Absolutely froze during the night – we were much higher up, and consequently it was much colder. However, made it through to morning, and arose to a fire. As usual, Bill had been up early, and had made himself busy. We ate breakfast around the fire – it was still quite chilly. It was a leisurely morning – a fire seems to do that to you – but eventually we collected in the clothes which were drying, put out the fire, and left. First of all, we drove through the valley, stopping off for ice-creams and shopping. It was quite nice there, but I couldn’t really see why all the tourists would flock there, rather than the more impressive places about, except, I suppose, it’s easier. We drove up to the high country, and looked at some more nice scenery – the trouble is, one becomes over-filled with beauty, and after a time can’t appreciate fully all the marvellous places around. We stopped at the top of a large glacial valley which apparently, when Bill and Meher had been there last, had been covered with seagulls. Of course, such being the way with birds, it was now devoid of the creatures. We drove from there to a lake nearby, where we ate lunch. It was very pleasant there, and was perfect for the kids, since there was sand, and the water was shallow. It was hot now, so Val and I went for a swim. The water wasn’t at all deep, so we were able to walk all the way across, tho’ Val got a shock when swimming back when she put her foot down and had swum out of her depth. We dried off, and were then on our way back home. The journey took about 3 hours, and during it I’m afraid I got wrapped up in The Magus – it’s a marvellous book, twisting + switching, but always holding your attention. Arrived back at Hayward to find an invasion of ants in the house. Cleaned up, unpacked the car, and ate dinner – chicken, salad, mashed potato. Bill drove us to the Bart, in the train, SF, home, bed at 11.
Remarkable that they should have been so welcoming and generous when we had only just met; I think they were hoping for a more fixed merger between our two families, but even so. My praise of John Fowles was there to disguise my rudeness, at being locked in a book, even when invited to drive – I suspect Bill was pretty tired. Ah well, what’s done is done.