I’ve been looking for the right location to get this shot for a while. I’d always been looking for a location outside of the station. There is an angle, but it’d require a panorama photo to get everything in, and a very distorted one at that. But I should have been looking for a spot inside the station. I found it today by chance. I strolled up to the very end of platform one, trying to get my ‘stand’ fitness ring to flick on another hour.
Within this photo is twenty years of my professional life. Sort of. Almost. If we are being precise, eighteen years and 10 months. If you want to start nit picking, then its about four years. I am standing on a railway platform, my employer for the last five years and eight months. But my role means I am not fixed to any single station. I move around. But I do a fair few shifts here. I feel that six months is a reasonable estimate.
To the left you can see a pair of canopies with blue strips around them. They belong to a petrol station. Once upon a time, it was owned by Star Service Stations Ltd, a division of Texaco. I worked for Star from 1996 through to 2005 when I fled to Mexico. Fled? Texaco sold all their Star sites off in 2005, most of them to Somerfield. I had no desire to be employed by Somerfield. Or Scumerfield, as we Star service station managers referred to them. I worked at the station in the photo from 2000 to 2001.
To the right of centre, in the background, is a large white office building. I spent about two and a half years of my four and half year long I4R career in this building. I mentioned I4R just days ago, with a photo of the building they occupied previously – the Chocolate Box.
The photo I really want to show you hasn’t been taken yet. It’s of my retirement pad, which doesn’t exist yet. But I’m working on it. Whether it is located in Mexico or in Portugal or elsewhere isn’t set in stone. I would hope that when I look back on my residence there, I can title the post Thirty Years. I’d settle for Twenty Years, I guess. The online ‘Guess Your Life Expectancy’ websites still take a dim view of my previous smoking habit, and suggest ten to fifteen years might be a more realistic target.