VISIT TO WEYMOUTH
I had happy memories of this seaside town. When the children were little we stayed with a naval friend who happened to be Harbour Master at Portland. The children loved the beach and I found it very atmospheric. I was awakened each morning by the rhythmic stamp of heavy, nail studded boots on metalled roads. Looking out of the window through the morning sea fret was a squad of boys marching past; their hard bitten faces set and determined on a life of crime or redemption. I have often wondered which.
This was the fifties and they were Borstal boys – young offenders hopefully being taught to keep out of prison. Whether they were successful or not some of them were inspired to write - the playwright Brendan Behan was one of the most famous ex Borstal boy and the system inspired ‘The Loneliness of the Long distance Runner’ by Alan Sillitoe and the horrific ‘Scum’.by Ray Minton.
I had no previous knowledge of hotels in Weymouth, so used the internet and narrowed it down to two. At our stage in life we try to avoid unnecessary stress so easy parking was a factor and my final choice was for a place that stressed ample parking space. We arrived at lunch time and the car park was empty- which should have told me something. One foot inside the door and I realised my mistake. Years of heavy smoking had impregnated the heavy curtains, carpets and fabrics with a choky aroma.
I hadn’t realised that we had become so accustomed to smoke free air and kicked myself for not having done more research. However we are British with some of the Dunkirk spirit. I think if we had been on the Titanic we would have exhorted each other to look at the fantastic view of the iceberg in the moonlight.
In the bar there was a glitter ball, a pool table and a karaoke machine.
On the pro side, our room had masses of drawers and hanging space and the bed was comfortable. The bathroom was large with both bath and shower and we could see the sea in the distance. Unfortunately, at night, the lighting was too dim to read by and at midnight the noise level inhibited sleep. The owners were pleasant and helpful so we determined to make the best of it and use it as a bed and breakfast.
We were blessed with sunny weather and had dinner at an elegant restaurant (Perry’s) and a delicious lunch at Bella Italia restaurant. We have stayed at so many delightful places in the past I had begun to accept it as the norm. At least I have learnt something. Please tell me if you have had any dire experiences on a break and any hints as to how to avoid them.
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