“The kids are going back to school next week, Blazing. Shall we look for a bargain break somewhere?”
The management must have read my mind. That was going to be a job for this weekend anyway. The element of surprise may have gone, but a few days away from work would be more than welcome right now.
“Our favourite place down by Cheddar then?” Confirmation is received and the good old interweb is put to its most practical use.
I flinch. Now that is not what I was expecting to pay in the second week of September. Who the hell will pay that midweek? Admittedly we do want somewhere comfortable, with good food, and preferably an indoor pool. That means four or five stars, but surely they are running into a quiet spell that week?
So begins four hours of frantically scrambling round the good hotels we know, and then trying to find some that, as yet, we don’t. The North Devon coast yields nothing. North Cornwall? South Devon? Nope.
Don’t mind Bournemouth or Weymouth. Blimey, this is getting silly. The prices go up that week! A bolthole in the New Forest is found in a search and the money looks right. Right that is until you read that it is the price per person, not per room, and dinner will cost an arm and a leg.
I phone another old favourite in the south-west. “When do you want to come?” I confidently answer. They chuckle. It seems that everybody in Britain without schoolage kids has been waiting for this moment to get away to the better hotels and enjoy somewhere comfortable, with good food, and preferably an indoor pool!
Another half-hour of key-punching and I discover a credit card discount that lessens the pain at our original choice. The good thing about going back to a place you had shunned online is that they don’t know you are there with your tail between your legs, ripe for the hoteliers equivalent of gazzumping.
We could have gone abroad for a week on what three days is costing us in Somerset, but bollocks to all that sun, sea, sand etc. That won’t do anybody any good now, will it?