Only 70 people witnessed my door trauma...

SO we’re in Glasgow. (Pre helicopter accident, I might add.)

This is the original city of culture - long before people in London started giving it out to places like Hull to make the North feel better about itself.

The taxi driver calls me ’pal’. Only in Glasgow can you be called ‘pal’ and it sounds friendly.

I start call him pal back but the Mother Superior nudges me in the ribs.

“It sounds like you’re being aggressively sarcastic,” she whispers.

When in Liverpool, I have a standard male-bonding technique with taxi drivers, asking: “Are you red or blue?”

I don’t take this chance in Glasgow. It’s a little too close to asking: “So are ye Catholic or Protestant, pal?”

We don’t want friction on ‘the mini-break’.

The Mother Superior calls it a ‘mini-break’, whereas I’ve just told friends: ‘We’re going away’.

Keep it Cumbria, nebulous and masculine.

Since we got on the train at Oxenholme (what a delight this is without kids) our mam hasn’t stopped texting to see if we’ve arrived.

We have now! At The Hilton no less (thanks Mother Superior In Law).

Is The Hilton going to be ‘welcome posh’ or ‘uncomfortable posh’ – who cares?

I effortlessly blend in to every environment.

I notice they call the toilets ‘washrooms’ and the sandwiches ‘sliders’ – I will not ask for either.

To get in the hotel, we have to negotiate a huge revolving door.

I’m totally ‘Indiana Jones’ at this kind of stuff and consumately hop into my gap.

But The Mother Superior waits until the last moment then half jumps – getting a foot trapped for a second and causing the whole system to grind to a noisy, protesting halt.

This traps me momentarily behind the juddering glass so I end up batting the windows like Marcel Marceau.

The Concierge steps in to release me.

As I recover my composure, the Mother Superior apologises.

“Don’t worry,” I tell her. “Only about 70 people in the lobby saw that happen.”

But when we get to check-in there’s a problem.

The receptionist smiles sweetly and says: “I’m not sure your room is ready. Let me go away and check.”

As she disappears, the Mother Superior starts rifling through paperwork.

With a celebratory ‘ha!’ she whispers: “It says here we’re allowed to check in from 12!”

“Somebody get me Watchdog,” I say across the lobby. “Hell hath no fury like a Mini-Break scorned.”

But there’s no need because the receptionist reappears. Our ‘suite’ is ready after all!

It’s on the 16th floor and as I slip the card key in to the room, it satisfactorily clicks first time.

The room is ‘executive’ huge with a vast panorama of the city – the TV bigger than our kitchen.

But best of all, the bathroom contains a range of high end toiletries.

These will do as an ironic Christmas present for the Buddhist Big Sister, methinks.

This is good, very, very good.



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