On Saturday 6th October 2012 a friend, aware that I have spent the much of the last 5 weeks at an office within walking distance of my home (and therefore bereft of fixed rate expenses to enhance my meagre earnings), asked me where I would be working next week.
“Hutton Cranswick” I informed her.
“Where the hell is that?” she retorted.
“About 4 miles south of Driffield”.
“Where the hell is THAT?” she repeated.
“About 12 miles north of Beverley”.
“Where the……….?” But you’re probably getting the idea of how it continued!
In fact, Hutton Cranswick is a rather pretty little village in south-east Yorkshire with a pub and a village shop situated, amongst other buildings, around the edge of a triangular village green of a size that could almost certainly accommodate a full-size cricket pitch, if they play cricket in Yorkshire – something that as an Essex supporter on my mother’s side I am not entirely sure about.
The site that I am currently “Windows Sevening” computers for is just outside the village and makes Chicken Feed! This is not be confused with my current contract which just PAYS Chicken Feed!
A couple of my colleagues are staying in the pub overlooking that green but when I tried to book the only room left was a triple and I declined not only because it was expensive but I didn’t know who the other two people might be! Instead I wound up in a hotel (for which read “pub with rooms”) called The Red Lion in Driffield a small town located as described in the conversation above. If you want to narrow its location still further, find Bridlington on the east coast of England and move inland due west about 12 miles.
The Red Lion is quite old, probably Georgian if my knowledge of architecture is worth anything, and the ground floor inside is all dark passageways, low ceilings and even lower doorways. Having said that, those who know me or have read my piece https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/ may very well correctly guess what is going to happen to me here sometime soon!
My room is well decorated and thoroughly modernised (with the exception of the rather uneven floor under the new(ish) carpet – but that’s down to the place’s age and is excusable) but by the time I went down to breakfast on Tuesday morning after my first night’s sleep I had found three things that left me less than enamoured of the place.
Firstly, my room is on the end of the building separated by a narrow side street from the grounds and structure of a large parish church. The church has a tower and in the tower there is a clock. A clock that has attached to it a quite large bell which sounds the hours all through the day and night. By itself this is not an issue once you get past midnight (when I’m usually still awake and reading anyway) as the tolls for the small hours don’t go on for long enough to wake me. Unless……..!
Televisions in hotel rooms these days are, surprisingly, capable of being used for far more than just watching University Challenge on a Monday night! They can also be used as alarm clocks and if set correctly can wake you up by turning on your favourite channel at the required time. Note the words “if set correctly”!
This function does, regrettably, have a “repeat” facility and I would really love to know not only why the previous incumbent of the room used it but also WHY (s)he thought that 4.45am was a good time to wake up to a shopping channel. I know that is how it was set because that is when I was rudely awakened by a burst of light in the room and a hugely loud and jump-suited male trying, enthusiastically to sell me some device to steam clean my carpets, curtains, pets, windows etcetera.
I will leave it to your own imaginations to work out the sort of thing I called him!
Of course, by the time I had disabled that function (to ensure that there was no equivalent of the “snooze” facility) and was just falling asleep again, that bloody church clock loudly notified me that it was 4 o’clock!
And then, when I somewhat drowsily left the room at 7.30 to go down to breakfast, what did I do?
You guessed it! Cracked my head on the bedroom door frame raising a large welt, drawing blood and nearly causing me to fall down the stairs! I don’t think any of my “customers” that day noticed that I had a bad headache and was in a really bad mood……… although I may just have mentioned it a couple of times.
Since then things haven’t been so bad; I’ve got so used to the church clock that it doesn’t wake me at all now and the TV gets unplugged before I go to sleep “just in case”. Even the work has been easier than usual with the result that on Wednesday we actually got out at around 3.30pm and I was able to go and take a look at Bridlington in daylight.
My verdict on Bridlington:
Harbour: Clean and quite interesting.
Town: In the holiday season – probably ghastly! Out of said season (as of 4.30 Wednesday) – utterly dead!
Driffield itself is quite a nice little town, big enough to have most facilities one is likely to need while being small enough to be friendly. As with far too many town centres at the moment many shops are closed or closing but isn’t in the time warp I thought it was. How so?
Whenever I have to go somewhere I’ve not been before I check it out in advance using Google Street View and when I did this for Driffield a week or so before my visit I got a few surprises.
Firstly, they seemed to have their Christmas decorations up!
Secondly, the High Street not only had a large shop with the “Woolworth” logo on it but IT WAS STILL OPEN!
Actually neither the decorations nor Woolies were there in real life. It just goes to show – you can’t believe what you find on the Internet!
Except for my stuff, of course.