Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The countdown begins!

Woo Hoo! I just booked my flight and hotel for a London vacation next year. If no major disasters occur (and it would take a major disaster to keep me away), I'll be there from April 29-May 15. I had to go a bit earlier in the year than I would have liked, because I was using frequent flier miles and I had to complete my trip by May 15. I've booked a hotel at £56.00 per night, but I'm on the lookout for a better deal. This weekend, I thought I'd stumbled upon just that. A hotel near Victoria Station was offering single rooms for £35.00. There was a shared bathroom with another single room, but I would have gladly done that to save nearly 40% off the bill. Of course, when I contacted them (nearly 8 months out), they claimed that they would be undergoing refurbishment in January and couldn't guarantee the single room would still be available. Waaah! I briefly thought I'd found the deal of the century there. Oh well, I still have plenty of time to find a great bargain.

We've had guests from overseas the past few weeks, so I've been sadly remiss in my reading and DVD watching. I have been listening to the audio book of The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith, and while it's much better than Portuguese Irregular Verbs, it's still not a patch on The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series that he wrote. I also must admit that, while this most recent audio book wasn't especially holding my interest, I did "take agin" it when the author had one of his characters state quite boldly, "Cats are sociopaths." Rather unnecessary to malign the poor moggies, I thought, especially when there are no cats in the story.

The story concerns Isabel Dalhousie, the editor of the journal the Review of Applied Ethics -- and that is where the problems start. Isabel has to take every thought which enters her head and ponder it from every angle to discover the moral or ethical implications. For instance, she dislikes her niece's new boyfriend, and has repeated fantasies of the young man perishing in an avalanche. Every time the thought comes up, she has to go round and round with herself about what an uncharitable and immoral thought this is. This makes for lots of talk, hand wringing and "philosophical discussion", but very little action.

On another note, I was interested to see Russell Brand hosting the MTV video awards this week. I watched his monologue and wasn't surprised by it, although I saw that it would cause some controversy. I first learned about him on a trip to England last year when I was arrested by his photograph in the Guardian, where he had written a funny column. When I got back to the states, I researched him and discovered he hosted his own radio program. I tuned in, but must admit I was somewhat taken aback by his accent. Somehow, it wasn't what I had been expecting, but maybe I just haven't been exposed to the Essex accent enough to appreciate its nuances. Still, I'm glad to see that he's attempting to make a name for himself in the U.S. as a presenter and actor. I have to wonder, though, how many films call for the role of a pirate. I would have thought Johnny Depp had the market cornered on that particular genre, anyway . . .

Final Verdict for The Sunday Philosophy Club: 2 Gherkins, for lovely descriptions of Edinburgh, but action that drags

2 comments:

Jonathan Thomas said...

Howdy!

Congrats on your trip! I'm planning a trip myself to London in March.

I have a hotel recommendation for you.

Check out the EasyHotel (www.easyhotel.com)

They charge as low at $50 (25 pounds) a night. The rooms are spartan and small, but they have en suite bathrooms and they're clean and quiet. My wife and I stayed in one on our last trip and it was great.

It's probably the cheapest hotel option in London right now. They have 4 or 5 locations all over London now, including one in Victoria. We stayed at the one in South Kensington and it was close to a ton of restaurants and the Tube. It's a really great concept for a hotel. Besides who wants to spend much time in the hotel anyway?

Lisanne624 said...

Thanks for the recommendation about the hotel! I'll check it out. I'm hoping, of course, that the pound will have a dramatic drop against the dollar in time for my trip (rather than the other way around, which usually occurs!). Enjoy your trip!

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