Saturday, June 17, 2017
Angus goes down for breakfast. Despite being early all the tables are taken and a disorderly queue is snaking back towards the lobby. Usually, London fills up as soon as the East Coast school holidays start. This year the weak Pound has attracted American visitors and ( according to the young lady at check-in ) extended the 'high' season. The hotel running at 100% occupancy until mid-October.
The hotel restaurant wants to charge the equivalent of $48 for breakfast. Add on tax and a tip and its $65. Around the corner there's a pub serving breakfast. It's empty apart from a group of Singaporean businessmen in identical dark suits and ties. Coffee with sausage , bacon and a 'tatty scone' comes to a more reasonable $10.
After breakfast a stroll along empty streets. Angus pops into a little church to look at the architecture. Why are churches always open at such an early hour ? Who unlocks the doors ? This morning it's deserted.
No self respecting French church is complete without a Joan of Arc. In England it's a St.George. This church has one in a real suit of armour, The metal beaten and formed as if for the real thing. Chain mail, sword and belt all scaled down to a third life size. The saint is stern faced and looks as if he's ready to mix it up. Handy attributes if you're going dragon slaying. St.George's eyes are fixed on an indeterminate spot somewhere in the rafters. This is ever so slightly disconcerting.
On the flight back to Toulouse a blind gentleman with a seeing dog. The dog arrives at the boarding gate weaving a path through the crowds and the baggage as if he does it every day. He leads his owner straight through the throng to the check-in desk. How could he possibly know where to go ? I for one am amazed at the dogs self assurance. Although the flight is busy the gate staff hastily rearrange seats so that the man and dog have a row to themselves. On the aircraft the man sits on the aisle while his companion lies on the floor. The dog is given a reassuring tickle on the top of his head and falls asleep.
Bob is simply happy to have found the errant part of his flock.
Sophie charges across a field and arrives, covered in seeds and burrs, to greet me.
Things too small for a diary but too important to go completely unrecorded. Normal service has been resumed at The Rickety Old Farmhouse.