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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 17th December

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (259)

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  • Si says:


    To anyone who followed the comments and conversation on Sunday regarding my wife’s delightful children’s rhyming picture book ‘THE YEAR WE MUDDLED THROUGH’, Waterstones has re-stocked and has the book available for online orders again (in addition to click & collect and instore).

    Below is my original post from Sunday. After today, I will not subject the HFPs family to anymore.

    As the book as done so much better than my wife or I could have ever imagined, we decided to share the love and donate some of the profits to various charities.

    We donated to the NHS (for just being amazing!), Tommy’s (baby loss awareness and pregnancy support), and finally a Norfolk based volunteer search and rescue organisation who helped a dear friend’s father in a moment of need and despair.

    To all, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and a spiritual Winter Solstice xx

    • Si says:

      The following is posted with Rob’s consent.

      This is a shameless attempt to draw attention to my wife’s amazing children’s picture book based on 2020.

      ***’THE YEAR WE MUDDLED THROUGH’*** is a rhyming story, which for children reveals magical rainbows, dancing animals, giant sunflowers and the starriest skies. For adults, the book captures the weirdness and wonder of a year where so much changed in our world…. and our households.

      Having found herself without employment since May, my wife took the positively of successfully getting pregnant from our 3rd attempt at IVF to write the book. [Frozen embryo transfer on final day clinics were open before lockdown!]

      Publisher contacted and contracts signed in the labour ward [honestly true!], the book has gathered real traction and is being championed by Waterstones amongst other outlets. All of this has happened in the past 3 weeks.

      Ideal for Christmas and as a 2020 keepsake, please Google ‘THE YEAR WE MUDDLED THROUGH’ and/or follow my wife @laurenifen

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks. Just ordered on Blackwells – free delivery (and cheaper). Will read after Xmas.

    • Baji Nahid says:

      How lovely! Will be buying the book and hope the little one is well xx

    • Cat says:

      Congratulations Si, and I’ll have a look at the book for my nieces.

      I’m delighted you had more success with IVF than I did – 6 painful, emotionally draining (not to mention bank account draining) rounds of IVF and 3 miscarriages later, we’ve had to accept that we’re just going to be aunt and uncle.

      It’s heartbreaking how it turned out, but I’m so glad to have moved on from that period of my life, it was hellish.

      Give your little one huge hugs and Merry Christmas.

      • Si says:

        For every success story, there are countless others that are just far too painful to share…

        Make sure you spoil your nieces rotten, and take whatever comfort you can from that.

        Sending love xx

        • Cat says:

          Believe me, I do! I take pride in being the most batsh!t crazy, overly enthusiastic aunt on the planet, and I can’t wait to see my sister and my nieces in a few days. The little ones are so excited about having an Xmas sleepover!
          I may have gone overboard on the presents.

          • Mike says:

            Cat you sound like an amazing Aunt. Can Rob appoint you as official Aunt to HFP (er that doesn’t mean we are all coming for a sleepover or require a gift !!)

    • Cat says:


    • Crafty says:

      Thanks for updating – ordered a copy.

      • Si says:

        Thank you to everyone.

        I know it’s a bit rich of me using someone else’s platform to flog my own wares, but it is all done in the spirit of Christmas and I hope that gives everyone a warm, fuzzy feeling 🙂

        If we ever make it back to the Camden HI for a Christmas party, I promise to buy anyone who shows me the book a lovely room temperature pint!

        • A says:

          Hi Si… just looked at the book and it’s marvellous – I now have a copy in my bag!

          I also noticed that your wife (and you?) share my unusual surname, including how it’s spelt. Wonder if you’re a long-distant relation!

          Happy to drop you an email on the offchance if the HfP team can facilitate!

          • Si says:

            Hi A, – You person of mystery!?

            I don’t think i have ever met anyone that shares my/our surname that i have not been immediately related to, and even then it is probably only 10 or so people.

            Although i live near Kingston upon Thames, my Dad’s family is from the Portsmouth area with a naval background. If what i hear of my scallywag Grandad and his 2 brothers sailing the 7 seas during the war are true, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are plenty of branches of the Fennemore family tree spread far and wide!

          • Si says:

            P.s. Thank you for buying the book and the glowing endorsement

          • A says:

            Interesting, my grandad on my dad’s side was also in the Navy and comes from Portsmouth/Portsdown Hill area… be good to explore further – if you feel like it!

            Rhys/Rob – would you be able to pass on my email address to Si please? Thanks!

    • Lady London says:

      Hi Si is your agent contacting the Sunday newspapers with your story? They will be short of news in January and a Covid feel-good story might be something they would take up.

      Prepare yourself for the avalanche of orders if they do take it up.

      This sort of thing would also go down well in a few other countries, in a few still in English, as well as in translation, so sell the translation rights well…

      Congratulations and thank you for telling us your story.

      • Si says:

        Hi Lady London,

        Always nice to mingle with the HFP Elite!

        My wife was contacted by a journalist who worked for a large press-agency, but at the time we were under a week from induction date so decided not to pursue it. Also the independent publisher and book binder were already working at full steam and we wouldn’t have been able to manage a potential influx anyway.

        Now Waterstones have been satisfied (for at least another day or 2) we could look at going back to that route but it will need to be well managed

        This pet-project during lockdown has got so much larger than we would have ever imagined. I might wait for the movie rights before i sell-out!

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Got a loadful of new amex offers appearing on my amex cards again.I believe the reason is that they’ve Must’ve definitely cut down due to the lockdown in england.

    Also I think the posters name was mark? The person who used shop small at Diecem? did you get your credit back in the end from Amex? I’ve made a purchase and got credited for small shop!

  • Doogie says:

    My stuck payment from Monday to creation for IHG Black showed up this morning without any intervention – I assume they’ve swapped out the hamster in the back of one of their servers or something!

    • Jane says:

      MIne too, but I did chase yesterday – perhaps it would have shown up anyway. yesterdays payment is now missing though !

    • Phil W says:

      Snap, my payment from the weekend turned up this morning without intervention. Poor hamster 🐹

    • NC says:

      My payment from 11th Dec have now cleared. But my payment from 12th Dec has not cleared. Is anyone else still waiting for 1+ payments to clear?

  • jil says:

    “IHG In The Process Of Extending Expiring Free Night Certificates Through August 31, 2021”

  • Bigmaggot says:

    Just tried to pay the water bill with curve. Payment declined due to reaching limits, first purchase of today and nowhere near limits, anyone else having issues?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yeah but is your curve limit or the limit your card is imposing?

      Was it’s creation and over £200/300 ?

    • BuildTheWall says:

      What was the underlying card? Curve nowadays has a default warning message that doesnt make sense sometimes.

      • Bigmaggot says:

        HH, just paid direct with card instead for now. Just used curve card at coop. Will try larger payment later

  • Jason says:

    Cat where did you when you stayed at the Langley? Was it any goof?

    • Peter K says:

      Oooh, a missing words quiz! My guess:
      “Where did you stash the stolen goods….”

      • TGLoyalty says:

        “Where did you stash the dead body …”

        • Cat says:

          Perhaps “Where did you last see your underwear…”

          Or possibly you’re asking about where I ate? It was the Red Lion in Iver, the food was standard pub grub, rather than gastropub, but it was hearty and plentiful, which was exactly what I was in the mood for! Make sure you book.

      • ankomonkey says:

        “Where did you stash the cat at The Langley? Was the doorman a goof?”

  • N says:

    Is there such a service as RFF/Seatspy for hotels? Looking for a redemption few nights at a Marriott and would love to set up an alert type system

    • Lady London says:

      all of the hotel consolidators kinda do this – hotelscombined, trivago,I forget the other main one.

      • Magic Mike says:

        Not aware of a consolidator that tracks redemptions? Only perhaps for “cash prices have dropped below £xxx per night”?

  • Talay says:

    Any ideas what to do with 600/700k of Marriott points these days ? I generate a few k each month, maybe 50/100/150k a year.

    Historically, swapped them out on bonus for Avios and the hotel packages but that doesn’t seem to be popular now.

    I run BA Amex as a main card to generate Avios and have 2/300k but burn most I earn each year.

    I don’t go to the USA, Caribbean, South America or Europe much. Mostly in Asia if not in the UK. Oz a longer term option but when ?

    I get the feeling that they are devaluing sitting there and yet I don’t know where best to use them.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yea the best use is for hotel stays !

    • Andrew says:

      It’s not quite enough for a fortnight in the 5* GlassHouse during the Edinburgh festival (£750+840,000 for a garden room).

      But you’d get a room in the 5* Sheraton.

      • Harry T says:

        The Sheraton is a decent hotel, they treat me well. I’ve actually ended up with £92 a night stays at the Glasshouse during the festival period…

    • Harry T says:

      Transfer them to me and I will ensure they are put to good use!

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