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Wednesday night is film night

I spent the first three weeks of this month away on business doing systems integration and testing for a major equipment trial at a customer site. Usually, when I’m working at that site I stay at a hotel at a service area on a nearby trunk road. That’s very convenient to get to work in the mornings, and is just fine for one or two nights, but gets very limiting for a longer stays. Other than a Harvester, the only alternatives to the hotel restaurant within walking distance are a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a McDonalds.

Since there was about a dozen of us, staying from Sunday night to Friday morning for three weeks (or more for some of the team), we wanted more options and more flexibility, particularly over food. The trials manager came to a very good arrangement with a family-run hotel (not part of a big chain) in the nearest town. It was more awkward to battle through the rush-hour traffic to get to work, but they gave us a good deal on the price and were very flexible. We’re good reliable business for them, so it was worth their while making life as pleasant for us as possible.

The trials manager came to an understanding with the chef, who said that he’d go “off menu” and that, provided we gave a few days notice, and we signed up in advance so that he knew the numbers, he’d cook us whatever we wanted. That suited us just fine, and we soon settled into a routine. On Sunday night we walked into town to a nearby Italian restaurant. Monday and Tuesday nights we pre-ordered dinner for around a dozen of us in the hotel – fish and chips one night, cottage pie another, then bangers and mash, and finally a mixed grill. Nothing fancy, but good quality filling food, much needed after a long day working flat out.

Wednesday night was designated as film night – we took over the residents’ lounge, erected a projector and screen, and watched a DVD. Since the vast majority of the team were male, we were never going to sit down to a RomCom – the choice was always action movies or thrillers. So the first week we had pizzas in front of the latest Tom Cruise movie, Jack Reacher. The second week it was chicken and chips to go with the Bruce Willis vehicle, A Good Day to Die Hard. I can’t say that I’d have actively chosen to watch either of the films, but it was a good way to pass an evening in a hotel. I’m not sure that the Bruce Willis film was meant to be a comedy, but it was so blatant in its disregard for the laws of Physics that it had our gang of scientists and engineers howling with laughter. The Tom Cruise was a thriller/who-dunnit, but unfortunately I had to take a phone call in the middle and missed a vital plot twist, so am still not sure exactly how the innocent man got framed…..