27 Nov 2011

And Then It Was Wonderful….

I had a gathering to attend. I had the address and with the post code given to Tom Tom, I was on my way.

Twenty minutes later I pulled over and entered the correct post code and was on my better way.

An hour or so later Tommy turned me off the main road and we sallied forth on B roads. These, by way of various left and right turns, slowly became C roads and then D roads as I ventured through this bleak, lonely, slightly malevolent and wildly beautiful part of our country.

With dusk rapidly descending on a grey, windy November afternoon. I drove through a small village, more a hamlet, with not a soul or light to be seen.

As I lost site of the village behind me in the gloom, I spotted, in a field, what looked remarkably like a wicker man. Me being totally alone in the world, apart from Tommy who was urging me ever onwards, I decided to stop and investigate.

I found a small gap in the prickly hedge and proceeded across the field.

Wait!! What was that? A voice calling for help from within the wicker man? This stopped me dead in my tracks and gave me pause for thought. If 'they' have a wicker filling it may make them a tad cross if I set the filling free. It may also put me in the frame for a future filling.

Run Foggy, run like the wind!! On the return I didn't need the small gap in the prickly hedge as I cleared it in one with room to spare.

Regaining the snuggery of the car, I jammed the gear into really, really fast forward mode and I was off with nary a backward glance and Tommy muttering, 'Told you.'

About a mile later Tommy told me to hang a right and, there before me, was my destination. Perched atop cliffs being beaten far below by the wild, cruel, unforgiving North Sea, or as fishermen in these part have called it for generations, the North Sea, was an English country house hotel.

As I left the car it was now full dark with a full, bitingly cold gale blowing. Never mind, before me were the welcoming twinkly lights shining from the many mullioned windows of the hotel.

Inside was perfection; rooms stuffed with leather sofas and chairs, sparkly crystal, shiny wood. All basking in the light and warmth from huge open log fires. All this made for a truly wonderful evening, with wonderful company, in wonderful surroundings . But.

But, with the surroundings, I couldn't shake the spooky feeling I'd stumbled into an Agatha Christie novel, the feeling being strengthened by the presence of a solitary little old lady sitting, knitting, by the fire.

Will one of the guests be found murdered in their room at the stroke of midnight?

Who would the little old lady ultimately unmask as the perpetrator of the dastardly deed? Would it be the Bulgarian Bar Man? The Czech Concierge? The Cypriot chamber maid? The Polish profiterole preparer? The Lithuanian laundry lady? The Romanian receptionist? Or would it be one of the many unemployed youths from the near-by village who has a grudge against people who can afford an evening at a country house hotel and really wants those folks money taken from them and given to the folk who can't. Until nobody can afford an evening at a country house hotel.

I think I'm ahead of the little old lady in solving this sucker.

Anyhoo, to hedge my bets, before midnight, and as they used to say in the News of the World in days gone by, I made my excuses and left.

As I sped along the return journey I encountered a large amount of ash being whipped about by the gale. Was this where the wicker man had been? My foot eased down a tad on the go faster pedal and I sped through the eerily quiet, dark village.

Note to readers; The bit about the wicker man? I made that bit up. True, I'm up North, but not that far North. We're still into chickens round these parts.
Note to readers; Yup, North Sea. What'd you expect? Him Thing Big Wet Fella'? Good Ol' Mr Stormy? True, we're up North, but not that far North.

Quote; Tim Bedore.

“'Do Not Disturb' signs should be written in the language of the hotel maids.”

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