Three perimenopausal women: Speak complete gibberish, Hear with difficulty and See only with glasses (Biggles, Upper and me), went for a cultural weekend in Stratford on Avon.
We agreed to meet for a late lunch and I headed off in plenty of time to arrive at about 1pm. I was batting along the M40 in my trusty Skoda in the general area of Warwick when a text message arrived; I squinted at it briefly and read the words ‘Slight problem’ so decided to come off at Warwick Services to read it properly. It read ‘slight problem hotl deny all knowlg of our bookg. Call whn u get hr.’
I called straight away. Upper answered. As reported, the White Swan Hotel knew nothing of our existence despite having confirmed the booking with Biggles and taken her credit card number. The two of them were hot footing it to Tourist Information to try and find us alternative accommodation and I was to stay put and await instructions. 15 minutes later we were booked into a B and B at Newbold on Stour – bang went somebody’s night on the plonk!
I finally met them in a pub in Newbold, Biggles cursing the hotel roundly for its ineptitude. She’d had to restrain herself from hitting the receptionist at the White Swan and was bouncing with annoyance. We soothed her with a pint and a half of local brew and ploughed our way through a truly enormous lunch before dumping my stuff at the B and B and heading of into Stratford in search of a new hand bag for Biggles whose current, Â£4.99, leather number, she complained, had only lasted 12 months.
As usual we endured the drizzle which always accompanies us to Stratford on Avon. My newly straightened hair turned into a bog brush but Biggles got her new bag and Upper found a pair of shoes so it was not an entirely wasted exercise.
We collected our tickets and settled into the theatre coffee shop where we put the world to rights, compared eye sight, aching joints, sex lives and other important information. At the appointed time we headed for the auditorium.
Our theatre seats were near heaven. The rake of the rows was so steep it felt as though we were on the edge of a precipice. Of course we were the last in our row to arrive, too much talking, and were seated at the very end so everyone had to stand up for us. I tried not to look down and clung affectionately to each stranger I passed so as not to lose my balance and plummet to an untimely end in the middle of the six inch wide stage below. When I reached it I gripped both arms of my seat and sat down without looking over the edge then gingerly leaned forwards to look at the stage. All I could giddily think about was how I would manage the return journey during the interval.
Fortunately I got used to the height after about 20 minutes and at the interval managed, by determinedly keeping my eyes looking in front of me, to reach the bar in one piece. A glass of wine calmed my nerves and I was quite relaxed in the second half.
After the play we were still full of our lunch so we decided to skip dinner and went straight back to our room for some bubbly and more debate. At about 1am we dropped into bed and slept the sleep of the drunk.
The next morning after a healthy breakfast (well a healthy sized breakfast at any rate) Biggles received a suspicious and irate call from her husband. The Grosvenor Hotel had rung their home wondering why she hadn’t turned up. He wanted to know where the devil she was and who she was really with.
O.K. so now we get the tragic bit. Yep, we went to the wrong hotel. Not one of us noticed that Biggles had thoughtfully booked us into the Grosvenor Hotel and then pointed us at the website of the White Swan for our directions. To her husband I would just say “Think about it mate. If she was going to go for an illicit weekend with her toy boy would she really book into a hotel and then fail to turn up?”- er I don’t think so.
Keep taking the HRT girls, there’s light at the end of the tunnel or so I’m assured.