20 May 2023

Bad luck

My run of bad luck (sprained ankle in November, Covid in December, washing machine flood in January, ongoing continuing saga of bed delivery) has now been increased by another incident. This week I was due to go on holiday for a few days, but the trip was unexpectedly cancelled at the very last minute.

As I am a widow, an only child with no cousins or wider family and, as my two best friends live at least 60 miles away from me with busy lives of their own, I have nobody really to go away on holiday with. (Sound of violins in the distance.) Before the pandemic I had therefore decided the only way to get a holiday was to go away on my own, but the pandemic soon put a stop to any thoughts on that. 

Over the past few months however, I had decided to resume my courage to go away solo and had decided to start with Salisbury. Not only was that a reasonable train distance from London, but I have an old schoolfriend, with whom I still keep in touch, who lives in an outlying village to Salisbury. We still write to one another at Christmas and usually threaten to visit one another, but life and the years have passed so quickly and suddenly forty-seven years on, we have not seen one another since 1976. We agreed to meet for lunch last Wednesday. I meanwhile had booked into a Wetherspoons hotel for two nights in Salisbury - I thought it fitted the bill as it was closest to the station and the town centre -so that I could travel down by train and sightsee on the Tuesday and Thursday either side of seeing my friend on Wednesday.

On Tuesday morning, I was all packed and had just finished my breakfast. My first train connection within London was due to leave within the hour. I was just thinking of checking all the things you check before you leave home, when an email pinged in on my phone. "Reservation Cancellation". In horror I read that my reservation at the hotel had been cancelled. The email was not even from the hotel I had booked but from one in Henley. At first I thought it was a joke but when I tried to ring the hotel, I was getting unobtainable and the Henley hotel was not answering either. In frantic desperation with only half an hour to go before my train, I tried online to find an alternative hotel in Salisbury, but none had availability at such short notice. I had no choice but to abandon the trip altogether. I was so disappointed. To add insult to injury, when I went down to the station to get a refund on my train ticket (which I had bought weeks ago) I was told it was non-refundable.

I have been trying all week to get in touch with the hotel for an explanation but still get the unobtainable tone. Then I found this online. It helps to explain why, but still hasn't sadly pacified my disappointment. What were the chances of that happening on the day I was due to get there?

1 comment:

Lynne said...

So sorry to read this and I’ve just read about John’s (Going Gently) disappointment as his planned trip to London to see a show has been thwarted because an extra rail strike day has been announced on the day he was to travel.
Sometimes you just want to stamp your feet and say it’s not fair.