The Blood Bowl community is pretty amazing.
There was a problem at the hotel at last weekend's NAF Championships. The story the hotel gave is that 50 rooms suffered an electric failure so a number of us had to be shipped out to another hotel. Reading between the lines and from what the cabby said, they double-booked the rooms. Husbit and I were among the unlucky number who had to stay elsewhere.
I was sad - I've never stayed in a 4-star hotel before so was very excited. The plan for the evening had been to chat and play games and take a nap if needed, but staying at the venue was brilliant because it meant that I could go to bed when I needed to and Husbit could still go to bed hours later when he wanted to. Still, not to worry - they were paying for the taxi and also paying for us to stay someone more expensive, which sounded promising. We were told a taxi had been booked to pick us up 8.45 the next morning and we asked that that be moved forward to 8.15 so we could have breakfast with our friends. Not a prob, we were told, and we parted relatively mollified.
The receptionist at the hotel we were landed at had to get a manager because they didn't know we were expected - the manager fortunately did, but it was a bit of a concern cos I was very tired by now. Neither of us like using lifts so we chose to use the stairs - our room was on the 6th floor, but don't mind a climb. The stairs were basically for emergency/staff use only and looked it but that wasn't too bad - a bit unexpected, but not a problem.
The room itself was small, with a big stain on the already-dirty carpet. The bed was smaller than our bed at home (narrower and possibly shorter, although it might just be the headboard type meant my natural sleeping position forced me lower down the bed). The room was stuffy, and when I worked out how to turn on the air-con we discovered what the rumbling noise we could hear was: the air con in other rooms. We turned ours off - it was too loud. This was exacerbated by the fact the rear entrance to Rock City was beneath our window (the view in the morning also revealed a semi-demolished building) and that the walls were so thin we could hear the light-switches being flicked in the room next door. The hotel knew noise was a problem: complimentary ear plugs were provided with an apology note. They were not comfortable and did not block out the noise sufficiently for a good night's sleep.
We'd finally managed to drift off when the people staying there as they clubbed in Nottingham came back - drunken and rowdy, having had a fun night out. I've nothing against that, but when we were meant to be staying somewhere peaceful and really needed some sleep, this was a disaster.
In the morning, we went outside to wait for the cab. At 8.20, we phoned the venue to make sure the cab was coming. The receptionist would have to phone the cab company and find out why they weren't there. 8.30 rolls around and we haven't heard anything, so phone again: apparently not only was no cab booked for 8.15 liked we'd asked, but no cab had been booked for 8.45 like we'd been told. A cab was now comingd.
By the time we got to the hotel, I was nearly in tears with frustration and was shaking from hunger and lack of sleep. Fortunately, there was food. And, more importantly, friends.
Seriously, friends make all the difference in the world. Everyone rallied around and was so supportive and amazing that my overwhelming experience of the weekend was not the rubbish night but the amazing, amazing people who made me laugh and smile and feel loved. The people who let me rant at them, the people who gave me hugs, the people who did everything in their power to make sure I was ok.
Whilst it was generally amazing, I have to give a special shout to Chance from Three Die Block, a Blood Bowl podcast you should listen to know and adore from now on, and to Nazgob of Nazgob's Blog and to Simon the Glowfather for their special efforts in cheering me up. But really, I could name any member of the Blood Bowl community: I now know the German for guinea pig (meerschweinchen) literally translates as 'sea piggy', which is very cute, and I have been hugged and loved and made to feel amazing by people I'd only just met as well as people I've known for years.
Thank you, guys: thank you for making something potentially so rubbish into something actually so amazing.