The hotel was cheap, at least – £35 per night, which is remarkable for London, but that rate was part of a “getaway” rate I found. I paid the price in other ways, though. The hotel was in Harrow-on-the Hill, which looked accessible, but I hadn’t been aware that the main Tube line there was subject to disruption, as I have described already. At least Harrow has another Tube station, Harrow & Wealdstone on the Bakerloo line, which was operational if slow.
I can’t see me going back there, however, for a few reasons. First, it’s an old hotel with paper-thin walls and creaky floorboards. When any of my neighbours in the horizontal or vertical planes were up and about there was not much chance of sleep. On Saturday night the bar below played disco till midnight – no later, thankfully – after which my neighbour crashed into his room. How do I know it was a man? No woman I ever met, or would want to meet, wields such a basso profundo snore. At least the TV had a headphone socket, which kept me sane until I was so tired I didn’t care about the noise.
I’m flying back later tonight, loaded with luggage that is holding a surprising amount of computer components for its size. Packing that lot was a bracing intellectual exercise for a Monday morning. The cleaners were rapping on my door before 8AM, and breakfast was annoying. The waitress interrupted me to ask “is everything OK”, which is a moronic thing to do. (If there’s a problem, you’ll be the first to know, girlie. Go back to terrorizing that gentle old lady: so what if the table is “set for lunch” before 9:30AM, why does she have to move around just to save you a little work?) I told the receptionist about this as I was checking out, though I doubt you’ll hear about it – I’m just a grumpy old man who has spent too long in “customer service” to expect any consideration from anyone. Right?
Luggage means there’s not much wandering about to be done today, which makes the easyEverything internet cafe a fine place to be at £1 an hour (a promotional offer at the Trafalgar Square branch). After I finished blogging on Saturday night it became a little hairy; bottles of vodka were being passed around, and before long a few of them nekulturny Bolsheviks were falling-down drunk, no exaggeration necessary. Climbing over the tables, singing folk and metal songs (think “Beserker” from Clerks) and looking like they were about to assault other customers; I walked out before too long. I could handle myself against a couple of drunk Russkis, but the best way to win a fight is not to get in to one in the place, that would have been totally pointless and a massive inconvenience.