I hope that title has you suitably perplexed! Last month I wrote about working in an office again. As this was in London and I don’t live there this required me to spend a few nights a week in a hotel but before you go all, yeah how hard can that be, let me tell you it is indeed hard. Because sleep in hotels is all but impossible. For me.
Maybe it was the kind of hotels I stayed in – I was paying for this myself so they were cheap as I could get. Which actually wasn’t very cheap. But even when I managed to get myself into a nice three or four star hotel (try Sunday nights – they’re giving them away then!) I still found sleep difficult to obtain for a full night. From now on I am calling hotels what they are – The Slamming Doors.
I’m not sure if it’s noisy, inconsiderate, selfish guests who cause doors to slam throughout the night or if it’s just very bad design that makes doors so heavy that they inevitably slam unless you make an effort to close them quietly. And course no one ever does. Why should they? They’re sleeping in a human warehouse with strangers they’ll never see. Who cares if their sleep is disrupted even though they have to work the next day?
Sometimes I tried really hard not to fall asleep too early as I was fearful I’d only be woken and find it hard to get back to sleep. Those nights I slept the best. Reverse psychology perhaps.
Elephants in the room
Then there were the elephants which follow me to every Slamming Doors I’ve ever stayed in. They book the room above me and trample about all night long. Tell me someone, what DO people find to do in hotel rooms for hours on end that requires them to walk from one side of a very tiny room to the other? I’m baffled. Truly, I am. Many’s the time I’ve been tempted to go upstairs and ask what ARE you doing in there? Can you not go to bed like normal people? Do you spend all night walking up and down your bedroom at home? Maybe they can’t sleep either?
I realise this is supposed to be a diet blog so here’s one further observation about working away from home as opposed to working from home as I usually do. You can’t follow a diet so don’t even bother trying. It’s next door to impossible. For a start the lack of sleep makes you more hungry than usual but it’s not just that. Being away from home throws you out of kilter and staying in Slamming Doors while working away from home… well it feels a bit like being on holiday. And no one diets on holiday.
Plus London. When you live in the country in a small market town that, much as I love it, has only a passing acquaintance with really good food and great culinary choices, being based in central London was like Christmas every day. Even a fast food joint such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen makes a snatched meal feel like a treat. I didn’t go into Nando’s though. I find burgers easier to eat on the trot. Another great burger place in central London is Five Guys. Like GBK it has outlets outside London. But don’t think we’ll be getting one in Leek anytime soon. Five Guys is so good people queue outside to get in! (Go at 4pm is my tip – no queues then!)
One of my weeks working in London was so severely disrupted on the trains both down and coming back that Virgin Trains compensated me for the hassle. With money. That’s right, money. Not rail vouchers. Cash. Real money. Which is what you most want when you’ve been massively inconvenienced by rail disruption. Coming at the end of my contract in London when I no longer need to use the trains so much, this was indeed very sweet and most welcome. I like to give credit where it’s due so thanks Virgin.
Course our train system would be SO much easier if they all ran as one integrated system from a central point, track and trains all under one umbrella. Such a good idea I can’t imagine why no one’s thought of it. We could call it something easy to understand and ticketing would be far less complicated and wouldn’t need to be so expensive either as you wouldn’t get lots of disparate train companies trying to squeeze as much profit as they can out of it while enjoying a massive taxpayer subsidy. How about we call it, I don’t know, off top of my head… British Rail?