They say that travel broadens the mind. And that’s certainly true here at Blogstead Espagna. There are five bedrooms and four bathrooms. You might expect them to be called after the great figures of Spanish history, art and culture. But no – we’re not in the Dali room but the Barney Rubble suite.
Here I have to share with you another of my keys to travel. Regular readers will know that I regard a haircut as one of the fast ways into the culture of a new place – as when a camp Cape-coloured hairdresser in Cape Town took an hour to cut my few hairs and finished with a light dusting of talc to give the top of my head a matt finish.
Showers are another way in. I remember thinking on my first visit to the USA that I was going to have to remain unwashed – until I found that you had to pull the dinky little lever towards you. And then there was the ‘Is that a tarantula in the shower’ episode in Pacific Palisades.
So the shower in the Barney Rubble suite does it for me. No so much a ‘walk in’ as a kind of journey round and towards the centre of the earth. Turn the tap clockwise and you get a conventional and warming shower. But turn it anti-clockwise and you enter a kind of looking-glass world where jets cunningly inserted into the walls promise all kinds of experiences both intimate and communal. I’m a man of the world. I can cope with that. And yet, I have to say that the angle at which some the jets are pointed stretches even my imagination …