Where were we? I was heading to London when last we spoke I believe. The journey was without incident, and I made it to my hotel in excellent time.
When I went to check-in the receptionist asked for my credit card, and I explained that my Mother had already paid by credit card on-line. This apparently wasn't possible, and they needed to have authorisation and a copy of the card faxed through. There was some discussion about this as you may well imagine, but I rang Mum, and we got this organised. I had to wait in reception until the fax had come through, as soon as it did I was given my room key.
Having seen the room and dumped my bags, I went to get my Visa photo taken. These are similar to passport photos but the apparently crucial difference is that they are 2 inches square. And it costs £15 to get two done. I then went to Waterstones on Piccadilly and just generally walked around, finishing off by going to find the Embassy in preparation for the morning.
I spent the rest of the evening watching TV (Emmerdale had a very dramatic house fire, I don't watch regularly but it seems to me that soap opera is basically "lambing, lambing, lambing, DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, lambing".) and making sure all of my forms were filled in and properly organised in their plastic folders.
In the morning I was woken up at 5.15 by the sound of a newspaper being slipped under my door. The sound was a mere brushing of the carpet, but I was so keyed up that was enough to wake me.
I got dressed in a charcoal grey pencil skirt, white shirt and black tank top (That a sweater vest to any US readers), and pinned on my silver shield brooch, which is enigmatically inscribed "G.W.L.G., Hockey 1933-34". At 7.30 I went to check out.
The receptionist took my key, and I arranged with the concierge to leave my bags at reception. I turned to leave and the receptionist, who was a different person to the night before, called out "Excuse me! I need your credit card please". Well, frankly, I was stressed out this morning so it was not the morning to mess with me. I turned and said "NO. I've discussed this once already when I checked in. My Mother has paid for the room. A fax was sent last night with the authorisation, I wasn't given my room key until it arrived, so I know that is all in order.". The receptionist fiddled with the paperwork for my room, and I could see the fax of Mum's card on the bottom sheet, so I pointed that out to her. She said "Well yes, but it's a bit hard to read" and I stared at her with my bitch face on (I learnt that at the booth, it is one of my more important life skills). Then she said "I'll take the number from the authorisation form".
I left the hotel, still fuming slightly, had breakfast at Pret and then set off for the Embassy.