The whole day, it seems, has been taken up with two major topics. The most prominent has been the furore that has blown up within the Wolsey Lodges organisation concerning the sudden appearance of ‘new’ lodges in close proximity to existing ones, hence ‘stealing’ their clientele. We had been having precisely the same conversation with the Alastair Sawday organisation because of the precipitate granting of ‘Sawday Special Place’ to a newcomer to Cheltenham, just a few hundred yards away from us. The flurry of emails across the country, stimulated by a concerned Wolsey Lodge has opened a Pandora’s Box of comment concerning the ‘proximity policy’ or lack of it. Some of it driven by a very upmarket Chateau in France (included in the top 50 hotels by the Daily Telegraph in Jan 2011 indeed!). Very interestingly, it turns out that a number of Wolsey Lodges, like us, are also Sawdays, or have been rejected by Sawdays on the grounds that they would be too close to existing Sawday B&Bs. How things and policies seem to have changed – perhaps as a result of economic pressures, but at the cost to the existing members who pay a lot of money for exclusivity!
Conflict of a lesser sort is also being waged on a camping site in Venice as we speak. Charlotte has finally decided to ‘jump ship’ from the Aussie Drinking Tour of Europe or whatever it’s called. Not only that but it seems as though she will be taking another deserter with her, who’s also had enough of the culture (or lack of it). Having plotted her escape plan and colluded with outside contacts, she will shortly make the break and head for the location of a friend, and from there ‘do her own thing’ eventually returning to Blighty via the ‘underground’ or perhaps Eurostar. She’s always been good travelling on her own, making lots of new friend en route in the past, when she was ‘gapping’, travelling South America and Canada. She’ll have a lot more real adventures that way, rather then travelling on a ‘package’ where everything has been arranged for you.
My final excitement of the day was, as I was leaving the house to take Sophie for a walk, a rabid-looking mongrel launched from the open doorway of a neighbour’s house and went for Sophie, who didn’t realise what was going on, until the mongrel headed back for the open doorway with a mouthful of Sophie’s blonde fur – she’s got plenty to spare fortunately. I called on the house to remonstrate but although the door gaped and the mongrel snapped from the safety of the shadows, no humans emerged. Their door has been left open on an empty house before, and other neighbours have commented on the often strange behaviour of this family – supposedly involved somewhere in the intelligence world!