Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Alone, with the Nanny Sector

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Alone, with the Nanny Sector

Article excerpt


I WENT back to the hotel in which I stayed a couple of weeks ago. I am clearly a glutton for very, very mild punishment.

"And you've stayed here before," the receptionist half asked me as I checked in. "Oh, yes," I said. I felt a little like James Bond arriving at the Ritz.

I gave her a look which showed I wasn't some hayseed who was easily impressed by a breakfast buffet or wet room and she gave me my key card.

She placed me in the room next door to the one where I slept last time, presumably as some sort of psychological experiment. Everything in the room was identical, except that the layout was a mirror image.

This was extremely disorientating at first. But I settled in fairly quickly, and the only mishap directly brought about by the topsy-turvy design of the room was a minor kettle spill caused by my getting out of bed the wrong side in the middle of the night. It could have happened to anybody, I mused as I wrung out the socks which I had discarded on the wrong side of the bed.

I took my laptop with me, partly for work, and partly so I would have something to keep me occupied in the evening. I thought perhaps I might have a go on that new Twitter thing they have these days, but hotel wi-fi was 11p a minute and nothing I have to say is worth that amount of money.

I switched on the television, but the only programmes on were documentaries about that woman who died a few days ago. I didn't particularly enjoy living through the events as they happened, so I was not keen to revisit them.

Luckily I had brought a couple of Blu-ray films with me. I have a Blu-ray drive in my laptop and it was about time I gave it a go.

I couldn't decide which of the two films to watch, and resorted to the "Dip dip dip/My blue ship" of my childhood. I probably would not have done that in public, but how a man conducts himself in a hotel room is his own business. …

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