Buy Cheap, Pay Dear

An old scottish saying meaning that if you pay cheaply for something, it ends up costing more. 

For instance, I booked myself into some student accommodation this week. This week in London, all hotels are full . Completely full. So that was the only place I could get.

So when I learnt that I had to supply my own bedding and towel, I thought 'hmm'. Okay.  

I flew into London, took a tube to Whitechapel and got there around midnight. Whitechapel at midnight is not what you'd call a green and pleasant land.  

I rocked up, gave my name and confirmation number - and was told 'No, we don't have you. Sorry'. And was shown the door.  

Across the road at the Ibis, they were kind enough to let me sit in the cafe and hit the internet and phones for anything. And I mean anything. But no. Everything south of Birmingham and north of France was full. 

I tried calling Yotel at Gatwick - no answer. And thought if I got myself down there, I could sort something out. So off to Victoria station I went. Of course, no taxis. By the time I came around St Pauls, I was quite enjoying my nighttime walk and decided to walk it all the way - around 4 miles. Excellent fun. 

I got there just as they were closing the gates to the station. And the night-time crowd around there looked 'exciting'. So I jumped in a cab to Depford Bridge, my normal, but full  weekly hotel. Even if I could sit in the cafe for a few hours, that would help. But no-one was around, and Depford Bridge isn't a sane place to hang around. So I wandered up to Greenwich, risked the foot tunnel (Exciting at 3:30am!) and made it to the office around 4. 

My noctrnal perambulation. Around 6.9 miles. A-B, then C-E on foot.

My noctrnal perambulation. Around 6.9 miles. A-B, then C-E on foot.

So I'm here at work, some five hours early, and composing a suitable missive for http://www.londonuniversityrooms.co.uk

On the plus side, I saw the sun rising over docklands, and spotted two urban foxes - one in Greenwich (at WH Smiths - he's probably buying the new Pratchett novel) and one at Mudchute. 

The moral of the tale? Buy Cheap, Pay Dear. 

Next week. Its four stars, pool, sauna and a bar with Aged Rum.