November 6th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

A really late start.  By the time we all got up, had breakfast + finished chatting, it was about 12.30.  Then, of course, it was time to get busy.  Val drove Liz + about 5 bags of washing into the launderette in L + B’s Cortina.  Brent got busy fiddling with their home-made solar panel system, while Robbie and I got busy at being navvies.  Up till now, the water supply to the house had been a hose pipe.  With winter coming on, obviously this was susceptible to freezing, so the job was to dig a ditch + put in a proper pipe.  It didn’t have to be very deep, but it was about 20 yards, + there were distinct problems.  There were some hefty tree-roots, a fair few rocks, + an old garbage dump.  It wasn’t really that bad, tho’ we both still managed to get pretty blistered.  Managed to get over half-way, before  bad light stopped play.  Big mistake of the evening came when we started on Brent’s home-brew.  It was bloody strong, + I have to confess that I got pretty pissed (tho’ I think I wasn’t the only one.)  A friend of L + B’s, Annie, turned up – she seemed to be quite fun.  I got into Cat Stevens, + we ate a sort of bean burger.  No, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, it was pretty nice.

Then we all drove over to Brent’s parents – we were going to be treated to a slide-show of their trip to Australia + NZ.  Annie is going there in March, so she had requested it.  Understandably, it was fairly dull, tho’ Mr Howieson did his best, + zapped thro’ things as fast as possible.  And there were some pluses – some nice snacks, a long hot shower, + beer.  The last did serve to top up my inebriation, + Val told me later that I’d been rather rude in some of the comments I’d made.  Anyway, Mr Howieson didn’t seem to be too frosty with me when I left, so maybe he was drunk too.  Drove back, drank some more, + then hit the sack.  Oh yes, we sat + listened to Steeleye Span for a while, + sang along with John Barleycorn.

Not sure that I needed to record the late start, as that has been the norm throughout our stay. Nice to see me absolutely contributing some labour. And my comment about the bean burger just reflects the way most vegetarian food was trerated in those days, ie with deep suspicion. Nowadays, beanburgers are one of my favourite dishes.

Steeleye Span were a folk band from the sixties/seventies; John Barleycorn a traditional English song (about the brewing of beer!)

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