'' Book now ! Only one room left at this unbeatable price ". Angus quickly enters the credit card details. How bad can the hotel be ?
The lobby a riot of colour . More Bollywood than Toulouse. Spirally patterned carpet , a set of blue silk chairs, white and orange striped silk wallcovering , green velour curtains and in a corner that might have been the bar, or just a corner , a collection of Louis XVI sofas . Each covered in a different fabric. Chintz, paisley, polka dot.
'' For you we have room with great privilege " says the receptionist leading us along a long , narrow, corridor . We discover she is from Baku, has a French boyfriend, and wants to study business. Finally, we stop, she flings open a door , says '' Is delight ! No ! " and , before we can reply, is gone .
The room neither small nor large. Walls half panelled in dark oak. The upper part covered in red felt. Two black leather sofas. A tired looking television. The focal point a window set high in the wall. On closer examination we find its a large window divided into two. The room above must have its half at floor level. '' Perfect for one night " says ' the font ' delphically. Not a room to tarry in .
Outside , in the square in front of the cathedral, a young man with a dog. The dog is leaping , effortlessly, in and out of an ancient fountain . It dips its head down under the water then emerges again with a whoosh of surprise, water splashing everywhere , delight on its face. The young man laughs. The dog repeats his routine . Passers by stop and laugh . We laugh . The dog know it's the centre of happy attention . Another of natures jesters. All of us in a unscripted commonwealth of joy .