I returned home for lunch a little early, my work achieving a natural break. And there to greet me were 3 letters. Ecstasy heaped upon ecstasy. Not only a letter from Dave, Val’s brother, plus also one from Pete, plus a cassette from Mum. I opened Pete’s letter to read while I was having my lunch, + then, as I was about to return to work, it started to rain heavily. So I re-read Pete’s letter + then retired to the tent to hear what Mum had to say. Val returned while this was still on, so I had to rewind + begin again. Mum was even more entertaining this time than last – very newsy, very chatty + far more at home with the microphone. She’s also taped some Jasper Carrott for us – very funny. Pete’s letter was well up to his usual high standard, + in addition he’d enclosed a cassette of music for us. It was a compilation tape that I’d dome for him a couple of years ago, + so had many favourites on it. Dave’s letter was, I think, the most downbeat of all. Val thought he sounded depressed – I’m not so sure. In any case, he’s still with Nema, thinks he’s sold the flat, + informed us that Marion is now a punk, complete with dyed hair + stud in nose. Wow. And we thought Val was being brave in having her ears pierced. After reading + listening to everything wwe both felt, for the first time in ages, homesick. People change in a couple of years, + we’re missing seeing those changes.
After all tis, work was most definitely an anti-climax. The big news of the evening was that Mike is quitting. Can’t say I’m surprised. He can’t stand Marion, + she hasn’t been too pleased with him either.
News from home – always a highlight. And though I must have commented on it before, another exaple of how different the world was then. Our friend has just completed a stint of volunteering at a school in the most remote village in India, yet she was able to WhatsApp daily – we felt ourselves fortunate to hear from home on the most occasional basis.
There are lots of references to cassettes, in both directions, but we seem to have very few of them now. Though even when we did listen to one, it was a pretty hard listen. You may think you don’t like hearing your own voice now, but listening to oneself forty years ago…