I have returned from a hectic few days in London. The London Book Fair was an amazing sight and very tiring for the feet. Whilst ideal for networking, I didn’t feel I belonged. Author HQ held a few informative events but aside from that, I didn’t really find anything of use. I did find a few familiar faces and enjoyed the great company. I would go again but for only one day, not three.
I also came across this company INKUBATE and had an interesting meeting with Jay Gale, Co-Founder and Principal, Publisher Relations within the company. For authors to be able to pitch to agents, editors and publishers via their programme, was quite fascinating. Inkubate Blog.
Friday was a different story …
Indie Recon 2015 – what can I say? Wonderful, brilliant, super, fun, inspiring, entertaining, educational, and the list goes on. Can’t wait until the next one!
I had a blast but Carol Cooper (Pills & Pillow Talk), made me cry. More on that later …
Pics L to R: Orna Ross. Porter Anderson. Debbie Young. Debbie & Piers Alexander . Joanna Penn, CJ Lyons, and Steena Holmes. Roz Morris. Rohan Quine. Carol Cooper (Dr.). Carol and Alison Morton. Carol, Alison, and Jane Davis. Jane. Kevin Booth. Kathleen Jones. David Penny.
Okay, I know the only reason you’ve kept reading is ‘cos you want to know how I lost my hotel. Well, Once Upon A Time …
There I was, in London, an extremely hot London, and walking down the road looking for my hotel/guest house. Ah, the Royal, I’ve arrived. Dragged suitcase up the steps, only to be told I was actually staying at one of their sister hotels a “few doors down the road, it is The Saba.”
Conversation was a bit like this … ‘No, I’m at The Royal.’ ‘No, it’s okay, they are also The Royal Guest House II, and that is where you are staying.’
Fifty-two doors later and I clamber up the steps into what looks like the identical hotel I’d just left. Yes, I book in here but I was not actually staying there, I was staying at one of their sister hotels “a few doors (back up the road)”. I climbed more steps, this time with care as the painter and decorators were doing their job and white paint on my black jacket would have been frowned upon.
Inside my room, on the fifth floor (six flights of narrow stairs / no lift), I collapse onto the lovely double bed and note the windows above my head. It was hot, I needed air and that definitely was out of the question.
This picture makes the window look closer to the floor than it really is, believe me, standing on the table was not an option. Nor was using the provided steps. I am short and fall off things, usually resulting in nasty injuries and crutches. Besides, I still wouldn’t have been able to reach.
Anyway, quickly checking things were okay in the room, I decided to dash off to my first London Book Fair and deal with any issues when I returned. The painters outside had now left and covered everything in sheets. All signs were down and warning signs of wet-paint were in abundance. Two large shrub/trees either side of the front door were also draped ghost-like in sheets. Brilliant guides to show me where I’m staying for when I returned.
After the Book Fair, I stopped off for a red wine but the pub was so busy they had run out of red wine glasses, and my drink was poured into what basically looked like a vase. To my embarrassment, Liz Fenwick was there with her camera! See vase here.
I then enjoyed a lovely meal in this Italian restaurant (and another glass of red wine), a few doors away from my hotel. After the meal I sauntered past the few houses in the road, back to my hotel. It was 9 pm and my feet were extremely tired. I walked down to one sister hotel and realised I’d gone too far. Cursing the second glass of wine, and knowing the loo I could make good use of was on the fifth floor of my hotel, I sped up my search.
Still no sign of my ghost-like trees, so I walked back up the road a few doors, but to no avail. No hotel. I strode up to the other sister hotel and walked with determination to not miss the building the second time around. Still there was no sight of my hotel. I marched a few doors down to the sister hotel, and went into reception.
‘Can I help you?’ The young man behind the desk, asked.
‘Yes. I appear to have lost my hotel. It is one of your sister ones. The one which was having a spruce up by painters this afternoon.’ I said.
‘Ah, I will escort you. You have come too far.’ The polite male smiled back at me.
I now feel foolish. ‘Yes, but I’ve walked so far back and forth, I thought it easier to come inside and ask. It is getting darker out there.’ I replied.
‘This is not my hotel, I’m staying at The Royal Guest House II but all signs and numbers were taken down for decorating. It has two large trees outside the doors.’ I inform the still smiling man.
‘Ah, while you were out the decorators were called back to finish the job. Oh, and we renamed the hotel!
I shan’t put my response here on a public page but be assured, I did respond politely but cursed inwardly until I reached the fifth floor. I couldn’t close the blinds (short legs) and spent the night under the stars. The night was spent listening to traffic and sirens of every kind, with their lights flickering like a 70’s disco through my loft windows, oh, and my feet were sore. The man next door to me had a Skype conference about selling cardboard cartons, at 4.30 am. and the other family the other side chanted out their prayers at 5.30 am (put this into repeat section for the following day). The water in the taps took five minutes to splutter its way to the top of the house, and the following day failed to arrive at all.
I then moved to the other side of London for the Indie Festival, and only had one issue in that hotel … short arms. Whoever designed the siting of the loo roll holder needs shooting!
So there you have it, how to lose a hotel in four hours. NB: New tip in my things to take when travelling: Always carry a step ladder and an arm extender.