Ways to be woken in a London hotel… Having travelled down to London on the last train of Friday evening things were all getting a bit blurry by the time I got to my hotel (it was technically already Saturday). As a consequence I thought I might set the morning alarm a touch later. Sleeping in a hotel can always be a hit and miss affair, traffic noises, the constantly slamming doors of noisy neighbours and the late night return of hen and stag parties normally conspire against a ‘normal’ night’s sleep.

So having the fire alarm, really the very wrong sort of morning alarm - in your room - going off at 7.45 a.m. would perhaps normally be too much of a problem - but on this particular Saturday morning it was. It really was. 

My first response was to try and reset the alarm in the room (hey, it works for the smoke alarm in my living room). It was only at this point that I realised that the alarm was ringing around the entire building. Clothed and slightly dazed I headed for the fire stairs and was greeted by even more dazed residents who clearly had no idea what a fire alarm or what they should do. They were standing at their bedroom doors making rather obscure hand gestures that largely consisted of pointed at the ceiling.

The first photo unintentional reflected how I was seeing things. It was all a bit blurry - very bright and a bit chilly. Then I found the sign point to where I should have still been - at the ‘ZZ Base’. 

Finally the fire brigade reappeared. It was a false alarm. 

Then the ‘Assembly Point’ reappeared - from somewhere up the road. The fire marshal has apparently marched some of the residents off down the street to safety like some sort of emergency services tour guide while the rest of us - presumably the ones who aren’t morning people - were left standing around the front of the towering inferno. 

Once we were allowed back inside we discovered that someone had punched in one of the alarms. I can’t but help wonder if this was the final act of a very long night out.

Saturday ended up being a long day.