IF you recall my musings from 12 months previous, you may remember a certain dissatisfaction with the lonely nature of my trip.
Upon arrival, I had described my hotel room as a cell, never, though, anticipating I would spend the next week in solitary.
This time, however, I’ve had no such problem.
No, I’ve had the hotel janitor for company for much of my stay.
I even took a snap of him (right).
I think he smiled, or maybe he was just startled by the flash.
Either way, I’ll never know, he doesn’t speak any English.
We have found common ground on one word, however – “Kaput”.
Yep, I inherited a toilet cistern which, once refilled, just didn’t stop – when they said “canal views”, I never guessed it would be so literal.
I picked up a brochure in reception entitled “Waterway Tours” – until my good friend’s intervention, such excursions may well have taken on the narrative “there’s the sink, there’s the toilet, there’s the shower”.
Anyway, a week’s worth of towels later and the problem was fixed.
But he wasn’t done there.
I could tell he thought we were getting on well, especially when he glanced me uploading his photo onto an e-mail.
Within seconds he had embarked upon a second task, duly dismantling my door handle.
“Kaput” he informed me.
The handle had worked perfectly well so far, but anything for the extra company, I figured.
I was thinking of offering him a beer, but he seemed the professional type – just look at his overalls, all neatly washed and pressed in time for the busy, summer season … of 2012.
And that brings us onto the iron, or rather, the ironing board.
I assumed when my mate produced the soiled sleeve that it was his idea of a joke, just a bit of a laugh among friends.
But no, this was the best the hotel had to offer.
I wore a creased shirt for last night’s match.
I wonder if they’re deliberately providing me with column content?
Anyway, having returned from last night’s game in a starved state and keen to sample what looks a decent hotel menu, I soon realised that my pal, the janitor, has many talents.
It’s probably not the sort of guy you want cooking your evening meal, however, is it?
FINALLY, in one breath Craig Hignett tells us he still loves to join in training with the players.
In the next, he talks about adding pace to the squad.
Jack Compton – electrifyingly quick on first viewing – has already been recruited.
Trialist Nialle Rodney looks equally pacy. So, then, it came as no surprise when, during a conversation with Hignett, he informed me his hamstring had gone during Wednesday’s session!
Follow Craig Hope in Holland on Twitter: @CHopePoolsMail