The laziest of days today. We awoke to an empty house, with the time gone 11, so we fixed ourselves breakfast, and it was Val’s turn to take herself a bath. Aneema returned from swimming – she had been dropped back by a neighbour – but she disappeared outside to play almost immediately, so she didn’t disturb our solitude. Bill came in at about 12, then he too went straight out, to pick up Meher, whose car had broken down when she was out shopping. So we had the house to ourselves for a while, to do our own thing. I wrote, and read, and Val made rope by plaiting string that we had collected the two days previously at work. The rope was for threading round the tops of the sleeping bags, to draw them tight and keep out the cold. Meher called at 1.30 or so to say she would be late, so to tell Aneema to feed herself – naturally Aneema ignored us. Eventually, Bill + Meher re-appeared – they’d had all sorts of trouble with the car. We ate some lunch, and then drove Meher in to Hayward – she wanted to pick up her car, and we had some errands to run, so we were able to kill a couple of birdies. When we returned it was time for our evening meal – an Indian feast which we ate in their living-room sat around a beautiful low round table – and then Meher went out – she was attending the recording of an Indian programme – while Bill dealt with the children and we busied ourselves. Val returned to her rope and I wrote a couple of letters – one to Mum and one to Pete – and a postcard to Steve + Chickie. We were bemused by the fact that we couldn’t find any roads leading to Juneau, and were waiting for clarification of this. Then bed.
Hardly surprising that we couldn’t find any roads to Juneau, as there aren’t any – you can only get there by plane or ferry. Which shows the extent of our research. Steve and Chickie, our friends there, I had met at college, Steve studying for his teacher’s certificate, and Chickie his girlfriend spending the year in London – she is a member of the Tlingit tribe, that Steve had met on a school exchange. Chickie was her childhood nickname, and was her usual name back then; it became a bit of a struggle to learn that she was now (and had always been, indeed) Lilian.