Friday July 10 2009.
The alarm sounds at 7:30.
How do you remove nail polish from a carpet?
I decide cotton wool buds and nail polish remover is worth a try.
And it works.
How many suitcases do I need?
The fairly large suitcase comes out first. And then a smaller one.
Stockings. Hold ups. Tights. Black. Flesh.
Bras. Suspender. Panties.
I know. It’s only two days.
Load the car.
Check the maps and the SatNav.
Just before 10:00 I set of to collect Tina … my partner-in-Sparkle for the weekend, aiming to arrive there at 10:30.
10:25 and I’m there.
Being a little early I drive by and aim to turn back in a couple of minutes.
Ring … ring.
I answer the mobile.
A man from the Portland Street Premier Inn.
A power failure means the hotel has closed.#
The good news is that the booking has been transferred to the GMEX Premier Inn … 2 minutes walk from Portland Street.
I’m offered the latitude and longitude of the hotel, but I already have them … or so I think.
Eventually I arrive at Tina’s a little after 10:30.
Then into the car and on the road for Manchester.
The traffic isn’t good, but nor is it terrible.
A couple of stops en-route.
Manchester City Centre … and Tom-Tom says the words … you are arriving at your destination.
We look around.
We have to be more or less in the correct place … Tina knows that GMEX used to be Manchester Central Railway station. And we have just passed Manchester Central Convention Centre. But GMEX Premier Inn is not here.
We drive around the block … just in case.
Still n0 Premier Inn.
Another trip round the block, but pulling in to a lay-by.
In the distance there is a purple sign and Tina spots that it’s the missing GMEX Premier.
The SatNav co-ordinates seem to be a hundred yards or so out of synchronisation with reality.
Lower Mosely Street isn’t far away – but the one way system and signs instructing that there is no right turn make it a little bit of a challenge.
We drop the luggage at the hotel and park the car.
Events at the hotel reception then take an unexpected kind of turn.
They check my name … and it doesn’t appear anywhere.
Nor my post code.
Nor any reservation number.
A phone call to Portland Street … well several phone calls in fact.
It seems that the Portland Street booking didn’t get transferred to GMEX … but to Trafford.
Which is miles away.
How can a couple of girls in heels survive with that?
If we had been bunnies we would have been very not-happy-at-all bunnies.
And GMEX is, of course, full. A lot of people from Portland Street are here.
It takes a little while, but eventually we manage to get a twin room for the two nights at the same cost.
Jessica, you are a star.
The room turns out to be a triple room and bigger than I expected.
In fact, the hotel is great. The room is fine. The staff really helpful. And the breakfasts excellent.
A little later than planned, but not much.
Sparkle awaits us.