It was the usual story, Will was snoring soundly and I was wide awake for most of the night. I went to bed around 5am and slept for a while then got up for a nice hot shower using Molton Brown toiletries and drying off with a massive white towel and then donning the fluffy white towelling gown. I made a cup of tea for myself and coffee for Will. I was just checking email whilst Will was having a shave and the phone rang. Reception were advising that we needed to check out as the bus was collecting us for 8am.
I shouted to Will who asked the time. I told him it was about five to seven. A couple of minutes later a dervish emerged from the bathroom who was madly throwing things into bags whilst telling me it was actually five to eight. I sat and watched the spectacle for a while and thought about the flight we were due to catch. It was not due till 5.30 in the evening so they would not be picking us up so early. I tried to ring reception back but they did not answer. I helped Will packing the last few things including the wet undies (we did some washing last night). I left the phone ringing reception and eventually someone cut in on the line to call us and say that they had just had a message to say that the bus was cancelled.
I think they cocked up and called us by mistake but it was fun to see Will pack all our stuff up in less than two minutes. What followed was even funnier. We wanted to be ready when the bus eventually came so Will decided to dry the damp undies in the microwave. He assured me that as a student he had learned this handy skill. He successfully dried two pairs of my undies and my travel socks and I was impressed. However, when it came to drying his own smalls he was no quite so attentive.
I was still sending mails and suddenly noticed the burning smell. Will opened the microwave and his pants were on fire! I didn’t realise he was a liar. After discarding the burnt briefs we went to breakfast. Breakfast was great, full English, Indian, Chinese, American basically whatever you wanted was there. Except of course real bacon. There was veal bacon but that really is a poor substitute.
After filling our bellies we set of in search of the Qatar rep who advised us nothing was happening there would be a bus later to take people for a flight that had been laid on. However, it was a small plane and was overbooked as there were still people here from the day previous to our arrival.
Will went and bought some new pants from the shop, I think we will have to extend the mortgage to pay for them when we get home but it will be worth it. We explored the grounds of the hotel, it really is beautiful. The pool looked very inviting but we resisted. We sat in the coffee shop where Will had his first decent cup of decaff in two weeks. We chatted to other “refugees” and rumours were rife. Some people were saying we would definitely be on the 1pm bus others that more snow was expected at Heathrow and no flights would be going.
Will joked that perhaps we should be practising learning Auld Lang Syne in Arabic one chap laughed so much we thought he was going to lay an egg but several others looked panicky.
Subsequently we have been advised that the people from Saturday flight would get priority but that no more flights would be leaving today. Some people are getting a little upset at the prospect of not being home for Christmas. Will and I are remaining philosophical and are making the best of our extra free holiday in this stunning hotel.
I have instructed my boss to pay the drivers in case I am not back. We have both phoned our parents to advise the latest info and our friend Ish has picked up the cat, Foobie from the cattery. The only problem is that we haven’t bought any Xmas presents yet. Will is actually on holiday this week and it was planned he would shop whilst I was at work.
Christmas may be a little late this year.