As welcome relief from the excitement of publication, let’s get back to our US trip. Here’s where we stayed in Williams, Arizona. It’s the oldest motel in Williams, dating back to 1936, and possibly the cheapest. We paid $32 plus tax for a double room. Bob, a civil and widely-travelled man, was our host. Below is the view from outside, complete with snow. (Hours earlier, at Pane Bianco in Phoenix, it was too hot to eat in the sun.)
Oh yes, the motel wasn’t just in Williams. It was on Route 66. Route 66. You may need to be me to understand how potent this is. You may need to have been a pre-adolescent in a farmhouse in middle England in the 1960s to understand exactly what Route 66, where you get your kicks, might represent. You may need to have imitated Mick Jagger to the anxious approval of adults, who aren’t quite sure if approval is the appropriate response as you pout and preen and wave an imaginary maraca at the sofa and would rather be anywhere than where you are. I have a photograph to prove that I was actually there, all these years – and kicks – later. Here it is. Once again, in an entirely different context – Wow.