For someone who voted for independence from “London”, I have a strange fondness for the place. I have been there 4 times for an extended stay, and I have passed through it countless more.
The last was in April of last year, when we took Ele there for the first time. She loved it too. What’s not to like? it’s big, noisy, busy, glittery, and altogether exhilarating. Living in Aberdeen also means that London doesn’t seem so very expensive; and I have superpowers in finding decent places to eat, drink and be merry for not very much money.
Which is why the email that I received from the “Friends and Family Railcard” people sounded amazing. One night’s stay in a posh Piccadilly hotel, dinner, breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, all paid for, along with theatre tickets and a gift card for Regent Street. AND a Hamley’s experience.
Travel is not included, but, hey, that’s what the Railcard is for, right? Or skyscanner.net…
So I enter. And I wait. And the old Scottish scepticism starts kicking in; the offer is actually too good to be true. I reckon that you wouldn’t get much change out of a grand for what they are offering as a prize. So, where is the catch? I’m already on their mailing list, so snaring more customers with mailshots seems unlikely. Buying rail tickets to London? Perhaps, but that is small potatoes beside what they are offering. Word of mouth? If I win, yes, but not till then.
I begin to wonder if there will actually BE a winner, or whether it will end up like one of those awful and awfully easy TV competitions that they run in the ad-breaks for “CSI Boise Idaho” or whatever the hell it is, now. The ones which have fallen into ill-repute.
Either way, my heart will not be broken if we don’t win. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
And yet…and yet… the thought of going to London, and staying in a hotel where ensuite means “actually beside the bedroom/bigger than a cupboard“, does make the heart race…