A little while ago, i read 'Hotel Babylon'.
I'd seen it on the telly, thought it was ok, but never got round to reading the original book.
Bearing in mind that i have been in the hotel industry, on and off, for over 20 years, i could certainly identify with a lot of it.
I've worked in hotels where i've had to send the chambermaids off on a cockroach inspection before guests were allowed to their rooms.
I've had the fun of finding photographic equipment set up for a porno shoot in a luxury suite.
I've had to track down some weird and wonderful things for guests late into the night, including a brace of pheasants for a couple who were checking out at 11.00pm, a particular brand of dog biscuit for a woman who had no dog with her (never did get to the bottom of that..), and a video (remember them?) of a particular episode of 'Dallas'.
Thank God there was a chambermaid who had taped every single one.
The book did venture periodically into what the Rich and Famous would ask for while staying in hotels, and it got me thinking about the famous people i met while working in the industry- how i had to 'be' with them and how now, if i meet well known personalities through Sy, i have to remember that i'm not in the industry anymore.
Sy went to drama school with Alexander Siddig- gorgeous fella, who has been in 'Deep Space Nine', 'Syriana', 'Spooks', 'Hannibal' and most recently, BBC1's 'Merlin'.
The first time Sy took me down to his house to stay, i wasn't sure how to 'be'.
My hotel training was niggling at the back of my mind, as on previous occasions of meeting somebody like this was in a hotel, and it would be my job to keep a check on whether there was anything they needed.
I totally lost it when i met his father.
He's a lord.
I dragged Sy to one side.
'How am i going to cope with this?' i hissed.
'What do you mean, Sprouty?'
'Well, they keep plying me with drink and food that i can't even pronounce-i'm way out of my depth. I keep thinking i should offer to clean their toilets...'
'Just be you. You can't go wrong.'
So, that first evening wore on...and i was treated like a lady (I want to be treated like that forever!), and these two wonderful men couldn't do enough for me.
After dinner, the conversation turned to the Arts- what else?
Sy, Sid (because that's what everyone calls him) and his lovely father started talking about Greek Tragedies, good old drama school, books i'd never heard of and the such like.
I knew now i was way out of my depth.
So i stuck with what i knew.
I got up, went to the sink, and did all the washing up.
Well, there comes a point when everyone shines...
Happy New Year to all you lovely followers and to everyone who takes the time to read my ramblings.
Let's hope 2009 is good to us all.
And if you haven't had a good look round the site recently, please do take a couple of extra minutes to see what's changed.
And if you would be kind enough to cast a vote for whether i should interview my writer, i'd be really grateful.
Please keep the question suggestions coming in- some of them are fab!
Till next year,
Shakespeare's Housekeeper xxx
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