October 27th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Collecting props… in the rain

Work again.  When I trotted out, filled with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, Mr K had already started work, so I joined in.  All morning we finished off the lower orchard, +then again home for an hour lunch break.  Quite a luxury – it almost feels like a proper job.  And then a short afternoon, finishing things off.  Much easier for me, since in this section the trees with props underneath were few + far between, so for much of the time I was able to ride on the back of the tractor.  Anyway, finished at 3 – great stuff.  Just about time for a quick cup of tea, + then into town.  A number of chores to perform – first off a stop at the butcher’s to buy some hamburgers, + then the bank.  Just in time to buy our travellers’ cheques – $1200 worth – before the place shut.  Then to the Bargain Barn, your friendly rip-off second-hand store, where we bought 3 8-tracks for $8 – Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run”, “Band On The Run”, + “Peter Gabriel II”.  (Only later, when the store had closed, did we discover the Wings tape was fucked.)  On to Safeway for a few little purchases, checked in the library for West Ham’s result – they drew again – then home.

Our last night in the cabin, + a cosy one with an excellent meal – hamburgers, onions, mushy peas, + mashed potatoes, followed by yogurt + brown sugar.  Then a sort of card tourney, in which for once I generally thrashed Val, + then to bed.  Amazing to think of leaving, after 6 weeks, and all the things + people we would say goodbye to after getting used to them – the Krazy Kuipers; Roland + Lee, otherwise known as brown dog + black dog; the wood stove; the smelly fridge; our pile of wood + trusty chopper; the khazi.  2 things about the day I nearly forgot: 1 – we bought 6 ciders, + drank 5 of them; 2 – we got a letter from Dave, + apparently he received our letter 2 or 3 weeks ago.  He’s bad.  The others we wrote to are worse.

The khazi!

And so, at last, the end has arrived! (If not quite, echoing Sinatra, the final curtain.)  But quite a wrench, it would seem, abandoning our cosy home and all of its attendant comforts… even our very own khazi (or outhouse.)  We shall be discovering again the hold that everyday objects can have when you have so little else… but that’s for later in the trip.

On reflection, I can be more generous to Dave (Val’s brother), who did actually reply, after a reasonably short gap.  It was just that we were desperate for contact with home… something today’s travellers do not have to contend with, I guess, since they have the technology to remain connected all the time.

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