I wake up, sharply, to the alarm clock the fat guy gave me. It's 8.20am. The night before I booked a taxi for 8.40am. I have to dress fast. And I do. Almost as fast as I did at 2 that morning.
I get to reception in time. I feel good. Then bad. My American Friend isn't there. S/he will miss the taxi. Is that good - or bad? I'm not sure. I do feel a little contrite. Well not too contrite. Who knows how long or how loudly MAF would have gone on talking in his/her sleep? Maybe s/he should miss the taxi...
I have spent so long thinking about it that it's now 8.45am.
Is the taxi here yet? I ask the (new, female) receptionist.
You booked it for 8.40?
But it's only 7.40.
I look at the lobby clock. She's right.
I look at the alarm clock the fat guy lent me. It's one of the ones with minimal hands. You can tell where six and nine are, but seven and eight are unmarked and could be one and the same. Who set the alarm last night? Who set it wrong? I decide it must have been the fat guy.
Outside the Premier Inn the grass is grey and wet. I begin to feel a little more contrite.
I decide that the best amends to MAF would be to wait for him/her and to pay for the taxi so that we can both go back to Saint Germans station together. Trouble is, I have no cash and I know s/he hasn't either.
I return to the hotel reception to try to address the cash problem.I ask the (new, female) receptionist.
Is there a cashpoint here?
It's in the "tavern".
I find the "tavern" which smells of tomato ketchup and something fried. I find the cashpoint. It doesn't work. I return to reception.
I think there's one in Morrisson's.
I walk down the long wet Premier carpark to the nearest thing South Cornwall has to a motorway. I dodge early traffic across two roundabouts, past the Homebase shed-island to the Morrisson's shed-island. There are no pavements, only grass verge covered with morning dew.
I do a circuit of Morrisons. Nothing.
Do you have a cashpoint? I ask a man holding a dustpan, with careful politeness.
Yes, says the man
But it's inside, says the other man, who is holding a brush.
And we don't open 'til 9, says the third man, who is holding nothing and seems to be supervising the operation.
I follow an early employee, who is travelling on a golf buggy, into the shop through the doors marked EXIT and say to her, trying to sound neither criminal nor lunatic, I'm staying at the Premier Inn and their cashpoint's broken and I have to get to Saint Germans by nine-twenty two to get a train and our taxi leaves at eight-forty.
She reverses the golf buggy and looks at me for a long time.
Too painful to go on with this right now. More tomorrow. Instead here are some photos of the Port Eliot Flower show.
Entitled to the priviledges of the performers' bathroom, I found myself queuing behind Flower Show judge, Grayson Perry. Last month at the Shakespeare and Company festival it was Jeanette Winterson. Oh the glamour.
Mr Perry presented the prizes dressed as a 1950s toddler (he arrived on a pink motorbike with a backseat shrine to his teddybear). Here are a few photos of the exhibits. This one's the 'Patrick Suskind's Perfume' entry in the Novel category:
...and this is literary luminary, Simon Prosser's 'The Tin Drum'.