Saturday, March 17, 2007

VISIT TO WEYMOUTH

Aside

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.

PS. Please scroll down if you wish to vote.

26 comments:

R. Sherman said...

Glad you're back safe, dear.

I once woke up on top of a mountain in Arkansas in the middle of a lightning storm and had to rappel off in the darkness. I probably should've stayed home, which is the only sure way to avoid "dire" experiences. Of course, that's also the surest way to be bored stiff.

Cheers.

Z said...

Eek. I feel responsible, for having put Weymouth in your mind. I haven't stayed anywhere that reeked of cigarette smoke for years, I wouldn't have thought to check either.

PI said...

Hi Randall aka Action man! I'm assuming rappel ia the same as abseil? I used to enjoy that and felt safer coming down than going up. I'm jolly glad you got down safely. I wonder if you are less bold with maturity. I'm a positive scaredy cat.

PI said...

z: don't feel guilty. I don't at all regret Weymouth - just the hotel and won't make the same mistake again. It did have its funny side - when we saw the last night there was a big match on TV and our cup runneth over!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am known to have very bad Hotel Karma....if there is a room that has problems, I'll get it., etc, etc...
Once in Daytona Beach, they were renovating the hotel....the Dining Room was closed, The floor I was on was being painted and scraped and repaired---hammering, thank you very much...and one day we all got notices that the water would be turned off for 16 hours!!!!
Too bad they didn't warn all the guests of these horrors....lol!

I have such an aversion to smoke that I would not be able to stay anywhere that smelled like that.
I loved your description of being of The Dunkirk Mentality...lol...WONDERFUL!

Michele sent me today Pat...and I have been voting every day...!

PI said...

O lady of the hills: thank you for the votes. I have decided to be content to be in the last sixteen, fortunately, but third would be nice:)
Your experiences sound pretty bad. One of the irritating things about getting old is that you lose the ability to say 'Sod this for a lark!' and flounce out. My husband is much less mobile than he was so we are economical with effort.

Write From Karen said...

We are such cheapskates that I've come to accept the fact that wherever we end up staying will most likely be disappointing. However, that's the consequence of trying to find someplace affordable. My rationale is that, hey, we won't be IN the room for that long, just long enough to sleep and clean up so why should we care if it's decent or not?

I'm not saying this rationale is always logical. *grin*

LOVED your "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." line. What optimism!! After all, if life serves you lemons, make lemonade, right? Kudos to you. :-)

Michele sent me! *waves*

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I had a bad hotel experience and when I complained, they sent the refund to my aunt, I think. (she is also a Susan Gottfried, which is one of the reasons I use my middle name)

She'd been less than happy with the hotel, too, so it's not like she got money out of the blue -- but don't expect me to stay there again!

thanks for visiting! Hope your lungs have recovered from the hotel.

PI said...

WFK: hi Karen! I suppose that is why we stayed put. but it's good to be home again and know we won't be disturbed at midnight. DV!

Hi Susan!: I hadn't the heart to complain. lt's just a totally different life style. If they had said 'smoker friendly hotel' I would have been warned. We live and learn - hopefully!

Thumper said...

With all the moving the military has 'allowed' us to do, we've stayed in many a crappy motel, but unless it was just so gross to be unhealthy, we stayed and made the best of it. The few times we've been in really nice places, we slept the same...I'm not sure nice is worth the extra cash...

Here via Michele's!

PI said...

Thumper: there speaks youth. Seems to me the older one gets the more one appreciates one's mod cons. Believe me I have roughed it in the past and enjoyed the YHA and camping holidays. And the hotels didn't have en suites in those days. God it was tough!

FOUR DINNERS said...

C'mon people vote!!! PI's in third. Get votin'!!!

Stayed at a hotel in the New Forest on honeymoon with an owner so like Basil Fawlty it wasn't true. I'll blog it I think.

Marty: said...

We stayed in a hotel in Paris once with a giant walk-in closet (almost as big as the room.) My husband is missing his sense of smell, and hung his jacket in there overnight, before I noticed the odor of a dead animal (I hope it was an animal, not a person.) Anyway, we checked out quickly, but his jacket carried the souvenir fragrance the rest of the trip! I love your blog. It's like reading a great English novel.

chase said...

Nice pictures of Weymouth. Btw, Happy St. Patricks day and here from Michele

PI said...

4d: I think we're flogging a dead horse! Yes do the blog - it sounds fun.

PI said...

Hi Marty; Nowhere has such an array of smells like Paris and that's just in the street!
Thank you for those kind words.

Thank you chase and the same to you!

Becky68 said...

I never get to stay anywhere when we go away, once on the 800+ mile trip from Massachusetts to Virginia my ex & I rented a hotel room (my oldest was 7 & my middle one was 11 months) Because we didn't think we were up to the whole drive in one day. After the motel experience with 2 out of sorts, restles kids who'd been riding in a car all day we found we were better off driving all night & letting the family at the other end deal with our kids while we took a well deserved nap!
Here from Micheles.

PI said...

Becky that is a very long way to drive without a proper break even sharing the driving. Makes me realise I'm not a tough as I used to be.
One thing I don't miss is that perpetual 'Are we there yet?'

craziequeen said...

'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.'

A brilliant way of summing up our British spirit..... :-)

cq
Michele sent me to say hi, Pat

PI said...

Hi CQ and thank you!

Aunty Marianne said...

Next time stay in Bridport!

PI said...

Hi Marianne - will certainly do some research on hotels. Any recommendations gratefully received.

zoe said...

pat, you should have asked scaryduck - he's from weymouth. well, he lives there. now you know for the future :) my advice when going somewhere to stay is to ask others for references.

i once stayed in a B&B in amsterdam and my god, it was awful. when i arrived the beds were still unmade (the used sheets were still on the beds), it hadn't been cleaned - nothing. i complained and said that i'd be back in an hour when i was guaranteed the room to have been cleaned etc. the beds were made, but the floor was filthy and i won't even mention the state of the toilet and shower ....

shudder.

wonderful post, though.

PI said...

Zoe: belated Happy Mother's day to you. I have only just become aware of Sscary Duck - thanks to you. I do live a sheltered life. As for crummby B and B's I remember vividly pubic hair in Avignon. Ugh!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

My friend and I were touring in America about 12 years ago. We had little money, mainly because we spent a good deal of it in New York celebrating Michelle's 21st birthday for a week. It was brilliant. In the end we couldn't afford to sleep somewhere every night so, as we had prepaid unlimited travel on them, we took overnight Greyhound buses between New York, Boston, Washington and Philadelphia, washing as best we could in various bathrooms along the line. Our best night's sleep was New York to Buffalo. We ponged, we ached from sleeping upright but it was one of the best holiday's I've had.

In Niagara Falls (Canadian side) we found a room in a motel for, I think, 25$C. I can't say for sure it was a flea-pit, but we both woke up having been bitten by something. The bathroom was a glory hole of spiders and stained fixtures. The bed sheets we pretended we didn't see and the whole bed kind of collapsed into a V when we got in, leaving the pair of us caught like flies in a rather mucky venus fly-trap. This was fine because it was so cold in that room we had to cuddle each other tightly all night long to keep warm. And comfort each other against the terror that the brown-toothed old fellow at reception wouldn't murder us in our beds.

Happy Mother's Day!

PI said...

Sam: that must have been some trip. What fun to look back on. Life was such an adventure when one was young and things that make one quail now were all part of the fun then. I think each decade makes you a little more dependant on mod cons. You have lots of time.