged amongst the bitumen and houses. I followed my nose down towards the ocean and before long was almost able to smell the salty air. Unfortunately I only had time for a 30-45 minute run at most so had to loop back to shower, meet my colleague and find a good’ol’English pub with a few wee cask ales! (I subscribe to the CAMRA philosophy!)
The next day saw a typical soaking drizzle for our 15 minute stroll to the Office of National Statistics. A good, relaxed and informative day in the office. As we sauntered out and walked back to the hotel - we reconvened at the next nearest nice pub for another nice gastro-pub meal and some English pints.
To keep my training up and explore more I set my alarm clock to jerk my jetlagged arse out of bed the next day, by 6am, for a longer run. As usual the morning run was a struggle at first but as soon as I neared the coast and the blood was pumping - I got the joy of exploring new trails, commons and villages.
We stayed on script for our second day at ONS, and a half day on the Friday so we could track back towards Heathrow via Woking. Unfortunately policy does not allow for any private travel components on international trips for work - so I lined up an hour catchup with my cousin and her new baby Clara at the Terminal 5 departures. We had a nice cup of tea and catchup and I got ample awkward baby holding. Then onwards to the BA lounge for some dinner, wine and work - and aboard the metal bird for a weekend timewarp landing me into Canberra Sunday late morning. Less than 21 hours before I’d be back at my desk in Canberra - lucky I flew business and slept reasonably :)