In Cologne we stayed in a penthouse - the top floor all to ourselves, reached by a multi-mirrored lift. The ultimate in style, luxury and a soupcon of techno-frustration.
A wall-mounted digital clock hinted at what was to come; showing time, date, temperature and humidity. A whirring noise in our bedroom, eightish in the morning, indicated dawn had arrived and that the blind was automatically rising a foot to prepare us for daylight.
Nothing so old-fashioned as a tap for the bath - more a stepped cascade mid-way along. Initiated by foot-operated levers and prevented from overflowing by photo-electric sensors. Jacuzzi water agitators of course and, when all had flowed away, a few minutes of sighing and hissing that was never explained - perhaps some kind of drying and/or cleaning function.
Even the curtain rail for the shower curtain was sexily circular: shrouding the user in a tube of white.
Occasional Speeder was entranced by the Krups coffee maker; feed it with a sealed pod of fresh grounds and it delivers deliciously rich expresso in less than a minute, start to finish. Both she and I have subsequently bought this device in the UK.
We ate out but had we self-catered we'd have had access to a range of expensive kitchen knives capable of dealing with anything from a roast quail to a half-carcase of beef and handily attached to the wall by a magnet.
The handbowl tap had no turners and worked by hand proximity plus a puzzling button; the plug was not amenable to reason.
Outside the apartment the Russians were handing out literature intended to discourage the Germans from having anything to with Brits. This too was not amenable to reason.
NOTE. I am toying with taking singing lessons. Is this foolish optimism at age eighty? I have yet to approach a teacher and must confess I'm apprehensive at how she (most are women in Herefordshire) might react.