|The Burns Art Hotel – time to check out|
Late afternoon/early evening is a funny time of the day because it's a good couple hours off dinner and it's too late for a snack, like, say, a cup of tea and a millionaire's shortbread. In fact, that's something I never really got together while I was out in Dusseldorf. I never found a cosy place to drink tea, munch on something sweet and read my book – The Moth, a collection of short, true stories, some good, some a little disappointing, but an ideal book to read in a Starbucks, if I could find one.
I'm always looking, but never finding, peace. That's what I need more than anything else: a bit of peace and quiet. A cup of tea, an almond croissant and some time to sit and read the papers or a book or both. Coffee shops are the best place to be in this respect and, dare I say it, Costa, Caffé Nero or Starbucks fit the bill, especially mid-to-late afternoon in an American city. I remember a good occasion of this sort in Indianapolis a couple of years ago and one in Chicago last October – both courtesy of Starbucks.
On Wednesday I found myself in Dusseldorf's old town – or Alt Stadt – trying to find somewhere that fitted the bill. I eventually stumbled upon a Starbucks, but it was getting round to lunch time and I didn't want to start ruining things by eating cookies or whatever just prior to tucking into lunch. Not that I should have worried. On that particular day I'd already walked for what seemed like miles and then I walked round and round the Alt Stadt, not even window shopping, just walking and that's how the Starbucks came into the picture. But as I said, I passed on it and walked a fair old way back to the street where my favourite restaurant is located. But there was no room at the inn. I've written about this – how I went to the Thai restaurant instead – so I won't go on about it.
|Stumbled across this sculpture in the Alt Stadt|
The long and the short of it is this: I ended up at the airport miles too early. Like four hours too early. I couldn't even check in so I found a restaurant and ordered tuna and penne and one of those big, balloon-like glasses of red wine and sat there reading The Moth. And then I made the mistake of ordering another. I say 'mistake', it wasn't so much a mistake, but I could have done without it.
|Dinner here was not good, but not bad either|
We made good on lost time and hit the tarmac at Gatwick around 2122hrs. A cab journey followed and I was home in time for the news. Iain Duncan Smith – otherwise known as IDS – had resigned from the government over Osborne's plan to cut benefits for the disabled, while giving the rich a tax cut. What a fucking bastard! Actually, they're both bastards. IDS is a bastard too, but I understand that his resignation letter is going to cause Osborne a few problems. Some have called for his resignation. Not good when you consider that Osborne has prime ministerial ambitions.