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The Stuff You Can Find Online

I was trying to remember what the major 1980s motorway eatery that *wasn't* Little Chef was called, so was Googling.

Lo! - http://motorwayservicesonline.co.uk/Brands reminded me of Happy Eater! (not to mention Toby Carverys and Beefeaters!) and tells me where they were.

http://www.motorwayservices.info/ seems to be a treasure-trove of information. There are even books you can buy! (Though I'm not sure why you would want to, but still...)

I must admit I've never yet bothered to look up motorway services before going on a journey. In my family, even when my brothers and I were little kids it was more a question of, "Services coming up. Anyone need to stop or want a drink?" if and when Mum or dad noticed the road-sign and very often we took packed lunches rather than eating in services (junk food and chips etc were always occasional "treats") and might end up eating sandwiches/rolls in the car on long journeys, or pulling off the motorway to find a village/town with a pub for lunch, or woodland/countryside for the picnic. (Thetford Forest was a favourite stopping point when travelling London to Norfolk when we were small - by the time we were teens we would do the journey in one go.)  Even when travelling with small children, journeys were never *planned* around the availability of loos - I can remember stopping on the hard-shoulder of the motorway because a three-year-old boy couldn't hold it any longer and there had been no sign for services.

(Now I'm wondering if there is anywhere that lists the lay-bys where there might be a tea-van, or a parked caravan with two people sitting next to it on fold-up chairs (all metal-tubing and that plasticised heavy-duty cotton that also made tablecloths) watching the traffic (something I have never understood) or reading a newspaper etc...)

But now, if I'm *writing* a journey, I can decide where I might have the guys (from any of my British fandoms) stop for a bit. :D

(I am also reminded of Ben Elton's Ministry of Crap Design routine: on the paper napkins with "the absorbant qualities of an armoured car"; on the metal teapots with metal handles "it takes a special kind of genius to design a teapot that you can't pick up until the tea's gone cold" and "cup-avoiding spouts" so you pour the tea all over the table; even better they are TARDIS teapots so they look tiny but contain gallons of tea once you've spilt it; and on the thick china cups which you also can't pick up, "the handle having an orifice that could only be used by a small child", and the useless/crap-design stuff they sell in Motorway Shops - like a tin of shortbread or a decorative teapot with a mini-pot of marmalade inside it. etc. :D )


Dee Natsuko

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