|Escape from the Travelodge.|
Once upon a time there was a small silver Christmas Tree. He was a modest glittery sort of tree -‘cheap and cheerful’ some might say. He was shipped in to the UK with thousands of other, exactly the same, six inch, Made In China Christmas trees. The job of these trees was to brighten up dining tables in restaurants across the land of Olde England.
For this one little tree however, things were about to get a bit more exciting. He was about to be freed from the easy clean Formica topped dining table he had been assigned to in the Heathrow Travelodge at Christmas. Two enterprising ladies, staying at the very reasonably priced airport hotel, noticed the tree. They were about to embark upon their travels, took a shine to the tree, and decided to take pity on him. Laughing over their Travelodge repast, they said ‘Let’s take the tree with us!’ And all of a sudden, the tree found itself sitting on the edge of a rather nice suitcase about to wave the Travelodge goodbye. The small tree was about to go on a BIG adventure.
Before he knew it, the Travelodge tree found himself whisked through Terminal 5 on a British Airways flight to the Middle East.
He marvelled out of the plane window at the snow topped mountain ranges of Afghanistan, as the sun began to set. ‘How beautiful’ he thought. The last time I traveled I was packed in tight with thousands of other trees in the cargo hold. ‘All I could see then was the bottom of the tree of front of me!’ The tree stayed with the ladies in a lovely Arabic house in the beautiful Arabian country of Oman.
The following evening, he used his decorating skills to brighten up the plastic table in the car park next to the desalination plant. This was where the young men from Zanzibar held their nightly BBQ. Rich Omanis turned up in their large shiny cars every night to carry off supplies of chicken, pork, prawn and squid kebabs. The spicy potato soup was also popular and the ladies enjoyed the local ambiance along with the tasty street food. The tree thought it was all very exotic indeed.
|Car Park cuisine|
The next night saw the tree accompany the ladies on another Arabian night out. He watched them drink Cosmopolitans in the Park Hyatt and demolish an impressive quantity of bar snacks. He really came out of his shell in Feeney’s Irish bar. The ladies joined in the pub quiz with some pleasant English gentlemen who were working as guides for an adventure company and had popped in for some Guiness and a plate of sausage and mash.
|Making friends in Feeney’s|
The ladies then decided that, as they were in the middle east, they should go and stay in a desert camp. The tree went with them as they watched camels and went ‘dune bashing’ in a 4×4 with Abdullah their Bedouin guide. He sat with them in the desert while they watched the sun slide below the horizon in the middle of the rolling dunes and thought how lucky he was that they had found him there ‘of all the Travelodges in all the world.’ The tree even shared in their evening gin and tonic which seemed to appear from a bag somewhere despite the unquestionably remote location.
The tree marveled at the clear green water at the Wadi Bin Khalid a beautiful oasis the in the dry red desert and he saw things he never thought he would see when he came of the production line in Hong Kong only a few weeks ago.
|G & Tree|
The tree began to worry that the ladies would tire of him and perhaps throw him casually into the bin or or maybe leave him behind without a backward glance. He had felt part of a little team on his Arabian adventure and to be abandoned now would almost make him wish he was back with the rest of his synthetic forest overseeing a thousand English breakfasts in the Travelodge.
However, the tree need not have worried its small spiky self. The ladies had no intention of leaving the little tree behind. By now they had grown fond of him and enjoyed his non critical company. They took him home with them and he continued the festive season in fine style. They even took him out for afternoon tea at an upmarket country pad called Jesmond Dene House and the little tree felt loved and wanted and had a very happy Christmas indeed!