Monday, 14 March 2011

I was recently asked what - if anything - I take from the hotel rooms I stay in.

A few years ago, on his first ever trip abroad, a member of ILT staff rang me from his suite to ask if he was allowed to use the soap in the bathroom. It was Hermes and he was worried that it would appear on the bill! Naive - yes, sweet - yes ... worrying - oh yes!
On the other hand, Tim is always asking me if anyone would miss the 50" plasma HD television set, king-sized bed or bright leather sofa that decorate his many hotel rooms!

I do swipe the toiletries - actually not all brands. Ren is worth taking - as is Aqua di Palma ... oh and Jo Malone ... but own brands, Molton Brown, Penhaligons and indeed Hermes are always left behind. Shoe mitts are useful for wiping camera lenses and the disposable laundry bags are great for wrapping sun cream and mosquito repellent bottles in. You would have to be mad (or desperate) to want to take towels, bed linen, batteries from remote-controls, carpets, light bulbs, cushions, lamp shades ... or pee in apple juice bottles from the minibar. Actually, if I had the time I could tell you some stories of theft and anti-social behaviour that would make you toes curl.

Most rooms/suites that I stay in have - of course - Gideon's Bible and a plethora of magazines. I know this may shock you but I am not an Elle or Vogue reader (unless there is of course an article on the latest trends in fluffy leggings or mankinis) ... but I do like to flip through Time and Newsweek.

Last week at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, I DID swipe the Ren products ... and a copy of Newsweek to read on the bus (I HATE London Underground). The magazine is dedicated and features the "150 Women Who Shake the World". From Hillary Clinton to Suraya Pakzad and Meryl Streep to Shirin Neshat, the magazine tells their stories. It's been a long time since I have just sat on a bus reading until the end of the line and then back again to my stop ... 90 minutes late(r). If you can get a copy of this issue - do - it's quite amazing and moving.

I watched the news today and this lady was standing in Sendai, Japan looking over the area that was once home to her, her family and friends. Nothing was left ... and she said "we will rebuild, we must". 151 women ...

While going through some photos today I took in Asia recently, I found this one ... it made me smile ... it sends the right message ...

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