King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Friday, May 16

Returning to your roots

In 10 days time, I will be returning for the first time in 5 years to the area I was brought up in. With the prime aim of helping out family who have problems with their computer, I am taking the opportunity to kill 10 birds with one stone, and so Johnaitch is coming with me. At the moment it would seem the list of things to do will include:
  • Sightseeing around the touristy bits of London, to include Tower Bridge, Buck House, The Millennium wheel (but you're not getting me actually on it), and The Houses of Parliament.
  • Lunch with TRT
  • A trip to Hamleys, to spend his hard earned birthday money.
  • A pint with an old school friend who I haven't seen for about 14 years.
  • A walk around the area, to see how it's changed.
  • Picking up a nice 17" touchscreen on the way home for my next big project.
Now what is bothering me is the bed for the night. I was going to stay in a Travelodge. The nearest one is about 5 miles away, isn't that cheap, car parking's not free and to get to the station it's not that near requiring a bus trip to start off with. The alternative is a well known hotel that is right where I was brought up. It was one of my first alcoholic watering holes when I was 17, and I seem to remember having my 13th birthday meal there. A local community website that I contribute to regularly ask if people are going to stay or eat out to do a review, and I mentioned I would be staying at this hotel. Susan stayed there about 4 years ago, and said it's a dump, but it can't be that bad can it? After leaving a message on the community site saying I was going there, the next morning I came down to find I had 6 replies. 5 of which were along the lines of "Good Luck" and the 6th saying "I would recommend you don't stay there, but curiosity makes me want to know how bad it really is." I then get pointed to a link by someone else this morning. The link is a review on one of the well known 'review it here for 1/1000th of a penny' sites, and really has me quivering now. It mentions (I kid you not) Cockroaches, peeling wallpaper, bare wires, and broken furniture. It also mentions the huge influx of eastern European asylum seekers with whom this has become their home. And finally it mentions that none of the staff were English, and most were not even English speaking.
And so it would seem the place has gone downhill a bit since the days of being the premier hotel for athletes to stay at when appearing at an international athletics meet in the local stadium.

Make the most of the next week of posts. They may be my last.