Disaster 101- a new name for my blog?
No! That would be asking for trouble although it seems to find us just the same.
After a reasonably comfortable seven week stay in a static caravan/single-wide which welcomed us on our first full day in Blighty with a puddle in the sitting room, himself drove 1260 miles to the south east coast of Italy while I alternately argued with and fumed at the GPS.
In hindsight, four days of driving, six days in Italy and a return trip of four straight days of driving was an even more ridiculous idea than the time we flew from Arizona to the UK and set off, jet-lagged to drive to the south of France.
Needless to say on our return from Italy, we were exhausted, grimy, hungry and already in a poor frame of mind when we stepped into the hell that was to be our home for the next two weeks. The curtains hung in loops from the rails, only attached every few feet like sad bunting; it smelled of dog and the carpet looked like he’d made himself right at home. There was a gaping maw where one of only two kitchen drawers had been and the cookware consisted of two small saucepans, enough for a tin of beans each.
We’d begun the tedious but necessary job of disinfecting every surface when I encountered the last straw – the kitchen sink was blocked. I poked at it with a fork and a black Satan’s spew regurgitated into the sink.
After a fourth trip with the various complaints to reception, the maintenance men turned up, disassembled the plumbing, lost a crucial piece of pipe and blamed us for taking it.
At 10 minutes to closing time we stood in reception, stunned with tiredness and incredulous with our bad luck, to argue our case with an 18-year-old. The manageress had made herself scarce.
We were given no alternative accommodation, no compensation, not even an apology, just a refund.
At six o’clock on a Friday night our car was crammed with suitcases of dirty washing and groceries with nowhere to cook them. We were shattered and we were homeless. Again.
Our only option was to go to the FBI.
At the Ferryboat Inn (FBI – geddit?), a low-ceilinged, timber-framed seaside pub exuding warmth and comfort, we stuffed our faces with fish and chips and downed large glasses of red wine. On the way to the pub, we’d booked a hotel for the night so felt no further need to molly-coddle the few functioning brain cells we’d left between us.
Dear friends took us in the next day and even offered to put up the marquee for us to sleep in.
We declined the marquee so this is where they made us sleep:
. . . . . to have this view every morning when I opened the curtains:
And this is where they made us eat candlelit dinners night after night . . . .
. . . .and relax afterwards here . . .
. . . . kept warm of a chilly evening by a giant inglenook fireplace:
I had just his tiny garden to play in:
Our friends kindness and generosity kept us from walking into the North Sea – ending our Which Way Now quest forever.
And speaking of the sea, I can feel your sympathy ebbing away.
We are now rested and as sane as we’ll ever be and ready to embark on our next phase – life in a tiny rental house. Our big black Chevy truck is being titivated for the UK roads and our furniture is languishing in a customs shed. We’ve no idea where any of it is other than not at the bottom of the Atlantic.
We have just been emailed and asked to write a review for our “holiday” by the head office of the caravan park – corporate communication being what you would expect. No one thought to question why we had a full refund on the day our “holiday” was due to start.