Consider a bedroom with all of the furniture in black and white. a library in which all of the bookshelves are angled. In a traditional English garden, a moody, stern angel statue watches over the first buds sprouting.

When we found out that one of the owners was in charge of the well-known Prague Biennial Art Exhibition, it came as quite a shock. We heard a flurry of voices in a variety of languages after knocking around by ourselves for a day and smiling at the Polish kitchen staff, who spoke no English but were skilled at overfeeding us.

Our host had met a group of emerging fine artists and art curators at his exhibition and brought them with him when they arrived. He wished to demonstrate to them that he actually owned a castle. In fact, on my birthday, they all sang to me at a long table over dinner and a lovely homemade birthday cake.