Monday, 31 January 2011

The Price Is Not Right

With the recovery from the hip replacement almost complete, our minds turned to planning a short break. The surgeon has said that I should not fly for a few more months to limit the risk of DVT so a UK holiday would be the best option. We thought that the Lake District might be a good choice. It was an old stomping ground in my childhood but we haven't spent a great deal of time there in the last twenty years and it would be pleasant to see how things have changed. So we booked a week at an extremely fine looking cottage near Cockermouth that Marion read about in the Guardian a couple of years ago and made a note of for future reference. It looks very special and I'm sure that we'll have a great time. Marion will be celebrating her birthday while we are there.

As the changeover day is a Monday I suggested that we should lengthen the stay a little by travelling up on the Saturday and having a couple of nights in a decent pub. We logged onto Trip Advisor and checked availability. We found plenty but the prices looked extortionate. We're visiting our daughter in a couple of weeks and staying at one of the very best hotels in Scotland for less than the price of a night in several Lakeland pubs and we could have seven nights in Tenerife including the flight for £60 less than two nights in these Lake District hostelries. OK so I only picked pretty up-market pubs when I was looking and I imagine that the Canary Island break would be far from luxurious but I have to wonder if the British tourist industry has got its sums right. At one particular inn, every one of the fourteen rooms was still available. Perhaps it will be a different story by March but if there is plenty of late availability it might be time for a rethink.

Here are two people who won't be moaning about paying two hundred pounds for a night in a pub. I've been watching the transfer deadline news with interest today and been fascinated by the sums being talked about. It seems that Liverpool are to sell Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m but will be spending a massive £35m of that on Andy Carroll. I'll be sorry to see Torres leave Anfield. Whatever you think of his sometimes sulky demeanour he is one of the few truly gifted footballers we've had at Liverpool since Robbie Fowler left. As for Carroll? I don't know much about him but I read on one website that £35 million is more than a million pounds for every senior goal he has scored in his career to date. Whatever the outcome of the transfer saga, Wednesday night's match against Stoke, when I will be making my own return from injury, should be an interesting one.

Someone suggested to me the other day that now that I have retired I should take up fishing. It sounds quite attractive -the peace and the solitude. A bit like this.