Return to civilisation

Awake at 7. Mirinda obviously still jet-lagged as she was awake and reading.

There was no toilet paper left so I rang reception for some more. Eventually we left the room to go and look for breakfast and a toilet WITH paper, not necessarily in that order. Ended up back at Costas.

Actually we tried the place next door to Costas but didn’t get much further than the counter before the smell of rancid grease and the guy smoking, sent us scrambling for the door and back to the civilised air of Costas. Oddly enough, it was called The Upper Crust. It obviously refers to what floats up from the bottom of a scum pit rather than anything to do with society. We had lovely muffins and coffee and laughed as people went in then ran out of, the Upper Crust.

We wandered around a bit until 10 when I went back up to our room to get my luggage (I took the stairs as the lift was not working…again) since my train left at 10:37.

I have yet to mention the curious lifts at the Quality Hotel. There are three and they seem to operate on a sort of lottery system whereby they take turns to get stuck just before floor E. Floor E is one floor above Floor G and one below 1, by the way. The only reason I can see for it to be called ‘E’ is because it’s where the restaurant is located so maybe it stands for ‘eating’. Anyway, because the lifts take such delight in confounding the passengers, I take the stairs whenever possible. In saying that, the stairs are actually the nicest thing about the Quality Hotel. They twist around in a gloriously art deco manner. I was so impressed, I took a photo.

The only good thing about the Quality Hotel, Glasgow

It was for this reason that I discovered the Logie Baird room on the first floor (or floor 1 since floor E is really the first floor). Having just heard the serialisation of Logie Baird’s journal, Television and Me (on the marvellous Radio 4), I’d be interested to know his connection with this dive. The door was shut tight so I may never know. Whatever it was, I hope he didn’t need any toilet paper. I glanced into the bathroom just to assure myself that the toilet paper fairy had NOT been – it hadn’t.

I am rapidly changing my opinion of Glasgow. It seems they have their own sense of irony. After all, the Quality Hotel patently isn’t and we took the back alley route to Queen Street which was proud to announce it was the loveliest route which is like saying grass is pink. Scottish sarcasm? Who knows. My impressions of Glasgow this trip are very different from our first visit, though I maintain that the people are still nice. Well, apart from the Hari Krishna guy we met.

My train left exactly on time. Interestingly this Virgin train DID have reserved seating. They managed to download the little bits of cardboard into the seat backs. For the first few hours my carriage was pretty empty so comfort was good.

Why do people find seat numbering so difficult? The carriages have letters and the seats are numbered sequentially. The only difficult bit (and I stress the fact that it is in NO WAY DIFFICULT) is the ‘B’ or ‘F’ indicating whether a seat is Backward or Forward facing. This is also written in full on the tickets, I might add. At Carlisle (and I do not mean to malign the logic skills of Carlislians, after all, these people WERE leaving) an entire herd of numerically challenged passengers spent at least 15 minutes (I jest not) trying to work out where their seats were.

I dozed and read, dozed and read (Bill Bryson’s excellent History of Almost Everything) as the train gradually filled up and eventually arrived at Euston 10 minutes early! The train manager crowed about this for ages as we pulled in to the platform. I joined the tube crush to Waterloo and managed to get on a Portsmouth train within 5 minutes of leaving. I was home before 7.

Mirinda reported that she tried to get room service at the Quality Hotel. It took 5 goes to get it right – the first time the maid did not have a pen! The toilet paper only arrived after Mirinda complained a few more times.

I’m off to Bishopstone for my week’s dig tomorrow.

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