Sunday, 12 April 2009

Solving Problems

I firmly believe that there are very few problems in life which remain troublesome following a decent run, a large bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. The problem currently bothering me most definitely falls into this category.

My current problem is that with commuting to Swindon and staying in hotels, I don't often get the opportunity to go for a run and follow it up with a large bowl of pasta and a glass of red wine, and thus very many small problems have neither been solved nor downgraded in severity from 'major disaster' to 'less annoying than the mild pains in my legs'.

I've tried to maintain the run, pasta and wine approach to problem solving whilst staying up in Swindon. I can pretty much go for a run anywhere, provided I've packed some kit. Going for a run from a hotel is usually quite pleasant – I stay a few miles out of town and it's easy to find pleasant routes to run whilst mulling through some of the day's issues before returning for a shower and a meal. The going for a run part is fine. Getting the bowl of pasta causes problems. I don't want rich, creamy food following a run. Bolognaise would be fine. Carbonara is pushing the limits of what my guts will withstand. Prawns and tomatoes tossed in garlic and olive oil would be lovely. Sadly, no hotel seems to put anything this simple on the menu, and the few that respond to my requests for something other than their standard fayre don't seem to understand the portion size requirement, leaving me with three prawns and four cherry tomatoes sitting daintily atop a smattering of fusili, and also leaving me a tad hungry.

I've also tried to use the run/pasta/wine method after getting back from Swindon. This doesn't work particularly well, either. Having got up early to get to Swindon, I'm usually hovering between between the hungry and famished border by lunchtime. By the time I make it back to London, it's about 7:30, I'm hungry and tired and probably in need of some kip. Going for a run means eating late (which doesn't work well with the need to get up the next morning and drive to Swindon), and seeing very little of my lovely boyfriend (or anyone else, for that matter), which makes the four hour commuting penalty (home to London and back to Swindon the next day) a rather high price to pay for a poor night's sleep and a correctly-sized bowl of pasta.

Today, this is not a problem. It is a Sunday. I have been for a run, I have had a large bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, and life is good.


trousers said...

I recommend Wetherspoons. No, seriously. A perfectly decent bolognaise for the price you're paying and a reasonable portion size, and fussy food it ain't. Sorry, isn't.

Sure, there are more cultured, atmospheric places to eat and drink - but try the bolognaise and then head back to the hotel for your red wine.


(I perfectly understand if Wetherspoons isn't your thing. It's not really my thing, but there are certain times in which they serve their purpose.)

Andrew F said...

Oh dear. No decent Italian restaurants in Swindon a short walk from your hotel? Hotel food generally worth avoiding in my experience anyway. Find a friendly local restaurant and they'll get to know you as a regular and make something suitable, I suspect.

Rob Clack said...

There has to be a way to sort this out, but I haven't quite got there. I'm going to say what I'm thinking anyway, and hope someone else can finish it off, but bear in mind that I'm making it up as I go along.

Suppose you prepared your prawn, tomato and garlic sauce ahead of time and took it to the hotel along with some fresh pasta and a big plastic bowl.

You could boil water in the room kettle and dump it on the pasta in the bowl, then (this is where it all falls apart, of course) find a way to snuggle the pot of sauce down in with the pasta, so the hot water cooks the pasta and warms the sauce.

Of course, it would never be properly hot, and the pasta might be a tad aldente, but that's my first thought.

Actually those prawns sound tasty!

DJ Kirkby said...

I think Rob has the right idea though I am not sure where you would find the time to prepare the food bfore you left and also how you would keep the prawns fresh...but otherwise Rob's suggestion is an option I'd choose.