Why cheap doesn’t always mean cheerful

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Edinburgh Castle

Photo by Klaus Hermsen

Lesson one – if something seems to be really cheap, there’s got to be a very good reason for it.  Now you may think that sounds obvious, but when it comes to letting my other half book any sort of accommodation that’s always one of the criteria.  Moral of the story, don’t let him do it!

“We need to stay overnight in Edinburgh, I’ve got to collect some stuff from the highlands and I don’t think we can get there and back in a day”

Quite right, its at least an eight hour drive to Edinburgh and I start my night shift the following night.

“Don’t worry I’ve called Yellow Pages and I’ve found a place near the castle”.

Hummm sounds a bit pricy but I won’t ask.

After a hellish journey we arrive in Edinburgh in the dark, its freezing and late, and all I want to do is have a hot shower and go to sleep.  Indeed the “˜Guest House’ did have a castle view, if you stood on you tip toes by the front door, quite a nice Victorian terrace, not bad”¦..until the owner answered the door.  He was wearing a burgundy nylon housecoat, which had seen better days may I add, his welcome was as warm as the weather and we were shown to our room.

It was rather difficult to make anything out to start with as the bulb was so dim”¦..

“Before you make yourself comfortable I’ll show you where the bathroom is”.

Oh God, he’s booked a room with shared facilities!  I needn’t have worried however; nobody else would have been stupid enough to stay


The bathroom was in keeping with the rest of the house, Victorian.  Nice sink and clean toilet, that was something, but there was something missing”¦..the bath taps.  On my enquiry as to where the taps might be, the answer came back

“Ahh, there is an extra charge if you want to take a bath; the water is expensive to heat.  When you’ve paid I’ll come along and put the taps on for you”.

Rather stunned I mumbled that I was probably too tired anyway and I would decide later.  Then something else caught my eye, he saw me looking

“Ah yes, I had to put a lock on the toilet roll holder because guests kept pinching the rolls”

and he was right, the toilet roll holder did in fact have a padlock on it.

At this point anyone sensible would have picked up their bags and left, but no, it was only for one night and we had to be up early to continue our journey so we’ll make the best of it, not my words!

Back in the room, the hole in the side of the ancient portable TV appeared to have been caused by the plastic melting, so we decided not to turn that on.  We also decided that the other facility of the room, the gas fire, also looked rather dangerous so we didn’t touch that either.  The rest of the night was relatively uneventful, uneventful because the bed was so lumpy we didn’t get much sleep, but at least breakfast was included”¦

The Scots have a reputation for being mean but this man was so mean he measured the cornflakes into the bowl with a ruler.  But, there was a choice, corn flakes or porridge, and as a special treat he even took a packet of oatcakes out of the dressing table.  Why was I not surprised when I checked the sell by date on the bottom?

Moral of the story? Always be in charge of booking hotels when living with a cheapskate!

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