Up at a respectable hour, and Val showered, then breakfast. Then, as usual (at least recently) a lazy morning – I washed (some of) the grime off the car, and fixed the hole where the water came in, while Val finished off making the rope for the sleeping bags, + threading it through. I read some, and was able to finish Cary’s “The Horse’s Mouth” so I could return it to Bill. Then, at 1, we piled into the camper and drove to Terry’s. She had invited us all over for dinner – only later did we discover it was her birthday. Everything was very informal there – the kids played in the sunshine in the yard, and the adults arranged themselves in various combinations in various places. There were some other people there too, tho’ two of them left soon after we got there. I helped my self to some cheese + pineapple, + a couple of beers, + soon felt very nice. They had a giant bean bag in the yard, so I had fun, dropping + pushing various children + adults into it. Dinner finally came quite late – we were all quite hungry – but it was very nice, tho’ for some reason Terry had chosen to cook an Indian meal… ah well. I also had a couple of large glasses of wine, and so was mildly inebriated. We got talking to Cal + Patti, 2 guests who were also driving north the next day. They gave is their phone no, so we could call them that evening to discover the address of her brother in Eureka, N.Cal. Then, it was time to go – tho’ I had really enjoyed the afternoon. Back in Hayward, Val and Meher made bread pudding (tho’ nothing that my mother would recognise) while I read and allowed the effects of the food + drink to wear off. Later that evening there was another meal (sigh) which we prefaced by presenting our presents – a book for each (Bill + Meher sharing theirs.) They all seemed suitably pleased, which was gratifying. After dinner, I read to Aneema some of the stories out of her book, and then, when finally the kids were in bed (at about 11) Meher gave us some recipes for Indian meals. Then we said goodbye to Bill, who would be leaving for work early the next day, + went to bed.
Don’t think I’ve mentioned anywhere our book for Salim. We had wanted to buy “Where The Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, especially as we thought the little boy in it (Max?) looked like Salim, but as the bookshop did not have a copy, had to settle for “In The Night Kitchen” instead. We were surprised that neither Bill not Meher had heard of Maurice Sendak.
We really had fallen on our feet by having Bill and Meher as friends at this time, as they were ultra-generous, and provided us with home comforts, as well as trips to various local places that would have been inaccessible. Thank you both for everything.