Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Ghost Story

The Tudor Lodge is a lovely old hotel that started life as a manor house, then a hotel, became a Hospital during several wars, including WWI, then back to a hotel again. We knew we were not going to be put up in a 4 star hotel, but I've read some of the recent reviews of the Tudor Lodge and I hardly think it deserves some of the awful comments that were made about it. The staff when we were there were always helpful and eager to tell us about the history of the place. That is what I found to be the most enjoyable, the history of the Tudor Lodge. We had a wing of the hotel to ourselves, with two rooms and a set of stairs leading down to the dining room. They only served breakfast, but what a plus that was for a young family getting kids off to school. They offered several selections of cereals, including Wetabix, which our older son, Wallace, really liked. They had Marmite, a bread spread that apparently is an acquired taste (which we never, any of us, acquired) and the best bacon in the world. The first time I asked for bacon and eggs and they brought out these lovely scrambled eggs and two slices of what looked like wide thin strips of ham, I wasn't sure they had understood my order. I was assured by the young lady who delivered the plates to the table that this was, indeed, bacon. The toast, made from Mother's Pride Bread, I believe, was also bigger than the slices of bread we're used to at home. So, the boys had a good breakfast before leaving for school every morning and we were quite happy with the hotel accommodations. Every night, we would watch the news (hoping for good news on the hostage situation) then we'd watch the BBC. One of the first shows I found I enjoyed was Dad's Army. But WTHF kept saying, "what did he say?" and I had to translate. I work with accents very well, I grew up with Ricky and Lucy on TV and at home...my dad is from Ecuador and so his attempts at English pronunciation rivaled those of Ricky Ricardo's, and my mother was every bit as zany as Lucille Ball. So, I would translate and WTHF finding the line funny would laugh. The boys didn't have to hard a time picking up on the language, it was after all, basically the same as the language they already spoke. But more on that later. One morning after getting the boys up for school, Michael was telling me that I didn't have to check in on them in the middle of the night. I told him that I hadn't been and immediately came the description of the lady in the long white dress whose hair was put up funny (being no hair dresser, my hair was often "put up funny"). So, I told them maybe it was someone with the hotel. I was sitting in the dining room enjoying my coffee and the Daily Mail after getting the boys on the bus. One of the Hotel managers came over and asked how everything was going, if we were enjoying our stay and what had I planned for the day. I was gracious in my compliments because frankly, they were gracious hosts and I was enjoying my stay quite a lot. I happened to mention that Michael had seen some lady checking in on him and the lady's face went absolutely white. She told me that there were stories about a Nurse who haunted that wing of the hotel (remember, the hotel had been a hospital in several wars) but she had never actually seen her, just heard the stories. I wondered if she was concerned that we might think someone was sneaking in the room at night for some nefarious reason, but that really wasn't the case at all. I knew that everyone who worked in the hotel knew that we would be there for several weeks and really did think it was just an employee checking on the children. This was, of course, before the disappearance of children became an everyday event to scare every parent world wide. But later on, I found that the other employees were eager to talk of the "Lady in White" with someone who didn't appear to think it was a laughing matter. A couple of the ladies had actually seen her in the room the boys slept in and were never frightened by her. She always seemed to be bending over as though adjusting blankets, according to them. So I decided I was right all along, someone was checking on the children, making sure they were alright. I can remember standing in the middle of the room and looking around, hoping I would see her. I told her thank you, though...you can never have too many eyes checking on the welfare of your children.

8 comments:

Mary said...

Oh Mothers pride bread and marmite! I love marmite and yes its an acquired taste but I have that on my toast every morning! Vegemite is I think an Australian version of marmite but not as nice.Its something you love or hate but full of vit B.There are ghost stories abounding in old hospitals about ladies in white checking on people in the middle of the night. Never saw one myself in the 16 years I spent working nights but I've had patients who have told me they have. Nothing to be scared of. My friend had a theory that it was old school matrons ensuring us young nurses were doing our jobs properly!!I still love Dad's army. They still show on BBC at times.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

What a great story! I LOVE reading about things like this for some reason! I like the look of the place where they put you up-it's so typically british looking! A bit shabby but full of character!! You could turn this into a book Sandi...

Abbie said...

lol, Sandie, this honestly is creepy to me.
Having finsihed reading all your previous blogs last night, I'm happy I'm reading this one of the Ghost lady during day time, in the safety of my office! Yeah, won't be looking this one up, I'll just take your word on it.
More! More! more!
You cannot leave us hanging like this everyday, it's just not fair!

Kari said...

You Southerners and your ghosts! ha,ha,ha okay...sorry. Just reminded me of Grandma swearing up and down that Great-Grandma had showed up one night and almost snatched her baldheaded. And then Mom swearing that she thought Grandma's ghost had knocked a plate or something over in her china cabinet.

Love the look of that hotel, though. I really need to go over there, you know it? It's no longer a want...it's graduated to A NEED! lol

Wanda said...

You *are* saving all these in a book for your future descendants, aren't you? Love the stories.

Country Cottage Chic said...

Ooh - that story gave me goosebumps but I bet it was a kindly spirit watching over your boys.

LivingTheLife said...

I love your stories...and I agree with the others...I pray you are getting these down on paper to pass along...and Sophie is RIGHT...you SHOULD turn this into a book...after all...we all LOVE it...why wouldn't the rest of the world...plus we are all great critics...and we say...#1 Best Seller...hands down!

Blessings...
"T"

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