Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

We were warned about the hotel!

Saturday 16th June
Going to Donetsk

The joy of a full night's sleep was indescribable.

All that was to be done today was get to Donetsk. The flight was in he early evening so there was a short time to have another quick look around the city.
Beautiful city

A better view of the building the used to house the KGB
Before we left for the airport we had a little bite to eat at the hotel.

An appetiser...
..according to the hotel menu
Arthur came as planned and took us to the airport.  He was on hand to smooth the way when the subject of the excess baggage came up and the check in woman was staring at the photocopy of the credit card voucher. 

Tiffany guarding the kit whilst we go for trollies
Camera shy check in lady
In the departure lounge we met Bernie Clifton. We had a nice chat. 

Talking cameras or was flying the subject?
Bernie and Tiffany
Photographer Rav
Apart from being ignored when the drinks trolley made the rounds on the short flight things went smoothly.

Even the excess baggage thing at KIev's airport only illicited one quizzical look and brief wander away to check if the photo copy of the credit card voucher was proof.

Maria was there to greet us on our return to the undeservedly maligned city of Donetsk along with a representative of Avis.

We pushed our trollies across to the car park in the rain from the tail end of the storm that had delayed the France v Ukraine match on Friday and caused quite a bit of damage. Trees had been blown down and split apart by lightening.

It quickly became clear that crossing the black wet Tarmac of the car park that we were heading towards a very small car.

It was quite clearly not going to accommodate us and our kit.

Then began the process of trying to get another hire car organised. Unfortunately this time even Maria's perfect mix of charm and fearsome directness could not do anything. 
Maria talks to the Avis rep

Tiffany out of the rain as Rav and Maria try to source another car
There were no more cars available, in fact this car was brand new and had been driven down from Kiev yesterday just for us. 

The new car
We had been warned about our hotel in Donetsk. We had seen it when we were here before and were not really looking forward to our stay, particularly when Maria told us that some of the rooms were so small that to lay full length on the bed you have to stick your feet out the window.

I heard her utter one of the few words that I understand "harashow", which  means good/ok, when I assumed she had asked if we had the larger rooms.

Apart from the throng at the front of the entrance to the hotel's night club waiting to get in, being sick in a corner or looking for business, the  check in process was not too bad.

Although, having a bottle opener on the room key did rouse our already alert suspicions.

At least the rooms were clean with those seal things over the toilet and wash hand basin to say they had been disinfected. 

Another quirky room on this trip
Pretty view from my bedroom window at night.
It was late by this time, almost midnight and we had not eaten diner.

Not far from the hotel is the restaurant where we had eaten a very nice meal before and Maria thought that would still be open.

Off we went.

It was indeed still open, at least one part of it was, only it was the smoking part.

Never before had any of us been in any eatery of any discription where every other table apart from ours was full of smokers. 

We would not have stayed if there had been anywhere else to go and we had not been really hungry.

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