So the Americans invaded. Both of them descended on me like
a pair of B42s.
They wanted, lets see, ice in their
drinks (and - for all I know - in their bathtub, too).
wanted to see anything older than about twenty years, especially buildings. And
they just had to take a picture of the butcher on the tripe stall in the market.
I agreed with them wanting that photograph. It is a remarkable sight, cows
innards on open sale like that. And I agreed with them objecting to the hotel
wanting to see their passports and then demanding to know where they were going
after their stay. Peggy said Edale, which was true enough as
they were heading off to Derbyshire for a weeks serious hiking. None of
us said a word when the receptionist wrote India in the space provided.
had pretty forthright views about the imminent attack on Iraq. Whats
the point of killing innocent people? David asked, which is I guess
a rhetorical question.
They liked the tea and particularly
the roughly hewn sugar lumps we were served in one café.
likes her wine, but I was delighted to see David was on the wagon and I spent
three days feverishly trying to gauge if he was just being polite. It never struck
me before that you could meet people with a problem who just dont talk about
I was telling them all about Ibiza for an hour before
I realised they thought I meant somewhere in New Mexico.
theyve gone now and Ill never know whether or not he had a hipflask
in his rucksack, but I really dont think so and youd think I would
know. You never know, though. I once saw a Priest shaking so much youd think
hed been at Communion for a week.
plotting next weeks itinerary.
The more I look at
the train timetables, the more anxious I get.
Did you know
theres something different about the train tracks between France and Spain?
Theyre not the same width and apparently they have to wake you up so you
can change trains at the border. I seem to remember a toy train set I had when
I was a little boy with a similar problem, but that was because Id trodden
on a section of the track and it was bent as well.
to Ibiza is OK because its more or less due South of Meadow Lane and you
just go to London and then Paris and Barcelona and pop across the Med on that
oh-so-high ferry, assuming you can climb the ladder with your suitcase.
an extravagant moment I suddenly said to Rick: Lets go to Madrid
on the way back, which is a bit like saying Lets go back
up to the top again when you reach Kathmandu.
at least fourteen hours from there to Paris and I dont know what its
like spending that long on a train without the cushioning effect of the railway
buffet, but I suggested it and Ive no doubt Ill be reminded of that
many times in the weeks to come.
might get to see the second greatest football team in the world and at least theres
always the opportunity for a drink and I wont have to traipse all over Derbyshire
in wet socks first.