It might have been the colour of nobility and power in the world of the ancients but purple been on the back foot in public life over recent years. It’s not fashionable to wear your ambition on your sleeve these days. Purple though, is making a comeback.
No longer are old men reduced to exercising a love of luxury in their secret choice of purple underpants. These days it’s everywhere. Not underpants, but Purple. It’s out and proud in a rebrand that symbolises spirituality, creativity and dignity.
It’s not just chocolate that comes swathed in purple. The promise of a good night’s sleep is also delivered in purple. You would think that this would be unmissable. Unmissable because purple should be easy to spot.
Spotting the promise of sleep is rather easier for some of us than others. If you are dependent on Google doing the spotting, you should prepare yourself for a long night trudging about because Google likes to cluster locations. It’s easy to find yourself in the right place but the wrong location. I know because it happened to me. I spent half an hour working out my route and checking I had got the right destination amongst the many on offer. I got it wrong.
It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. There was the trademark purple façade but there was no booking. Trailing through emails that had come via a third party several weeks ago, I found the booking reference and got redirected to another branch, a two minute walk away. It wasn’t difficult to find but once inside, it was another matter altogether.
It was late. The computer was down, and everyone was a bit on the grumpy side. I got in the queue except it wasn’t the queue. After fifteen minutes of standing next to a hen party from Liverpool as they chatted away, it dawned on me that as far as they could see, I had randomly tuned into them. There I was watching an episode of reality tv in a hotel foyer. Who knows what kind of a kick they imagined I was getting out of it. It wasn’t the queue.
It was definitely past my bed time by the time I managed to check in. I had my cane on the counter. The receptionist handed me a key-card and pointed. “Over there” she mumbled. I asked for help. There was a bit of tutting and some burbling then someone came to show me to my room.
I slept well. Probably helped as much by a good supper and lashings of plonk as it was by the purple promise of a good night’s sleep. In the morning I didn’t hang about. I went to check out, but reception was deserted. After a bit of bumbling about a voice said. “Can I help you?”
Then he pointed at an empty space at about waist height. “Key deposit,” he instructed.
In the middle of reception was an invisible clear plastic box. It was as if someone had left their rubbish floating in mid-air. “Everything alright?” he said in a tone that betrayed his reticence at asking. “A bit of help in knowing where things were and how to check out would have been helpful.” I twiddled my cane for effect.
“That’s because no one told us.”
“They did,” I snipped, twirling the cane like a majorette.
“No they didn’t” he insisted.
“How do you know that?”
“If we’d known we would have helped you. Next time you have to tell us.”
Down the road I ordered a breakfast bun. It arrived completely empty. There are time when some things are best left unsaid.