August 1st 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1

Were up and breakfasted by 10-ish, then drove to Berkeley, chiefly to look at the ride board there.  Navigated our way in there reasonably well, only getting lost about once, and were able to find a parking meter.  Went in to the Union building, + photocopied our driving documents – we had decided to write to Alaska to try to register our car there, so we were taking copies in case we needed them in the meantime.  We checked the ride board, and found several people wanting a ride – we called them up but with no immediate success; they were all either not in or already had a ride.  Oh yes, and there was Dorothy, who described herself as “an older woman, but hep.”  Fortunately, she lived a 60c phone call away, so I had an excuse not to call her.  Back to Hayward, Val and I getting ratty with one another because of her navigation.  Lunch, then reading writing (and packing up of books while Bill + Meher were at the library.)  In the evening we went again to Puru’s, Bill + Meher’s friend in San Rafael.  When we got there first we listened to a radio show that Meher had been working on, with a group from Calstate.  It was OK, a half-hour programme which told a story, with musical accompaniment, tho’ the voices of the storytellers were a little flat.  Then we ate, a meal that Meher had cooked, because Puru’s wife was expecting and not feeling well.  Afterwards we watched 2 movies.  The first was on cable vision – it was “Oh God Book 2” a comedy with George Burns as God – much too cute and American for my taste.  And then, after tea + ice-cream, we watched “Small Change” by Truffaut, from a tape that Puru had hired.  That was very good indeed.  It was certainly a luxurious evening to be able to watch the films of one’s own choice on TV.  By the time it had finished, it was very late, and the kids were asleep, so we came home.

Somewhat upset at my immediate rejection of Dorothy; I suppose at the time a hep older woman did not seem like someone we wanted to meet, but I would have liked to have met her.  Long gone by now, one imagines.  Apologies to Val for getting ratty at her navigation – nowadays, she is the chief navigator, on both foot and wheels.

And my enthusiasm for movies on demand – even “Oh God Bk 2” – was a product of the time, when TV companies dictated what you could watch, and when, with movies only released to TV years after their cinematic release.  While now, we have virtually unlimited choice (though it can still prove difficult to find something one wants.)

  1. Pamela J Blair

    Yes, there definitely is a feeling of the era in this writing, with the two movies. I vaguely remember Oh God, 1 or 2. Interesting how our humorous sensibilities (British and American) differ. I never found Monty Python particularly funny–too slapstick for me. I did, however, like earlier British comedies, The Lavender Hill Gang, Terry-Thomas and Alec Guinness, I think. Also the one (forget the title) of the ferry captain who had two wives, one in Tangiers and one in Gibraltar. And some of the British silly sitcoms totally bored me. On the other hand, I’m more a fan of British cop shows and their leads (most recently, “The Unforgotten”) than I am anything that comes out here. Go figure.

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