I am working in Oxford and booked into this small hotel overnight. I arrived at 18.30 and rang the bell. No one is home.

I phoned the company who made the booking to get the phone number. They call the hotel on my behalf. Guess what. No one is home.

The helpful man from LateRooms asked if I could wait around in the cold for 30 minutes to ‘see if someone turns up’.

I was convinced my ears had deceived me and asked him to repeat this suggestion. I politely decline his kind offer so he consults his supervisor and offers to find me another hotel.

I reply that I wouldn’t trust him to tell me the time of day and hang up. I then drive aimlessly around Kidlington until I happen to locate the Holiday Inn. Thankfully, this hotel has a person manning reception and rooms available.

Later, the proprietor of the Happy Lodge calls me to explain the situation. Not to apologise but just to explain the situation.

When I made the booking, I indicated I would be arriving around 19.00 so that is when someone would have been around to greet me. So it was actually my fault all along. Of course, I see now. Everything is crystal clear. It was my mistake. How stupid of me.

The proprietor thinks I owe her an apology because she had to turn a couple away from booking the room allocated to me but now unexpectedly vacant at short notice.

I disagreed and politely suggested that maybe, just maybe, she might owe me an apology.

The lady disagreed but helpfully suggested that next time I stay at the Happy Lodge, I make an effort to arrive at the designated time and not half an hour earlier.

I count to two and half before exploding: ‘Sorry but there will be no need for that because I will not be staying at the Happy Lodge. Not tonight. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not ever’.