Sunday, October 10, 2010

Great moments in planning

Did I mention that we were going to London? Perhaps not. 

Well we are here. In Shoreditch – which may have got its name originally from ‘Sewer’s Ditch’  - but no one is quite sure.

Anyway – from a previously nondescript area it is now very trendy – but we managed to sneak in anyway. 

We are staying at the supposedly trendy Hoxton Hotel for a few days and then moving to something a bit more pedestrian when Cate attends a conference.

It is a few years since I visited London so I am enjoying beetling about and seeing familiar sights. Once upon a time I used to be a regular visitor when I worked in Australia for a British bank and used to stay in the (sigh) Savoy Hotel. 

Those were the days. I used to walk to work in Cannon street along the Strand and the Embankment each morning – and eat in the Savoy Grill in the evening before popping along to Stringfellows for a little light entertainment.

Last time we were in London was in 2007 and we stayed in a hotel so hideous that we still talk about it – mainly the smell. We nicknamed it ‘Cabbage Court’.

But – here’s the thing – I did not choose it. This honor befell Cate’s frugal brother  who had stayed there previously and had thought it was all right. (We questioned him closely on this).

But it was something like £70 per night – which will give you an indication of the quality. You can’t get a decent Muffin and a Coffee for that sort money in London.

This hotel was the scene of another of our planning triumphs when we got our check out date wrong and got back to the hotel one evening to find ourselves locked out of our room.

The hotel had – after a fashion – checked us out and thrown our belongings into 4 plastic bags which awaited us in the ‘Breakfast Room’. This was a coat cupboard in an an alley off the boiler room. From 7-10 each day you could get a  boiled egg, a slice of spam and a glass of orange cordial. 

Cate was very unhappy as she had to try to pack her belongings back into the suitcases. She may have said 'Bother' on more than one occasion. 

This was eclipsed by my other major planning failure on this trip. 

Well before the trip I had been able to book flights from Heathrow to Paris for a very reasonable sum and for an extra £10 per person had been able to book Business Class coming back. How clever I thought.  

Except that when we were in Provence Cate discovered that we were booked to go back to London the day AFTER our flight went back to Australia.

So I had to buy new economy class tickets just before the flight - for about £300 each and of course got no refunds on the previous tickets – so going back to London I sat in economy class fuming – knowing I had probably paid more for my tickets than anyone else on the plane – and TWICE – and Cate sat there smugly.

Excellent stuff – one of my finest moments in planning - but there have been worse. I have had therapy to try to forget them.



  1. Oh, the suspense: Will Badger make it back to Vienna or not? ;-)

    I once showed up for a casual dinner party and was shocked when the host opened the door in white tie. Thank heaven, I was not underdressed, only a month early and the host was ready to leave for dinner at the White House.

  2. Merisi: I'm back. Meierei at 10 on Thursday.

    angiv: We did - lots - Ta!