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2015/06
Friday 19th June, 2015
Category: 2015/06
Tags: business trip

Strictly speaking I'm not sure I'm supposed to be talking about any of this, but I know I can trust you, dear reader, or at least track you down and ensure your silence if needs be...

Okay, enough with the menaces; this is starting to sound like the opening to another Godfather sequel.  How about we just say that I'm in the UK to do a certain job  (which we have been told to discuss with no one - like anyone really cares!) which will earn a few lovely pennies that I can squander on Typhoo and Bisto, as well as affording me the opportunity to spend a wonderful amount of time with the sister. 

For said job there is a contracted amount of work and certain deadlines to be met.  This year, for the first time, all the work was to take place online, and as such you could see not only your own progress towards the deadlines but those of everyone on the team as a whole.  The deadline for all the work to be completed was originally 14th June but with just over a week to go it became apparent that one particular item in the work schedule was falling dangerously behind. It was very exciting then when I received a phone call saying that since I was such a goody two-shoes and was getting my work done on time, would I like to have a couple of days at the head office to do some more intensive work, for extra money of course.  Would I! My bags were half packed before the speaker had hung up.

Head office is up in Rotherham and I was to be staying at Hellaby Hall Hotel with all meals provided and full use of the hotel facilites (when I wasn't working). A bit of Googling later found me gaping with delight when I discovered the hotel not only had great rooms but also had a pool and gymn.  Into the bag went the swimming cozzie and off I went to London to catch the train.

Actually, I very nearly didn't get as far as Yorkshire at all. The notice board at St Pancras announced the train would be leaving from platform 2 and so I, along with a crowd of others, made my way to the train where I found myself a nice unreserved table seat by the window and settled down for the journey. Literally two minutes before departure a welcome announcement came over the speaker.  There are two trains on this platform. This one is the bla bla bla to Nottingham, the other one is the 10.29 to Sheffield. Yep, I was on the wrong one. Grabbing by bag I flew off the train and just about leapt onto the correct one, which was sneakily further along the platform, as it jolted and set off. You'd think they would make the announcement with a few more minutes leeway wouldn't you.

From Sheffield I had to take two buses to the hotel (the bus driver told me when to get off) and with a huge grin on my face I made my way up the lane to the hotel and swanned up to the reception desk. You might think my excitement was a bit over the top, but do you know, apart from one half board holdiay in Spain over 10 years ago, I don't think I've ever actually stayed in a proper hotel.  My room included breakfast and I was also given £25 a day evening meal allowance (good thing the hotel had a gymn, I thought).

The walk to my room was a tiny bit disconcerting and seemed familiar in some way...

Yes, that night I actually had a nightmare about the film The Shining!  Play with us, Danny...

Thankfully the room itself didn't contain Jack Nicholson, but came complete with TV, free tea and biccies, a great bathroom and of course a massive bed. Heaven! 

I'd made sure I arrived as soon as the room was available to give me maximum play time, and after messing up the room I went straight down to the pool.  It was beautifully warm and practically empty at that time, so I pootled up and down doin my best head-completely-out-of-the-water breast stroke, with occasional forays into the bubbly jacuzzi tub. 

My reservation for dinner was at about 8pm, so I headed along there and bagged a seat by the window which overlooks the grounds.

(The windows on the left are the restaurant)

The food all sounded delicious but I homed in on the one thing which isn't easy to come by in Bulgaria - a decent tasting steak, complete with a stack of chips and a fancy spinach/mushroom concoction. For pudding I had warm carrot cake which was decorated on an edible garden theme complete with 'soil', meringue mushroom, pretty berries and an actual baby carrot glazed with caramel. Scrummy!

Work the next day really was full on with very short breaks though enthusiasm was boosted by the availability of a decent lunch and lots of cakes.  Back at the hotel it was another swim and then a walk around the grounds before indulging in the luxury of room service, simply because I've never done that before. How cool to have dinner brought to you on a tray so you can sprawl on the bed eating it. Maybe I should have been a rock star!

 

(The front of the hotel - despite appearances there is an actual building attached to the facade)

My final morning I was a complete pig at breakfast: yoghurt, juice, cereal piled high with banana chips and a very, very full English - I was devastated I couldn't eat it all!  Another full day of work and then sadly my little excursion was at an end.  Now why wasn't all my working life like this.

 

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