Currently Browsing: Travel

What is Green?

I was just reading a post on the Best Western blog site about being green in hotels.

In actual fact I was looking for this post which features a mate’s dog:, but I was drawn to the green post.

It set me off thinning whether a hotel can ever hope to be truly green. After all they have to wash everything that is touched by a guest when that guest leaves, whether the person has used it or not, and whether they have slept in the sheets, dried in the towel, or whatever once, or just a few times. Even my mum who is obsessed with household cleanliness only washes our bedding every week.

Then there’s the fact that the rooms are heated whether there is someone in them or not (and in the case of the Travelodge that I most often stay in when I’m out and about, whenever you get there the lights are on in the rooms too.

All that said that is not a reason why hotels should give up trying.

Even if stuff like excessive washing is inevitable, cutting down makes an improvement. Turning lights off is the easiest thing to do. And maybe just accept that guests will arrive to a cold room – if the heating system is good it won’t take long to get something up to temperature anyway.

Green cars are an interesting topic too – I think I’ll save them for another day. It’s a whole subject and worth consideration and study.

Travelling light

Travelling should be fun, something to look forward to and relish in the act. There’s an old adage that I can’t remember about the journey being as important as getting there.

But the trouble is that reality just doesn’t deliver.

The travel experience has been getting worse since falling prices democratised travel in the eighties.

Suddenly it wasn’t just the well off driving places, flying places, catching the train, suddenly everyone wanted a bit of the action, even if they were just off to Benidorm.

The roads became more clogged. Trains crammed more people into the same space, took away the dining car with freshly cooked great food, and replaced it with microwaved everything, burger? – in the microwave, bacon sandwich? – in the microwave. The coffee has in general got better, but that’s about the only thing that has.

And while flying is probably cheaper in real money now than it has ever been, it was once an experience to be looked forward to, now, unless you can afford to fly with Emirates or one of the other upmarket airlines, then you are just another member of the human cattle.

So it’s a relief that there’s something that takes some of the pain from travelling, even if you are taking the cheapest option. is an app controlled service that sorts out one of the worse bits of travel for me – getting my bag to my destination, without me having to touch it from the moment that it’s collected from my home, to the moment it is delivered to my destination.

For me this means that I have to carry on my jacket, my Wallpaper Magazine, and my iPad.

That’s travelling light! And even the shockers like Ryan Air are tolerable if you can pull that off – though you may need your Bose noise reduction headphones to block out a few of those accents around you!

Thinking more about the best holiday homes

What about this amazing place?



This belongs to friends of the folks and I worked there for a bit when they were renovating it. Now you can find it on where it’s available as a holiday home.

OK, so it doesn’t look much from this photo as we were driving away from it when I took this,  but it’s a huge and luxurious beauty.

It sleeps 17 people, has a beautiful salt water pool (salt water is so much better than chlorinated water) and the views from the pool, and in fact from pretty much anywhere in the house, are utterly stunning. You look out over the Rhone valley, over Montelimar, to the Alps in the far distance.

There’s an apartment for four people that’s self contained, yet within the house, then the main house has a huge kitchen and a huge lounge. I’d like to stay there in winter time to light all the fires as the snow falls all around. But I’m not complaining if I have to go again in the summer, swimming in the Ardeche river, canoeing, generally loving life.

This has so much value that even at €7,500 a week, which is what it costs in the summer, I’d still say that it’s great value, and divided between 17 people then it’s not too much a head.

God I talk like I could afford a night away anywhere without being able to claim the cost back from someone I have been working for – I couldn’t, but one day….

What makes a great holiday home?

Mum and dad love renting cottages around the country and spending a week living a different life. They love Cornwall, the Yorkshire Dales, Skye and the Highlands, but if one of their friends said about a great place they’d surely go and try it.

I was reading about what makes a good holiday home and how to make one better in this article and thinking about what would sell something to me.

I love hot tubs, but I’m not sure I like the idea of using one that someone else has been in the week before, and I’d imagine that they cost a fortune to run and clean.


The article talks about Sonos hi-fi systems so that you can listen to any music you fancy – that certainly seems a great idea.

But do you know what? A sea view would be top of my list.

It talks about decoration and I agree that a neutral palate makes sense.

Also the website that you advertise on makes a lot of difference. I asked mum about this and she said they use one called She said that it bucks the trend in that it looks horrible, but has the most amazing properties on it.

Service is important too. Even when I’m delivering cars for Jon I have to be dressed well and know the buyer’s name and be super polite, showing him around his new classic as if it were a brand new car. It’s right too. Service counts for so much.

The folks are talking about going to France next. I usually get invited but I’ve said no for a while, I reckon that I might just tag along for one more trip if they do go to France. I’ll need to come to some deal with dad over drinking though – there’s no way I’m going on holiday and not having some wine!

Soaked – no fun on a bike tonight

This afternoon I did a job for Jon for the first time in a while. It was easy enough, I just had to take a Landrover over to some place called Tadcaster over near York and then get home somehow.

I didn’t realise that Tadcaster is where they brew John Smiths, not that it’s relevant as I don’t even like the stuff, but it’s nice to clock another brewery now and then. It was the smell of the brewery that hit me first, and then I saw it.

Anyhow, the fellow I was delivering to was a decent sort, he offered to drop me at the station, but I’d brought my bike and I was quite looking forward to a ride. First off I rode down to the Little Chef to spend my well earned tip on a cracking meal of ham, egg, chips and peas, cup of tea on the side. Loads of people say that Little Chef is crap, but I like it.

imageThis time around is was better than usual even as teh chips were super crispy and the eggs good and runny, but with perfect firm whites (runny egg white turns my stomach).

The only problem came when it was time to get into town for the train, the heavens opened just as I left the Chef, but there was no going back, I was soaked straight away.

I’m no whimp and I don’t care that much about riding in the rain, but it was horrible sitting on the train back to Manchester for an age in dripping wet clothes. And being a twenty something youth no one was going to feel sorry for me, they just didn’t want me sitting next to them.

I somehow suspect that I’ll live though!

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