This was written last year. I’m in the process of transferring old blogs over to this site…so do scroll back through the archives occasionally:
I don’t know what happens in the other trucks – well, Namibian, of course, will be uttering banalities nineteen to the dozen to his double-driver – but, on our drive up to Sweden from Calais on the U2 tour, Wrecker Jon suggests I have a “duvet day”. Hopelessly out of touch, I don’t realise that one can do this in bed alone – ‘what, without a pretty girl?’ – thus negating the point a bit, no? Well, I’ll try anything once – except incest and morris dancing, obviously.
‘Right, I’m going to be idle, Jon,’ I purr, and I do my utmost to remain immobile, staring dispassionately at the bunk bed above. Jeepers, this is dull. ‘What are you supposed to do on these duvet days?’ I ask.
As we discuss the finer points of inactivity, and how best to achieve them, Jon pulls in to a Shell Garage. Anticipating the need for a wee-wee later on, I seize the opportunity. But that means getting dressed, ruining the relaxation somewhat. One can’t saunter round German garages in dressing gowns and lounge slippers, clutching 50-cent coins; no, trousers must be fastened, flip-flops hastily donned. Oh, and what about my “bed hair” in case I bump into a sultry Teutonic maiden?
Well, Jon noticed one. ‘There was an Aryan delight in the petrol station,’ he avers, hopping lazily back into the lorry. Blast, I missed her. Now, as I say, we’re heading up to Scandinavia again, fretting in advance at the expense. There will be no pulling birds in bars for us, we declare decisively. ‘Library?’ suggests a parsimonious Jon, glumly noting the heavy rain and wrestling with the kettle. ‘Might be a bit mousey in there though, Jon,’ I retort, casting my memory back to bookish custodians. Jon opens a tin of Cola and says: ‘Ooh, I’d go mousey. I’ve had a mousey fetish for years.’
Sliding between the sheets once more, deciding I’ll go beserk and watch a film in bed, the phone beeps. My pal, Sex Pest, is on the verge of being arrested in a jazz bar in Oslo on the Madonna tour. Fine in itself, but I’ve had to sit up to grab the phone from the dashboard. Horizontal once more, breathing a sigh of relief, Wrecker decides he’d like a cuppa. Oh marvellous, I’ll do it shall I? Aside from singeing my leg hair on the stove while trying to cover a rogue testicle with the duvet, all is hunky-dory. But the selfish git, gripping the wheel and maintaing a whopping 84km/h, wants a biscuit, too.
Agh! Would you believe the milk is off, again? There is some Long Life under the bunk – for emergencies – but this is becoming a charade. Jon appraises the situation, realising that my knickers are quite literally becoming twisted, and offers: ‘I could have my biscuits neat.’ No, we can’t have that. Laptop perched precariously, my toes splayed between cups and a too-slowly cooling stove, the bottom bunk is lifted and the milk sachets are retrieved. Bear in mind that roads, even motorways, tend to be riddled with bumps. These duvet days seem to be more trouble than they’re worth.
A little later, engrossed in a film and oblivious to all the driving that’s going on on the other side of the interior curtain, I feel the truck lurch. Jon peels off at a Kreuz junction. In Germany, this is a junction off a motorway that leads onto another motorway, often with a jolly sharp slip-road. And it’s being tackled at a higher velocity than an ordinary coffee cup can cope with. Right, well I might as well get dressed; this duvet day idea has been exhausting.
Jon hands me his cold tea – it needs slinging out the window, streaking the trailer with an impressionistic brown whoosh – and a bio-degradable apple core. And he has the gall to ask if I’d mind driving for a bit..