In many ways, I'm staying in a very typical Bed and Breakfast - an American B&B, that is - not that English variety (I imagine they still exist) with pink Viyella sheets and gurgling radiators and crocheted toilet paper roll holders, and very thick tea for breakfast. No, US ones are much more upmarket, and tend to be more expensive than chain hotels - but are at best much more comfortable, certainly more welcoming, and can give you a breakfast that does for lunch as well.
I'm here in Rochester to do some archival work in the Eastman House archives - in other words, I'm in Kodak History land, and this B&B was built in 1896 for someone who worked with Eastman. There's not a hint of photo history in the room, though. Its typicality lies in a bed with embroidered bedspread, brocade comforter, and three brocade pillows; steps to get up to said bed; couch with four tasselled and frilly pillows, and a throw; four vintage suitcases (that's a good and fairly unusual touch, like the four framed late C19th advertisements and the framed front page from a copy of The Lady's Home Journal); three framed flower prints; one large print of a watercolor of an improbably lush English cottage garden, and cottage; one smallish framed print of Joshua Reynolds's The Age of Innocence; one very nasty, large reproduction painting of some magnolia blossoms; five framed family photographs on different surfaces; three candles in glass containers; one Portmeirion plate and one Portmeirion bowl; one green vase with artificial roses; six diverse brass lamps; two large and one small mirrors; one comfortable armchair and footstool with embroidered pillow and white throw; one very uncomfortable brocade armchair; a writing desk; a desk chair - alarmingly fragile - with fringed cushion; a chest of drawers; a folding thingy to put a suitcase on; a cardboard box containing an Emergency Escape Ladder (I imagine the house would have burnt down by the time that one sorted out how to work this) - and this bizarre animal. What is it?