Saturday 12 February 2022

Training for London

Holly was a doggie

Boarding the train, the train manager announced with an all too familiar accent, quite probably Nigerian, especially with the way he said shop, with a b sound at the end. Meanwhile, I feared we would have to endure the frequent coughing of the man sat almost opposite me, especially in these pandemic times when everyone appears to have dispensed with their face masks.

Thankfully, he alighted at Stoke on Trent, just around the time he was becoming a nuisance, as not only had he forgotten a rather essential facemask, but he should also have brought his headphones too. My reserved seat was occupied when I made it on the carriage, I gestured to the lady as I looked for a place to put my luggage, little did I know that she was occupying two seats because of her dog.

The dog, and I know nothing about dogs was Pomsky, a crossbreed between a Pomeranian and a Siberian Husky, quite presentably nice looking and friendly, her name was Holly, and I am pleased she did not see me as prickly as ivy.

A rather senior moment

On arriving at London Euston Station, I did some shopping and made to check for the address of the hotel where I was staying. My shock at the realisation that I had been caught by the February-March paradox of non-leap-years, as my booking glared at me with the notice, ‘In 28 days’. I had booked for March and what to do?

I could not beat myself up in the things I had allowed apart from having booked a deal I could not cancel, I simply logged on my app ignoring the predictive screen that appears to present the next rather than the current month, in the assumption you do not make urgent bookings and scanned through the list of outrageously expensive to generally affordable deals to book another stay, for the two nights I was in London.

Holly is my host

The black cab driver was unusually helpful and consequently engaging, he came round to help me with my luggage, and we talked at length about how London had changed from about 30 years ago. Quite good banter it was places that had changed hands or been lost to history or his brushes with the challenges to his Knowledge of London, it is amazing how the obscure can be revealing.

On getting to my apartment hotel, the ladies at the reception were helpful and friendly, and at this hotel, they are known as hosts, I had even had my accommodations upgraded, what do I know? She helped me to the lift and gave me the room card, her name, Holly. Fancy that!

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