Catherine Ormell

To autarky and beyond


We knew there was a minibar in the room, which was all-of-a-plastic-wood-veneer, except for the tomato bedspread and a sixty-inch black telly. But where? We pulled energetically on the imperishable bead-chain linking the floor-to-coving slats, and were decanted, into the hotel carpark.

All day beset by conference speakers, co-opted into lessons-learnt’— I’d have liked to be with you, upstairs, prospecting the ceiling. Here, fortified, and counting ragged ice-cube counters, we’d have a whole day to our true selves, to chatter on the playoff lost by the humanities.

If we mislaid the company line or forgot to audit the bill, we were blithe. This was a romance, wasn’t it? And any lack easily remedied with flowers. However, a quick call confirmed the situation (you were leaning against the door jamb): Crisps and networking in the main bar, or else.

We didn’t bother to peel off our name badges.