I know it seems that I rant often (usually about Trip Advisor and bad service) and that often my life seems so full, complicated and busy, that even I think that some of the days I “live in” you couldn’t even make up and this past weekend is no exception. I found myself in Lyon, France, instead of at home organising a sleepover for Romy and a friend.
The weekend had started very well. Gerard and I had a very rare Saturday night off together to attend a friend’s daughter’s Bahmitzvah, which was a fantastic event with the most amazing after party- I have never seen such a stunning and stylishly decorated venue- truly magnificent and a great time was had by all. The next day I was due to take Gerard to Heathrow airport early in the morning, thus avoiding the Remembrance Sunday gatherings and time for me to be back for lunch service.
However, the plans went awry when I had only 10 minutes more driving before I reached home. (2 hours from Heathrow). I had a call from Gerard telling me he was about to board his flight, but that he had forgotten his driving license and needed it for his 10 days driving in France (he’s on a tasting trip in Burgundy)
I was sure it wasn’t a problem and confidently assured him so and said not to worry I’d scan it to him-after all we live in an electronic age, so I turned around and headed back towards the hotel (without going home) as there is a scanner there and not at home. Annoyingly I had his license in my handbag, but had forgotten to remind him to take it from me. (thus it is of course my fault!)
Before scanning the document to him ready for his touch down in Lyon, I had a thought… I called the hire company in the UK, to check that they would accept scanned documents in lieu of a forgotten original. The customer service chap was very unhelpful, unsympathetic and declared it was not their policy to accept scanned documents, so it was the original or no car. What about if I drove back to Heathrow with the original, show them in the UK and then scan the documents to France, I hear you wonder? No that didn’t work for them either- had to be in his hand, in person and apparently all hire companies have the same policy, so basically tough… and then he put the phone down on me… I had been very calm, polite and hadn’t shouted once at him or his unhelpful manner, so really I didn’t think that was very nice!
Thus, as I currently don’t fancy a messy divorce, I felt I had no option except to book a flight to Lyon and an overnight hotel, as no return flights that day, as well as organising car parking at the airport and fly to my darling husband, with the license. In the meantime my dad had to bring my passport to the hotel whilst I was busy making arrangements on line and I was conscious I had to drive back to Heathrow in time to check in and not miss the flight. Thank goodness for parents who drop everything to come to your aid and make no fuss at doing so….. thanks very much Mum and dad for coping with all the dramas/crisis we throw at you on a fairly regular basis.
Of course there were more dramas on the way- I was supposed to be at a 1940′s swing band concert with Romy and his friend in the evening, so had to re- arrange all of that, (thank goodness again for my parents!) and the M3 was congested and then the M25 at a standstill, so I had to re- route to avoid traffic jams- luckily I know my way around the motorways and so with only minutes to spare, I arrived in time only to realise the only case I had with me for an overnight stay had a party dress, spare knickers, Gerard’s suit and a pair of curlers in it from our London stay!! Terminal 1 is soon to close, so no shopping options to buy some clothes, so I ended up with a “I Love a London” t shirt to wear home for Monday morning.
Anyway, I arrived in Lyon at 10.30pm, met Gerard, found the rental place and you know what, to add insult to injury, the receptionist at the hire car company, didn’t even once glance at the driving license and when I wearily pointed out that I had flown from the UK just for her to be able to have it in her hand, she shrugged arrogantly as only the French can do so well!! I felt like climbing over the counter and shaking her by this time!
So now it’s Monday morning and I’m in Lyon in an airport hotel at 4.30am waiting to take the first flight home again ready for the next exciting instalment……that is a day in the life of Nina and Gerard Basset and Hotel TerraVina
Watch this space…. Till next week