I’m staying in The Petersham Hotel in Richmond tonight. It’s Tristan’s birthday. They’re in a suite, and rather than have dinner and then struggle home on the tube I took advantage of a cheap deal they had open to blow a day of van driving fee on a night of clean sheets and softly spoken young slavic men telling me the location of things and pointing with open hands. I’m in a single room in the bad bit. No river view for me. No cows. I’ve got a tree though. I’m thrilled to have a little impromptu holiday in Richmond. Why the hell not?

It all came in rather last minute. I thought I was going home last night until a sudden change of plan happened. I ended up carrying some stuff for Tanya before collapsing on a sofa wearing a “Ross Kemp on toast” T-Shirt and full of Riesling. I woke up with a cricked neck, an appetite for bacon and a craving for good coffee.

I haven’t got a change of clothes or a toothbrush which never makes one feel at ones best. But now I’m staying at The Petersham for this second night of stopout, and I feel a bit hairy – although I’m not expecting to run into the amazing woman I’ve been waiting for all my life so maybe I can be a bit loose and just vaguely whiffy. They’ll give me a toothbrush but they probably won’t give me clean underwear.

Everything is very clean and white here in my room, and warm despite the beige weather. Tristan being Tristan is bringing me some of his ridiculous clothes to wear for dinner – but not pants. “You can’t join us for dinner dressed like THAT.” – he  says with a twinkle. God knows what he’s got planned. I’ll probably have dinner looking like Ollie Reed.

It really is rather delightful here in an “ooh isn’t this nice, Nigel” way. Richard Harris kept a suite at The Savoy for years. This little room is a distance from that, but I’m not on untrodden ground here, in the charming disordered aristocartist stays in grand old building and simultaneously raises and lowers the tone of the place by his presence. I should probably have a Guinness in Harris’s honour, although at the rate things look like they’re going I think it’s more likely I’ll end up taking the highballs in the bar, and a bottle of champagne or two in the bedroom. I’m rather hoping Tristan brings me a pocket watch on a chain, a monocle and an ivory cane. If he does I’ll see how long I can sit on a chair in reception saying literally nothing but “Fwa fwa fwa” until they ask me politely to move along.

Seriously though, this is going to be lovely. What a treat. My room is peaceful and comfortable and I can hear birds in the tree. Mostly parakeets I think, squabbling bitterly for territory. I shouldn’t make a habit of this sort of expensive impulse, but honestly it’s far cheaper than it should be. I casually asked the receptionist how much a single room was when I was adding myself to the table for dinner. I had a figure in my head and decided that if it was lower I’d book the room. It was way lower, with breakfast included. They were running a deal. I impulsed it on the spot.

Ahh luxury. I just wish there was a shop that sells pants. I was messing with photos earlier from the balcony so that’s today’s offering.


Better than the cat food yesterday, but I need to up my photo game…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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