We had a rather wet start to our two-week sojourn in England.
Par for the course. As far as I’m concerned rain is part of England’s charm; part of the experience. When I go there I expect it to rain, and it never disappoints.
For the first weekend we stayed in Windsor, just west of London. Here we gently acclimated to the new time zone and rested up before setting out on an amazing 10-day driving tour that would take us north to the Lake District and Yorkshire Moors, and south to Bath and the Isle of Wight before ending up in Windsor again.
The first 12 hours of our stay spelled r-a-i-n.
Our first evening, with brollies in hand, we left our hotel and ambled up cobblestoned Thames Street, crossing the pedestrian bridge into Eton. There we enjoyed a delightfully dopey-with-jet-lag first supper at lovely, intimate Gilbey’s. Its warm ambiance and wonderful gourmet food preparing us well for a good night’s sleep.
On our walk back to the hotel the ambient light and texture of the street inspired by the inclement weather caught my imagination. With my Nikon D7000 still packed away I experimented with my iPhone. This image was only one of several I captured. I really like it.
Once back in our room located on the top floor at the back of the hotel (lots of stairs) we clambered to bed, lulled to sleep by the rain beating against the window. It poured a heavy autumn rain for most of the night.
I was awoken, around 3 a.m., by the splat of dripping water cascading from the smoke detector in the middle of the ceiling. The drops landed heavily on the foot of the bed seriously cramping my sleeping style. For a while I was horrified, visions of the ceiling collapsing dancing in my head. My husband was in a deep sleep so I decided not to disturb him. What were we going to be able to do in the middle of the night anyway that wouldn’t get a bunch of people, including us, upset?
Instead, I laughed uncomfortably to myself, thinking how this unexpected and unpleasant bed wetting was the perfect endnote to a Friday the 13th that had, on this occasion and for us, lived up to its reputation. (A story for sharing next time Friday falls on the 13th.) My mind also drifted to a vacation in London five years earlier on an equally rain-stricken night.
It was our first night in a flea-bitten hotel in Marble Arch. I’d thought, by its representation on the Internet, that it was going to be an okay spot to hang our hat for a few days while we explored that great city. But it wasn’t. Far from it, in fact.
Again, torrential rain fell in droves, lashing mercilessly against french doors in our room that lead to a quasi-patio in the quasi-garden beyond. On this occasion we were both awakened by a steady trickling stream of rainwater that had infiltrated the room through a crack in the window frame, travelled across the ceiling and was landing unceremoniously on our pillows!
Unamused, the next morning we approached management about the situation. Being fully booked they couldn’t relocate us (thank goodness …) so we paid the bill for one night (we were booked for four) and hightailed it up the road to Knightsbridge where we found more appropriate and comfortable accommodation.
Meanwhile, back in Windsor …
… a cacophony of loud splats continued their crude punctuation of the dead of night (by this time, ironically, the rain had stopped). As I lay there listening, I was filled with a strange and surreal sense of deja vu. Were we going to have to evacuate this hotel too?
I distracted myself by imagining the drips into an andante metronome beat and soon enough drifted back to sleep. In the morning I awoke hoping it had all been a bad dream, but as my feet skirted a seriously sodden corner of the bed hope fled and a quiet despair stepped in.
Once dressed for breakfast my husband, ever the action man in his quiet and forthcoming way, gently raised the issue with hotel management. They were most apologetic and, to their credit, promptly arranged a room upgrade at no extra charge.
I slept much better during our two remaining nights in Windsor. … Rain-free nights, I might add. 😉
Thanks for visiting …
©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell Creativeworks 2013