Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Foibles of Bed and Breakfasts

There aren't many people who like to go to bed at nine o'clock, but strangely, the ones who do are always the same people who run bed and breakfasts in far-flung places.

I used to book lots of bed and breakfasts all over the country for the actors' agency. It was for lots of days' work and the actors used to travel from one place to another. Even though I did my best to plan routes where the journeys weren't too long, it wasn't always possible.

So I'd ring a b and b in somewhere like Falmouth and they'd say "But he must arrive at eight o'clock because we like to go to bed at nine and we never answer the door after half-past eight." And I would say no thank you, because he's travelling from Birmingham after a day's work there, and he won't arrive that early, and they'd be very surprised that anyone could be outside in the scary darkness after seven o'clock.

The French have a different way of keeping the tourists away from their b and bs. In recent days, we have been trying to book a b and b in Provence (we've done it now, hurrah! And I hope it's as good as it looks). We're trying to book b and bs in other parts of France too, for our return journey.

So - - here's the website - - - here's the email address - - oh, and it says things like "We will try to reply within forty-eight hours".

Well what use is THAT? Get a smartphone, check your email, find there's an incoming message whilst you're in the middle of serving breakfast, and reply straight afterwards - - How hard can it be?

Zut alors. Okay, on with the packing. Dover to Calais, then to a b and b south of Calais, then to our friend Graham's place in Burgundy, then to Provence for four nights, then to Barcelona for three nights, then Northern Spain for one night, back into France for two nights in the Dordogne and one night in the Loire and one night near Calais on our way home - - and then back to Blighty just in time for the autumn leaves. That's the plan, and I hope it works out well. All booked apart from the last four nights, and that's because B and Bs are not replying to emails: or not yet, anyway!

I may have to resort to ringing them. Unfortunately, for some reason, when I was at school, they never taught me the French for "I sent you an email, so why don't you just log on to your computer and check? Or better still, get a smartphone."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Difficile, Daphne, tres difficile.
Bon chance et bon voyage!

9:13 am  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Try Formule 1 or Campanile hotels instead. Failing that, how about a couple of tents from The Famous Army Stores? I can picture you Stephen and Ian cooking sausages on sticks while singing "Sur Le Pont d'Avignon" on a municipal campsite somewhere deep in the heart of France.

1:08 pm  
Blogger JeannetteLS said...

Mayhap it is a rule for running a B and B that one eschews all forms of communication that involve a sense of urgency or rushing. Sometimes it seems that way... and so many of us search them out so that we can slow down some, but we want to know we can slow down RIGHT NOW. I almost dropped my coffee because it resonated. May your trip be all you hope!

2:19 pm  
Blogger Jennytc said...

You could have borrowed our caravan, you know. No booking any B&Bs then. :)

6:43 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Y.P. is wrong. You wouldn't be singing "Sur Le Pont d'Avigon" -- you would be singing "Aupre de la lune, mon ami Pierrot"...

1:39 pm  

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