May 19th 1984

posted in: The way back | 2

We didn’t start moving very early today, eventually struggling up + out to a brunch at KC’s.  Especially in view of the reputation the place had, we were disappointed.  It was very expensive + unexciting – we’ve had twice as good a meal for half the price.  We went to Naryans for some cake – much better.  It was as well that we went there for more than one reason, for as we were strolling back, we suddenly noticed 2 people sitting on the kerbside, having something mended by a travelling shoemaker, it seemed, + waving frantically at us.  It was, indeed, people we knew: Tom + Jan, last seen in Sulawesi.  A joyful reunion, all the better for being unexpected, with pounding on backs, hugs + kisses.  We sat down next to them + swapped stories, while the guy finished their shoes.  Their travel pattern since Indonesia was fairly conventional, except when Jan’s father had joined them in Bali, + then proceeded to tow them around South-East Asia from one international hotel to another.  We then strolled with them to a small + fairly indifferent Italian restaurant + chatted more, before making an arrangement to meet for dinner tomorrow night.  It was encouraging to see that we were both able to respond still to each other’s sense of humour.  I went back to the hotel, as I was feeling fairly unwell, while Val went out to buy a pair of the locally-made felt boots.  Intensely impractical things, but great fun.  Not really Val things to buy at all, but I’m glad she did.  I shall have to encourage more of such irresponsibility.  After our late meal, I didn’t feel like eating, so we both sat + read.  “Noble House” is the literary equivalent of Dallas, + equally unsatisfying.

Good to encounter old friends, especially ones with whom we got on so well. And our relationship has continued since those days, with visits to London and California. Most notably, they were the prime movers behind a Youth Theatre exchange, when we took our production of Martin Chuzzlewit to Sebastopol in 2004 or so. And have kept up our relationship to a certain extent since, (though, sadly, Tom and Jan are no longer a couple.)

2 Responses

  1. Pamela Blair

    My wife, Mary Ann, lives just outside Sebastopol, on seven acres. We may have been a stone’s throw from you in 2004, 15 years before Lesvos!

  2. Kevan Baker

    If this was the performance of Martin Chuzzlewit I attended then it would have been 1997-1999 as I was not in California in 2004. There was supposed to be a taping made and they did try but the equipment failed, if I recall correctly.

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