August 22nd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
The view from Steve and Chickie’s house

Steve managed to wake the household by playing c + w music thro’ the house intercom system – enough to get everyone up… to switch it off.  Then down to a huge breakfast – cereal, boiled eggs, sausages,  melon, toasted muffins, doughnuts, and lots of proper tea.  The plan for the morning was for us all to go to some garage sales, where one household sells off surplus furniture, books, clothes, toys, etc.  All piled in the car, and we were off, getting round, I should think, to about 6.  Unfortunately, none of them were very special, so all we managed to acquire between the bunch of us was a couple of books + an ashtray.  Still, it was interesting.  We had a cup of tea (of course) when we got back, and I set about the task of catching up on the diary while Val read.  Then lunch, and in the afternoon Val + I went out to do some shopping, partly food for the big hike we were planning to start the next day, and partly for a present for Steve + Chickie.  We were looking especially for an English tea-set for them, but it seemed that such a thing wasn’t available, just the occasional very expensive tea-pot.  We did buy a small black teddy-bear for the baby – it seemed appropriate.  Finally, out of desperation almost, we tried a furniture + hardware store, + found some very cheap teapots, so we decided that we would return + buy one of them.  Then we stocked ourselves up with food – bread, cheese, processed meats, apples, chocolate bars… that seemed enough, tho’ we had to be careful since we barely had enough money.

For the rest of the afternoon we lazed around, reading + writing, then we fed ourselves on the usual splendid repast.  Steve lit a fire again in the evening, + once again the main activity was enjoying that.  I played Steve at backgammon, and lost 2-1, tho’ each time the difference was one piece.  On my own, I haven’t managed to win a single game of anything we’ve played here – just the canasta with Val.  I still very much enjoy playing games, of almost any sort, tho’ in another sense I’m by no means a competitive person.  Ah well.

One or two issues of note – I have no idea either why we thought a black bear particularly appropriate – there could be all sorts of psychological explanations – but I will assume that none are nefarious.  And this whole thing about me being competitive or not… the evidence here suggests that I am (or was), for not winning clearly affected me.  On the other hand, I never like to win by too much, and will ease up when in a winning position… and then sometimes lose.  The same things applies to golf now; I want to win, but not by too much, and would actually rather play well and lose.  At least, I think so.

Surprised at my enthusiasm for “proper tea”, for, as Karl Marx said, Proper tea is theft.

  1. Pamela J Blair

    That’s a new Karl Marx quote! Or is it a different Karl Marx? I didn’t know the original thought much about tea. But I get the idea. If I remember correctly, you beat me 3-0 or more in backgammon. I wonder what it would have been if we’d played longer–maybe you’d have “let” me win at least once.

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