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Balloon Love, London

‘I travel a lot, I hate having my life disrupted by routine:’  
Caskie Stinnett   

With a life of perpetual travel, I get to check out a fair few hotels. Isn’t it great to find somewhere a bit different and full of surprises, like The Hoxton, Shoreditch, London?  
On first entering their Hoxton Manor concept room, there was a split-second hesitation as to whether we had the right keys? Is the bed made and what’s that on the floor? 
Followed by the grin, the realisation and the wow of the invitation to throw yourself onto the XXL humungous bed, with a padded headboard on three sides, pop art ‘Live East, Die Young’ prints, and with the bed linen folded up in the middle. What fun.

Mum, have you seen the high heels and handcuffs?

It’s not easy to impress Gen Y with my choice of hotels, 
or anything come to think of it these days.
Nailed it.
I was in London to help celebrate Daughter Number One’s 25th Birthday and for this reason well out of our usual stomping ground around Hyde Park. I have ventured to where she lives in trendy North East London, close to Islington. 
There are two bars of a designer looking chocolate with a Happy Birthday message and a huge white box tied with a yellow ribbon, perched on the edge of the bed.
‘It’s empty!”
She declares picking the box up and giving it a good shake. We both try and can’t resist a little look, at which point out bursts a helium filled silver balloon with the message: 
Party like is your Birthday!
Oh, we did laugh.
You have to give it to The Hox, Shoreditch, the room is full of surprises!

Two days later, the balloon and I have survived the weekend in remarkably good shape, and I take it to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. With a spring in my step, to match the gorgeous summer’s day, the balloon bouncing along behind me, I walk out of the hotel slap bang into:
‘Excuse me 
I’m not drunk, or on drugs or any fink
But ‘ave you got three pound twenty?
My bloke’s just beaten me up. 
I’ve run away and I need to get to my Mum’s?’
Thought I’d ask a woman, you know, but five women in there 
(she nods at the Tube entrance) 
They’ve all said no…‘ave a bit of heart’

We are eyeing each other up. Me trying to work out if she’s for real, her trying to work out whether I’m sixth time lucky. One thing was for certain with my bouncing balloon she clearly saw me coming!
I’m a bit flummoxed by this… what would you have said, or done? 
To be honest, I’m having a beam me up, Scottie quick moment.
And that balloon, ain’t playing ball! Dilemma? 
Or maybe not.

‘We rise by lifting others’ Robert G Ingersoll

I decided not to give money, but an old Oyster travel card. I was left wondering whether I’ve just offered sisterly support with a random act of kindness, or been had! 

I must admit sadly I would normally be tempted to walk on by, but it’s hard to do that easily with a party hard helium balloon strapped to your body. 
Trust me.
Happily, the balloon was relatively well behaved on the rest of the trip to Green Park, where I present the balloon to birthday girl number two with a: 
‘Happy Birthday from The Hoxton Hotel!”
‘We’re off to Party Hard’, I tell her 
‘I’ve booked a table for afternoon tea at Fortnum and Masons!’
The reason we’re off to Fortnum’s is for a trip down memory lane, a place I used to enjoy with my Grandmother. Us fifty-somethings really know how to live it up in London 🙂
We enjoy the sunny weather with a thought that perhaps we would release the balloon, 'In Loving Memory', into the skies. Until we considered that maybe this is not very environmentally friendly. 
Plus, there’s gotta be a kid around town, who might enjoy, it? Well, do you know how tricky it is to regift a Party Hard helium balloon, without looking rather weird?! Eventually, after many abortive attempts at stalking possible balloon-loving kids, we spy a little girl in a pretty dress tottering along behind a stroller with her Mum and likely Grandmother.
‘Would you like a balloon?’, we explain the background, the little girl is beaming.
“Do you know it’s her birthday today?” says Grandma, ‘She’s two!’.
How perfect was that? 
The Mum said we’d made more effort than them, to celebrate a whopping second birthday!
We hope you have something organised to ‘Party like it’s your birthday‘ yourselves later we say?
One balloon; a second, twenty-fifth and a fiftieth birthday.
Not to mention a London Lady now in a safe house somewhere… maybe, 
What a weekend!
See I can still party hard with the best of them!

Linking with thanks to Bloggy Brunch

Disclosure: The helium balloon was a free gift from The Hoxton, Shoreditch. 
I paid for my hotel room, although in my defence I’m not sure I booked a massive bed with handcuffs to celebrate my daughters birthday! But I loved the room, as they say it’s perfect for starfish sleepers! I thoroughly enjoyed my stay next time and next time I will remember my high heels. 
All opinions are my own!
Good one and thank you to the Hox team!


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