a is for…

By amy ~ July 7th, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

Tonight’s post is brought to you from my overly warm but otherwise surprisingly charming Newcastle digs, boasting as they do excellent linen, a large, comfortable bathroom from which I entertained the idea of beginning this posting had the marble surrounding the bath been a touch wider, and a refrigerator replete with FREE bottled water, orange juice and chocolate biscuits – a far cry from the majority of London hotels who routinely charge paying guests £2.50 for the less than satisfying experience of delicately brushing their sleeve against a KitKat.

I have been very pleasantly surprised by the number of eager visitors here this time, bearing in mind the seemingly limitless number of Can’t-Read-Won’t-Reads who manage somehow to ignore not only bold type, but also Added Extra Bold Type In Capital Letters and pestered my Adultwork phone relentlessly, or so I found when I switched it on briefly for the routine tidying. Coincidentally, earlier this week over an informative lunch I was introduced to the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test; these tests (to quote Wiki) ‘are designed to indicate comprehension difficulty when reading a passage of contemporary academic English’ – in a nutshell, the lower the numerical score, the more difficult and complex the writing. The scale runs between 1 and 100 with the highest score possible (easiest) apparently being around 120, indicating work comprising two word sentences made up entirely of single syllable words, or a reading/comprehension ability roughly on a par with the average buyer of the soon-to-be-departed (and I genuinely cannot remember the last occasion when a news announcement made me crave champagne quite so much as that one this afternoon) News Of The World.

The paragraph above scores 28.65 by way of an example; moderately complex but obviously not ridiculous – at a guess somewhere between the Telegraph and The Economist (a previous entry in its entirety scored 26.28 which probably means I ought to change my ways, or at least bend a little towards the shorter sentence and less flowery language, but hey ho). For comparison purposes, ‘the cat sat on the mat’ scores 116.15, or Very Easy. Now, back on topic, consider the following sentence: ‘Please email me with booking enquiries’. This comes in at 59.75, a score falling around the general level of a written assignment one would expect to be produced by an eleven year old. This sentence and variations of it (both simpler and slightly less so) feature prominently in my Adultwork profile. Go figure.

Anyway, being well practised at the art of numpty-ignoring I am not complaining; a switched off phone is hardly the most difficult thing to tolerate, after all! Instead, I have met all manner of new friends, including a delightful gentleman who arrived (inspired by that photo) with a punnet of strawberries and an imagination, a former Scarborough resident who happened to be passing (cue nostalgic discussion regarding What Is Still There – pubs, seafront shops, cafes – the Corner and the Stage Door being among those mourned) and best of all a lovely local lady; Sassy Ann (another very Nice prossie) has patiently listened to me all rabbit on over bagels, muffins and lumumbas this afternoon, and a fine time was had by all. The time has now come for packing up my fancy new lace nightie (see pic) and the final bedpicnic – I shall be back in Scarborough by lunchtime tomorrow, possibly following a brief return to the welcoming embrace of the gigantic Marks and Spencer on Northumberland Street (notable in itself for being officially the most expensive place in the UK to have a shop outside Oxford Street); an oasis of soothingly chilled, pre-packed calm boasting a selection of salads, deli offerings and sandwiches the like of which has never been seen in it’s Scarborough counterpart. Cor.

To next week, and filling up fast! Please note the addition of new working hours on my Rates page – nothing here is cast in stone given a lot of notice, but bookings outside these times should not generally be considered available (obviously this doesn’t count for places other than Scarborough) and hopefully these are clear. I will be around for the next couple of weeks until my trip to Oxford on the 25th, so anybody feeling keen please do get in touch. For the moment, the hedonistic joy of the minifridge, limitless tumble-dried towels and a final decadent wallowing in sheets that I will never have to wash myself is the order of the day. Home soon…

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