I write this, dear reader, in between lengthy yawns and with much rubbing of my eyes. Why so weary? Well, you see, last night I popped up to Reading to see a lovely chap (or two) and spent the night in a Travelodge.
Now, normally I’d prefer to book a Premier Inn, partly ‘cos I like their colour scheme and partly ‘cos I’ve always admired Lenny Henry. But mainly because for about the same price as a Travelodge, give or take a quid or two, you get a bloody good bed and at least three towels.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not averse to a spot of luxury and have enjoyed some very snazzy hotel rooms over the years. But there’s a recession on, you know, and these are austere times. So it’s budget hotels all the way – and anyway, in this instance I wasn’t paying so was in no position to be fussy!
The first thing I noticed when checking in was the all-pervading smell of damp in the corridor. It was so strong I almost expected the carpet tiles to squelch under my feet! The second thing that reminded me that this was a budget hotel was the bed, which, when I dropped my bag on it, made a noise reminiscent of the sound of the Titanic hitting the iceberg; a kind of wood-splintering crack!
This was followed by the discovery that in their bathrooms, Travelodge have dispensed with such niceties as a tooth glass. Or even a tooth plastic tumbler. They’ve gone down yet another level, and now provide you with a white plastic cup like the ones I remember from the church fêtes I attended as a child – you know, the ones with over-diluted orange or lemon squash in them, which were almost impossible to drink from because if you squeezed them they split down the side and all your squash went over your Rainbow™ t-shirt…
The final insult was that when I got
onto my plank of wood into my bed to get my much-needed beauty sleep, I discovered they’d taken one pillow, sliced it thinly lengthways and made three pillows out of it; and it plainly hadn’t been a very porky pillow to begin with.
As long as I don’t start wearing socks with sandals, which is another of her tricks, I should be ok…