Sunday, August 24, 2008

Carbs on carbs

At lunch time today we had our last 'Italian' meal. My mum and her sister Pia vie with each other to feed us to death. We started lunch today with the ultimate 'carbohydrate' meal, consisting of a large bowl of rice cooked in a tomato sauce with chunks of potatoes added to give it a little extra 'body.' Pia apologised because it should really have been made with pasta, not rice, but mum didn't have the right pasta. I told her not to worry because it was probably less fattening with rice, so would fit into my meal planning perfectly. I think the irony went straight over her head!

Last night we stayed for one night in the Cairn Hotel, Harrogate because we had to vacate the Travelodge. This was always going to be an interesting experience because it's the first place I ever worked part time, whilst still at school. I wondered how much it had changed in the intervening forty years. Not much was the answer. It badly needs a few million pounds spending on it, a bit like me really. It's where I learnt waiting skills. It's where I learnt about wine. It's where I decided that working and holding a fistful of quids in your pocket was much more interesting than conjugating Latin verbs. It's where I was taught to steal by my mentor, BP. It's where I learnt how to behave as a guest in a hotel or restaurant, or more to the point how not to behave. It's where I learnt that hotel staff are very poorly paid and depend on your tips to help feed themselves. It's where I nearly got fired because I refused a tip of six pence, telling the tosser who tried to give it to me that he needed it more than I did. It's where I learnt that as a boss you should support your staff when someone takes the piss. I learnt a lot at the Cairn Hotel Harrogate.

After lunch we headed over the Pennines to Cheshire, to see Pia's daughter, my cousin Sandra, to a house I'd never been to before and Tom Tom got us there perfectly. It then moved us seamlessly to the third hotel of our stay (with two more to go). Oh joy! Don't you just love packing and unpacking? Oops, I forgot, Jan does all that!

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