I made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear yet again; or in more common parlance: I did my usual phoenix rising from the ashes yet again. This is how and what happened.
Readers familiar with my early days will remember the disdain that I held for Dolphin Square, here in London. I had a flat in that establishment and they treated my shamefully – they treated most of their tenants shamefully but some Brits seem to revel in such. So, it was somewhat unusual that I made my London reservations at the hotel located within that square Dolphin House. I was not entirely irrational making the reservations through Expedia. Expedia, I reasoned, would provide a safety net – contractural obligations and all. But, I was fooled. I seemed to forget that this is the United Kingdom – where none of its institutions work. Well the banks, courts, schools, businesses, and government does work – for the top 2% but not for the rest of the folk. So there is no redress for the wrongs of the little folk. I am not in the top 2%, needless to say.
So i arrived after a nine hour flight – in steerage – not the First Class I have grown accustomed to. I was exhausted. I arrived and was told by the personal a number of different stories but basically: There was no room at the inn. “How can that be??” I fumed. I did pursue all of the remedies available to me including speaking to Expedia. There were a long series of lies and stories, ever changing with Expedia blaming Dolphin House and Dolphin House blaming Expedia. It was a mess and I was clearly being victimized. Expedia was far more helpful then Dolphin House (where everyone knows me incidentally). Expedia found me a horrendously expensive hotel not far from Dolphin House. The geographic location was important to me for many reasons. So, in what seemed like days later, I was in a taxi heading for three days in an unknown hotel. I felt betrayed and was so tired that it was a miracle that I could think rationally. I did know, however, that I was being done in by Dolphin Square yet again.(If you want to read about prior maltreatment type Dolphin Square into the search engine.)
I arrived at Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and poof – it was a silk purse. The staff welcoming, the hotel modern with facilities that are exquisite. I cannot wait to use the pool and spa – sheer heaven. A friend arrived as I left a note telling of my whereabouts. All was well, I slept and decided I would sort (as they say here) the next day when my brain was moderately operative. I went down to the from desk and negotiated a room rate for the remainder of my stay in London. The room will not be as grand as the one that Expedia ‘found’ for me but it will be perfectly adequate and will be approximately the same rate as the tawdry, terrible Dolphin House. Magic! Glorious breakfasts courteously served, canapés and wine, room service, a bath tub, a huge comfortable bed with a thread count sheets (superior even to a Joo Kim Tiah bed),
After a moderately restful night it was off to my favorite place in the whole world, the Rex Whistler Restaurant in the Tate Britain. It was raining so I took a taxi, it was a short ride. Everyone at the Rex was SO happy to see me but the restaurant was very busy.
Matthew: So I will be able to seat you at 13:45.
Me: But that is an hour and a half from now. What will I do in the meantime?
Matthew: You could go the galleries and look at the art.
Me: Oh yes! You are known for them aren’t you?
Matthew: How could you forget that? You wrote a book about the glories found in the gallery.
Me: Brilliant as usual, you are brilliant as usual.
Off I went purchasing a membership in the Tate for the year, allowing me to go to the Member’s Room where I chatted with a charming Tate employee from Turkey and a woman by the name of Gwendolyn, who was also a lawyer.
Me: I loved talking to you. You give me hope.
Gwendolyn: You give me hope.
Me: I do love these mutual admiration societies.
Soon it was time for lunch. I had the Christmas goose reasoning that I would not be getting goosed this Christmas as I plan to spend the day in bed with two hot water bottles.
Matthew: Only two?
Me: Well you could buy one for me and then I will have three. I will even name it after you.
Matthew: No thank you!
Both of us: hahahahahaha
Matthew promised that if I ate my vegetables he would take me to the kitchen so I could speak to the greatest chef in the whole world. The vegetables were Brussel sprouts. (YUK) But my wonderful waitress Jenny threw them out when Matthew was not looking. I met the chef, we had chatted months before, we chatted again and smiled at one another and then even held hands briefly. I was in heaven. I am SO spoiled at the Rex Whistler. I was not so spoiled at Mott 32 in Vancouver, they, I guess, are the sow’s ear.
I write from the lobby of the Pestana where I shall soon lunch. I have my new room key already. I will blog tomorrow about the exhibit at the Tate, the Impressionists in London. It was WOW!
Then you will hear of the Christmas dinner at the Rex Whistler, where I was royally seated and several funny things that happened to me while I was there.
I remain jet lagged and not worth much yet. I will have a restful day. Chris Jackson emailed that the books are here and will be delivered to the hotel. I am in bliss. I am the phoenix who arose from the debris of Dolphin House. But Dolphin House makes me REALLY appreciate this hotel, with all of heart and soul. There is no joy without sorrow.