Tuesday, July 31, 2007


In hotels throughout the land there is tea and coffee provided in the bedrooms, and a kettle to facilitate this.

I don't like all the tiny packs of coffee, and I don't like all the stuff which is called things like Eezikreem and claims to taste just like milk. But I can just about live with these.

What I can't stand is the kettle.

The kettle is invariably perched precariously on some dressing-table that was never meant to form a kettlish resting place.

There is never any water in the kettle and it doesn't ever fit under the taps in the sink, so you have to fill it from a glass.

But then, having done this, you can never find either a plug, or the kettle's lead. You have to lie across the dressing-table and grope blindly on the floor behind it until you find a socket. The lead is plugged into this, and its end has dropped on the floor, so, at full limit of your stretch, you feel your way along the lead until you find the end.

You lift the end of the lead up and it reaches just - but only just - over the edge of the dressing-table, so you have to back the kettle up carefully to the edge in order to plug the lead into the kettle. It is impossible to tell from the strange plastic hieroglyphics on the kettle itself which is on and which is off, so you try the switch both ways, and neither works.

This is because the socket on the floor has been switched off, probably by some malevolent cleaning lady getting a just revenge for her meagre wages. You return to groping behind the dressing-table and find the socket, but, in spite of doing a near-handstand with your legs waving frantically above, your arm isn't quite long enough to switch it on.

So you remove the kettle from the dressing-table, and heave the bed along a few inches so you can pull the dressing-table out enough to crawl behind it and switch the socket on.

You replace all furniture, and go back to trying to determine which is on and which is off on the kettle, and it takes a while to find out, because it takes ages for the kettle to heat up even when it's switched on because it was very, very cheap and only has about two watts of power. But you stick at it, and eventually the kettle boils. You can't pour it, of course, because the kettle lead is stretched so tightly in order to reach to the plug. So - and it never pays to be impatient, does it? - you pull the lead out of the kettle and the kettle jerks and boiling water splashes all over the dressing-table and all over your hand.

And finally you make your coffee in the tiny, tiny cup and you add the Eezikreem which has been sitting in the little pot for so many months that it's gone off, though actually it's hard to tell because it tasted so foul in the first place.

And this, dear reader, is the Standard Hotel Kettle Experience, which will be grimly familiar to many of you.

But, in stark contrast, here is the kettle in our room in the truly delightful Fron Dderw in Bala:

Even the biscuits were good. Veronica and Paul, thank you.


Post a Comment

<< Home