Out for an early morning walk down by the river. Not a soul in sight. We stumble across three recently restored cottages which are far too pristine to be owned by locals. The shutters match. A sign in the window says they are owned by the Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts. Quite how an American organization comes to own and run property in this deepest, deepest corner of France profonde is a mystery. The artists, writers and composers could find it all alarmingly quiet.
The sound of a thrumming, overworked, engine fills the air. A telltale crash of gears. Madame Bay arrives, unannounced. Today she is sporting a tangerine quilted house coat and white broad brimmed hat highlighted by four large red velvet bows. A sort of summer meets winter look. She pecks 'the font' on each cheek before enveloping Angus in a bear hug. '' M'Ongoose. M'Ongoose I'm glad you're well " she says twice through a cloud of Lily of the Valley. Greetings over, she opens all the windows, turns the dial to Radio Nostalgie and then settles down at the end of the kitchen table with a steaming mug of coffee and the morning papers. Clearly not a day for being too active.
'The font' announces that we need to go to Paris. Tomorrow. There is a huge exhibition on and all the hotels are full. Completely full. Angus informs 'the font' that it's impossible. Ten minutes later there's a '' look what I've been able to find ! They had one room left ". The font reads the reviews that say it's a jewel box. Angus reads the ones that says the rooms are so small that guests have to walk sideways round the bed. These are the reviews 'the font' reads.
The last hotel room in Paris. Angus has a feeling that this is going to be an 'adventure'. 'The font' reassures him by asking " how bad can it be ? ".