Hogwarts Express


December 4, 2012 by benmblackman

Channings Hotel, Edinburgh

Channings Hotel, Edinburgh

I’ve worked out what I want to do with my life. I want to move to Edinburgh. Specifically to Channings Hotel in Learmonth Gardens. Whilst staying there for a wonderful weekend just gone I worked out that I could afford to do so for precisely 4.64 days per month (if I booked early and got a deal). I’d go for each Saturday of the month plus 0.64th of the last Sunday for a special treat. Sleeping on the streets for the rest of the month would not be an issue, the breakfast alone would be well worth the hardship.

We travelled up by train on the Friday, Mrs B and I. Halfway up it became noticeable that 50% of passengers were supping champagne. Unfortunately we were in the other 50%.

champagne on trainMy soberness helped when I needed to spend a penny though. To do so I first had to combat an obstacle course of baggage; sleeping guide dog; non-sleeping small children; and a group of 4 Champagne Charlie’s sitting on the floor outside the penny spending room. Traversing across the Cumbrian countryside our Pendolino was lino-ing significantly.

[Insert own Pendolino toilet anecdote...please tell me I'm not the only one with a Pendolino toilet encode?

[Please insert own Pendolino toilet anecdote]…please tell me I’m not the only one with a Pendolino toilet anecdote?

Having spent my penny (praise the Lord the door didn’t open whilst I was in there, ‘this time’) I returned to our table (safely back over Champagne Charlie’s; small children; and guide dog – ok, I may have stepped on his ear a bit but I think the owner assumed it was one of the children so for once, I gottened away with it because of those pesky kids)!

No wonder Mrs B felt travel sick, it was like the seven seas on our Hogwarts Express. She gets travel sick a lot, especially on tilting trains apparently. I didn’t get the memo. Ok, I got lots of memos but it didn’t mention the fact that this was a dead cert, otherwise we would have driven (even though that means certain sickness also). At least on the train we could drink champagne if we wanted to, I suggested. Well actually we couldn’t because ‘we’ hadn’t bought any.

Just a few quiet drinks with friends

Just a few quiet drinks with friends

We made up for it on Friday evening when we drank as much as any couple with a small child of their own will do (when that small child is back in Lancashire with the Nanny). Note: ‘the Nanny’ = the Mother-In-Law variety. She’s not as well behaved as a proper Nanny but far cheaper.

After a night away I spoke to my 3.75 year old daughter on the telephone. ‘Are you coming home Daddy?’ she pleaded.

Poor thing, oh how I felt guilty for her missing me.

She went on, ‘have you got me a present Daddy?’

Ah, it was like that was it?

‘Well we will do darling,’ I replied, looking forward to catching up with her, hearing her news, finding out what she had done yesterday and how much she missed us.

‘Ok. Bye.’ She was gone.

do not disturbWe stayed in the Ernest Shackleton suite (ok, it was a superior double, did you see the price of the suites?) but Mrs B developed an obsession with our neighbour’s in Nimrod. Their ‘do not disturb’ sign was up from the minute we arrived to the moment we left. What were they up to she wondered (she didn’t wonder, she came up with all sorts of lewd suggestions). I respected their privacy and didn’t enter into such childish behavior (every time we passed the room, including full mimed actions). Actually by the time we left I wondered if they were ok? That, and if I could claim their breakfast seeing as they obviously weren’t partaking in it.

I can neither confirm, nor deny, this allegation

I can neither confirm, nor deny, this allegation

Nearly time to go, Mrs B was left alone in the room for 15 minutes whilst I went to settle up. I should have known better, she cannot be trusted in such situations. If it wasn’t nailed down it was packed. Mini Shampoo’s and Shower Gel’s; Soaps; Sewing Kit; Paper & Pencil; Shower Cap. No wonder she couldn’t help herself, you can never have enough shower caps aged thirty (something).

‘Do not tweet that I’m stealing things,’ she demanded on my return.

I had just tweeted that she was stealing things.

We received life changing news on the journey home. Mrs B had won the Euro Millions. By millions, it seemed £2.82 was our destiny. We splashed out on some sweets to curb the travel sickness.


4 thoughts on “Hogwarts Express

  1. Emily Benet says:

    Haha – My naughty husband not only packed all the shampoos, he also took a dressing gown once! I did not approve at all! I should check he hasn’t ‘borrowed’ any of my Mum’s chandeliers. Hope Mrs B didn’t vomit over the guide dog!

  2. isabelrogers says:

    Did anyone warn Edinburgh? Very funny. My husband too brings back ‘mementos’ from business trips. There’s a criminal in every family, it seems.

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