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Star-Struck at the Almost Marigold Hotel

Page 3

Back in our room, having no TV, I hopped online and posted the photo of our room on Facebook. A friend said it was definitely the Marigold Hotel interior, but she is a hopeful romantic. Another friend jokingly asked if Bill Nighy was there?

Meanwhile I could sense the army of mosquitoes outside gathering for the kill, waiting for an opportunity to be let in. I turned the fan to high. I rang down to get some bottled water. No answer. The place was deserted. No guests and now no staff. Was there something we should know? This wasn’t an Airbnb. It was a famous location where they filmed the interiors of a famous movie which even had a sequel. I thought of Bill Nighy as I tried to sleep. A lone mosquito circled me. I thought dengue fever will strike within a few hours, I will haemorrhage to death from the macro-papular rashes that would take over my body.

After an uneventful flight to Sri Lanka we were greeted at the airport by an adorable tour guide with a movie-star smile. This was going to be a good week. The following day we were in the tea country and after a long and windy road reached our glamorous hotel.

We had the Lakeview Room. Out by the pool I looked across to the elegant couple reading quietly. Shocked. I looked again but more discreetly hiding behind my large sunglasses. It was him. It was Bill Nighy. Don’t be ridiculous I said to myself. The Marigold Hotel is in India. Bill Nighy belongs either there or in Notting Hill London, being an ageing rock star in budgie-smugglers, but not here in Sri Lanka. I smiled as I thought of Love Actually. I love Love Actually and actually like Hugh Grant, though some despair of him. 

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