Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Friday 3 September 2010

Men sharing a room

What a shame! William Hague was a sort of hero of mine. I thought he had all the attributes to have made a fine Prime Minister, but  in the light of his sharing a hotel room with a much younger male aid one must now question his judgement. Not only that, but his later making a statement that dragged his poor wife, Ffion, into the affair.

Despite his denials of an intimate relationship, the whispers and rumours will not go away. Ever. If he is not gay then why did he do it? Why share a room, and apparently it was on several occasions, when he can clearly afford seperate rooms - he's a multi millionaire for heaven's sake.

Now, I accept that there are occasions when men share a hotel room. On golf or other sport club trips, it is fairly common to keep costs down, but as a general rule it is not done.

I can remember sharing a room with another man as an adult on two occasions. Once voluntary and the other not so. The second occasion was when a farmer friend of mine and I set off to Paris on the newly opened Eurostar. It was a lad's night out that lasted two nights and we shared a twin bedded room in Paris. I suppose we were awkward but the hotel staff, bless them, never gave any intimation that it was in any way improper. Presumably they saw it everyday. From my perspective it was fine once I'd become familiar with my friend's smelly socks.

The first occasion, however, was different. I'd only just left home to start my apprenticeship in Cheshire. I was eighteen and lodging with an elderly landlady. My first digs were a disaster. Having got off the train in Crewe, I found that my first lodgings were grieving because the owner had died that day and his wife was less than happy to see me. I was put into temporary digs where I was given the sofa bed in the lounge to slep on. Each evening I had to wait until the others had finished watching the television before I could make the bed in a smoke filled room. They found me another lodging with an old railwayman and his wife but again that didn't last.
Soon after starting with the elderly widow, I went to bed early as usual- there was no television. However, around eleven o'clock I heard someone in my darkened bedroom. I could smell tobacco smoke and a strong whiff of whiskey. I froze before realising that the intruder was not, in fact, a threat, but was getting undressed, gently cursing under his breath as he fought to get out of his recalcitrant trousers. Needless to say, I never slept a wink, fearing some impropriety from the newcomer and fizzing with rage that my room, my refuge should be violated in this way.
Next morning, my landlady told me that she offered the second bed in my room to an old friend who needed a room at short notice. I'm delighted to say that it never happened again.

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