The Metro Inn, Albany declares itself to be gay-friendly on its Wotif.com page. It’s also pet-friendly, with conditions. Maybe that means their allocation of friendliness is used up. There didn’t seem to be much left over for me when I checked in. I should have borrowed Fanny the Wonder Dog for the occasion.
The welcome from the receptionist was chilly. This did not matter, because opposite what seemed to be a fortified bunker door on my apartment was The Hot Tub.
Which was about to be occupied by two mums, three children and a baby.
“Excuse me,” I said, in my very best Queen’s English. “Would you mind awfully if I popped in with you? It’s been a frightfully chilly ride.”
“No worries,” they said.
Which proves once again that being a lady biker definitely has its advantages.
I stripped off all the layers of clothes that had failed to keep me warm since Augusta (and put a swimming costume on, because this is not that sort of story) and immersed myself up to the neck in hot, bubbly, chlorine-flavoured water. The children jumped in and out of the hot tub and dared each other to jump into the much colder pool. The grown-ups talked about the weather, and about how unseasonally cold it’s been for January. The bubbles came on every 30 minutes for 30 minutes, and after two sessions of effervescence I thought I’d better get out before I turned into a prune.
Too late to stop it wreaking havoc on my hair colour, I washed all the chlorine off in my motel shower. And after I peeled myself off the back wall of the cubicle I finally realised why people mock mine.