Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Back in London again

The flat is mostly good, with a few odd and annoying aspects. It's in Paddington, an area full of hotels of all kinds from the Paddington Hilton down to very basic ones. It's essentially a bedsit and has obviously been done up within the last five years or so, with everything in pretty good condition. There's a large double bed (which will be interesting when guests come to stay) taking up most of one end of the room, a kitchen along one side and a small table with two chairs at the other end. Plenty of cupboard space; also plenty of power points for a change.

In the kitchen there are a fridge, kettle, toaster, cooktop and oven and two of everything - glasses, small and large plate - but there is no cutlery. Four kitchen knives in a proper block but no knives, forks or spoons. Luckily I brought my trusty all-in-one. And for a big plus there is a washing machine, though with no dryer it will mean the place will be festooned by damp clothes most of the time.

There is a large window by the bed, but the venetians seem to be stuck in one position ... down; and the rod for changing the angle of the blinds is broken half-way up.

The bathroom is small, the shower tiny. One of the curved shower doors constantly sticks in its track and consequently, as you have to turn the shower on before getting in (to avoid a freezing blast), by the time you're under and have managed to shut the doors, the floor of the bathroom is awash. Luckily the place is warm and it all dries out fairly quickly.

That brings me to another aspect: the place is a bit too warm for my liking. In front of the kitchen unit the floor is marble-type tiles. When I arrived it was warm - I located a switch at the back of the bench which looked a likely culprit and turned it off which seems to have worked, although there is one patch which is always a bit warmer than the rest. Perhaps there's a dragon living beneath.

There are a number of electrical switches in the room the purpose of which is not immediately ovbious; in fact I haven't worked out what a couple of them do yet.

When I booked in the pleasant young woman who did the processing told me there was wifi in the room - well, yes, my netbook can see a number of networks, some of which are unsecured, but as far as I can see the management don't provide any of it. While I could connect to a couple of them, the signal strength was useless. This and the fact that my phone doesn't seem to like my British SIM card (which worked perfectly in 2009 in my previous phone) has decided me to buy a PAYG phone and a mobile wifi dongle. In the long run it will make life much easier.

Oh, and the TV only seems to pick up four channels.

But all this is nothing as I don't expect to be spending very much time here, and there is a nice range of cafes and restaurants (some with free wifi) just around the corner. And at least the place will be cleaned every three days, with a change of bed-linen and towels every week.

I managed to get a good sleep last night, waking at 4am but managing to get back to sleep until around six.

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