I know, you know that I know that you know that I was going to end up blogging again. Well you’ve already read my recent return to blogging and now your reading this. And yes it is not surprising it has taken me this long to get around to actually put finger to keyboard and typing out  a merry lament about the state of this or that and these such things.

So for you pugilists out there I have made this blog a bit boxy…..

Third visit to ALS and now three visits to the Berkeley Laboratory Guest House (BLGH) and of course a blog post per visit. Unfortunately this time I’ve also done a whole year of DLS and with that their new and fancy Ridgeway house and well I’m sorry to say that it is a knock out to BLGH in the third round. Rigdeway you put up a good and brave fight. Wait, scrap that, Ridgeway on the ropes staggering to its knees and and and ‘o’ nope they are back on the floor out cold sadly showing their weakness for all things accommodation based.

So you mad ranter what are you ranting about now, you crazy ranting ranter. Why is the Rigdeway out and BLGH in. Why did they win? The answer is simple. BLGH has got better with every visit here. Every little teething issue, resolved, every ranting ranty thing that I ranted about before solved!

  • Food - check

  • Toilets - check

  • Shower - check check

It is as if they listen to what you say, digest and act in a positive manner. How about that then? Where as Ridgeway has expanded so there are more rooms, REMOVED the HOT CHOCOLATE from the coffee thing in the room and worse of all removed the bloody shower gel and liquid soap from all the rooms with NO NOTICE. I looked at the hard bar of white “soap” left in my room and the empty place in my wash bag where I packed a portable harddisk for data backup instead of shower gel and thought - SHIT going to be very smelly and or sore tomorrow.

So I think I this point I should digress on a little memory trip “the tale of no soap” this was going to be a blog of its own but it is now not so here goes:

Picture this if you can …..

A three and half hour drive after chairing a group meeting in Liverpool down to DLS in Oxford arriving at DLS, registering and getting all things paperwork related resolved. Heading to Ridgeway parking my car and unloading mine and the mad Spaniard’s, we will call him Carlos as that is a Spanish name, things from the car in to Ridgeway only to discover, very, very quickly that things in the Ridgeway had changed. Now I know what you are thinking that inside each of the rooms there was our own personal nightmare and after seeing that said thing we would start saying “we will praise him” and then a Minotaur like thing would come and kill you/us/me. Well no you’ll be wrong that was not it. Instead it was much much worse! Inside the room the little home from home you found NO LIQUID SOAP in the SHOWER/TOILET ROOM. Yes there was a bar of very very hard soap made from the fat of many a small dead animal, stone and possibly some sort of scented plant but that soap which had hard corners and sharp edges was not something you wanted too near your tackle in a small confined hot and slippy environment. Many a prison movie has born witness to that! So now the seen is set the Spaniard and I both without washing stuff and a two day (three nights) trip to DLS on beamtime (I19) left us a little bemused and annoyed.

But fortunately the MAD B-Jodays arrived bringing a bottle of red and a happy face until he too discovered the lack of wash things and he too was just a little surprised by the sudden change in policy with zero notice from the Diamond/Ridgeway people. And being that he is ever so calm and ever so timid never saying a thing out loud or in protest gingerly went down to the front desk and enquired to this such failing…..

what failing? Said the front desk man (keeper of the keys to the room)

The lack of liquid soap, the gapeing cassem of shampowless showering, the scratchy rubbing of hard animal fat on skin - said the timid and o’so quiet B-Jodays

No, no this is no mistake - you may have this little bottle of soap -

Yeah - he thought until -

that’ll be £1.50 please -

BUT too late the B-Jodays had it in hand and needed said soap - so never to argue or shout or be angry or mad in anyway he paid the man and departed to us to drink red and cry real tears of loss on Carlos and my shoulders.

During this bonding session of IPad and ePad mockary, scone of lack of liquid soap some red was split and B-Jodays weakened by the days events retired to bed and to shower with his newly won prize of £1.50 worth of liquid soap leaving me and the Spaniard to wash down the red off the table. BUT where can we find water, arrrgh the toilet in the lounge area and wait what is this the last bottle of liquid soap forgotten not emptied not removed. Yes folks I am ashamed to say it we did par-take in the filling of cups of the bountiful liquid soap and yes we could now sleep happily knowing we had beaten the system and showered for free.

That is all of this story I am sadly still in counselling after the traumatic discovery of the removal of the hot chocolate from the room mini-breakfast thing I can not speak of it and shall not for now…………

So with the recent changes at Ridgeway and the constant improving of the BLGH I can only say it is definitely a win to BLGH on points and a KO. Keep up the good work we definitely appreciate it.