It seemed too good to be true - 110 laps at a go-karting circuit for £25 per person. Yet this was what a colleague claimed to have organised. Incredibly, it was every bit as good as he'd said - we each participated in two 55 lap races, plus a 5-minute qualifying section. By the end of the evening, my clothes stank of petrol fumes, my hands were covered in oil, and I just knew that I would be aching the next day. Fantastic. The only hassle is returning to your car, and the public highways after such an event - I found myself oversteering, and driving far too quickly as I later travelled a short distance back to the house.
After the karting, we all piled into the first pub we found, which happened to be a half-deserted place in a dodgy-looking area of West Yorkshire. But this, too, turned out to be unexpectedly enjoyable. A couple of locals engaged us in a series of pub games and challenges, mostly of a physical nature. Sit on a bar stool, and pick up a lighter off the floor using only your mouth, that kind of thing. I couldn't believe that they weren't being paid for their troubles, and had to double-check that I hadn't somehow evaded paying an entrance fee.
Later, one of the female locals started chatting to us, asking where we were from, and how come we'd gone into that pub. I listed the hometowns of half a dozen or so of my colleagues, and explained what we did for a living, and where. She lamented that her life seemed dull in comparison, being mostly spent between her home a few streets away, and this pub, where she worked and socialised. "I'm too qualified to work behind a bar," she told me. Maybe at that point I reflected somewhat on the good fortune of my own life, although I see nothing glamorous or enjoyable about spending so much time on the congested British motorway network.