Ode to Cambridge Services

This last weekend the boy and I visited family in Yorkshire, which is always great fun. They fed and entertained us well; just what we needed at the end of a half term.

On the way home I discovered a truth about motorway services. And so, in honour of Cambridge Services…

(Like a parenthesis, waiting,

waiting for us to call. You beckon, great yellow clippings calling from 1 mile away.

So we always turn off. To change driver, to have breakfast, elevenses or lunch or just a coffee.

The choices are familiar: there is Bob the builder’s tractor where our school trip to Keswick halted, there the little shop, the games machines, the Pizza place where the queues are always shortest but you get free refills and staff in costumes, the burger bar where a man dropped his large coke, the toilets (male and female employees operate in this area), the telephones, the chicken stall where they are out of Zingers, the French patisserie area where the staff may all be on their first day at work and I cannot find the napkins, but there are subtitles to tell you some of the news, the entrance to the motel, the coffee stop. And in between all these cherry wood seating in neat organic rows, between bins, green plastic trees and under blue neon lights and an elliptical roof.

There is nowhere quite like you, Cambridge services. The garage, with the man who paid in Euros. The bus loads of tourists arriving conveniently after we do. The scars on the grass where the snow once locked travellers in. The blocks of rock like molars cutting out of the edges.

No, there is nowhere quite the same.

Unless,

of course,

you stop at Peterborough

instead).

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