September 22nd 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Rob showing off his new purchase

An eventful day, relative to other picking days.  Once again, it was wet in the morning – after breakfast we decided to go into town to allow things to dry off, + to buy a few things that we needed.  Rob didn’t take much persuading to join us.  The first thing we discovered was that 2 of the places we wanted to visit were shut (the SA + the bank), so we got some batteries in Woolworth’s, + then Val went off to get some wellies, while Rob + I strolled around the thrift shops.  He did very well, buying some socks, a plate, a fork, some scarlet long-johns + a woolly hat.  I then opened a savings account with the cheque Mrs Kuypers had given me, + all 3 of us met at the library, (where I discovered West Ham were top of the first!) + then had coffee, before returning to work.

Discovered that there had been a right old kerfuffle while we’d been away.  Mr K + Tony had had a bad argument, as a result of which Tony had quit/had been fired.  Mr K spent a great deal of time elaborating on why he thought Tony was insane, and got very heated about it.  Later on, Mrs K, who had just had an argument with them, came up with the further theory that they were on drugs.  Ho hum.  Inbetween these occasions, Tony hade come down to the orchard to ask for a ride into town that evening.  Naturally I agreed, + then when Mr + Mrs K variously discussed calling the police, getting the boys on ‘em, + sticking a knife in ‘im, I thought I’d better skip off a little early + take them in.  I drove the car up, + we loaded it + went into town.  They were planning to go into Vancouver, + didn’t seem especially insane or drug-crazed to me.  Stopped off first at Greyhound, which they’d planned to take, until they remembered they didn’t have enough cash, so they put their tent on it, + I took them to the other side of the bridge, so they could hitch, + said goodbye.  Drove back, + found they’d left us a mountain of food, as well as various other odds + sods.  Then we 3 went out for a meal – a fish ‘n chip restaurant in town was offering all-you-can-eat.  I made the mistake of eating clam chowder – felt immediately ill + had to stop.  Still, we shared a litre of wine, + had a fine evening.

First mention (of many to come) of West Ham, my/our football team from London.  Does date it to hear they were top of the first; at the time, that was the top of the league, but since then 2 other tournaments have been introduced, so it is the third tier.  Yet another of the many changes in the world since then, though comparatively trivial, I suppose.

Mr + Mrs were revealing a side we had not expected.  I believe the initial row had been over Mr K’s insistence that every tree be completely cleared, including various individual apples at the very top of the tree, requiring time and effort (and, therefore, money) and Tony had protested.

The clam chowder refers back to an earlier illness brought on by consuming a dodgy bowl, and since it was unlikely this one too was “off”, I could only assume I had developed a nasty allergy (as has subsequently proved to be the case.)  A bit foolish to tempt fate in that way, with unlimited fish and chips on offer, but there you go.

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