Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday #tbt

Thursday 2 February 1989
Hitchhiking with Stephen from Bern

We awoke about 9, much much later than we had intended, + after a false start at a not very busy entrance, didn’t begin hitching till 11.15 or thereabouts.

Another huge intersection, heading out of Bern in all directions. We waited there for about 3½ hours before we got a lift, + even before then had only had one offer, but he went in the wrong direction. It was funny the things that people did – many shrugged, or smiled, others did incomprehensible things – bending a finger down (I’ve got a little willy), or pointing vehemently at their laps (Look here, I have an erection!) or showing with their hand that they were going either left or right – as I said, incomprehensible. The 1st lift was only a matter of a few KM’s, from a youngish beery guy with a sparse moustache, but he said we’d have more luck to Fribourg from there – Flamatt, that is. We were there over an hour – it seemed we’d had the best of hitching in one day, the worst in the next – before we got a lift to Fribourg, from a nationalized Italian man in a little fiat. The Eingang at Fribourg Sud was very smelly – cow – + muddy + dusty, but it was less than half an hour before a youngish, quick sort of woman picked us up in a little red Honda looking thing. And there was someone else right behind us who was willing too! She took us to Vevey, through country that only recently had covered itself in snow for us; mountains + hills as usual looking wonderful out the windows.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


"It's Madame's birthday" I explained to the man selling programs. I waved away the money Clare proffered in her fist, and paid, feeling like a big shot.

I knew nothing about this production but I was looking forward to seeing this Fiyero's jodhpur- and green regimental-encased thighs, a highlight of the last Fiyero I saw. This one looked like a young Carey Elwes and I think it was probably the angle from the Dress Circle but his lower limbs didn't set my pulse racing?

Lots more happened in the show than I remembered and lots less too, which happens when you don't pay attention and also read the novels these things are based on.

In the middle of the show we became aware of a stir nearby, I turned to see a young man hurrying along the seats, starting and stopping, climbing over the back to an aisle and running hither and thither - was he actor? Did this happen last time? Voices and mutterings and movement over in the Dress Circle's better seats, people half standing, agitated, looking all ways in the gloom but mainly at someone in their midst, the young man - not an actor - racing down the stairs just near Clare, trying to escape! He couldn't find a door and stopped dead at the Candy Bar, then raced back up into the gloom, followed by our goggling eyes. "Call triple-oh!" a woman shrieked. "What's happening?" cried Clare! So strange, all in the gloom, a stage show taking place below us. It soon settled down, the young man found an usher, a person who'd had a fit was helped out, attended by their companions, we with whispers and looks of surmise regained our quietude and paid attention once more to the stage where, despite the kerfuffle, our inattention and my expectations, the show had actually gone on.

I was having a cup of tea with Clare at her place after the show. Clare, phone in hand on broad bosom, was scrolling through all her Facebook birthday wishes.
"Aw, Maisy posted, dat's noice. And Lizzy. Ah, one from Bec. And B– J– too, he's a nice boy."
"B– J– doesn't like me."
"What? Why?"
"Oh I don't know. I don't really know him. I think he thinks I'm a sleazy old man."
Clare took her eyes away from the phone and looked at me quizzically.
"Oh I know," I said, "but you've got a much better disguise."

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Jar Endgame

I needed some cheering up last night and I spied the Happy Jar
 on my fridge, where it's been almost exactly a year. So I opened it.

Here are a couple: "Michael knows how to sail a boat! Wow! I wish I knew that." This is true, I do. I always wanted to sail and never did then one day, I got involved and now, I can sail. And I do, too, all the time. That is pretty great. You do tend to take things for granted. I can sail a boat! That makes me smile.

"Michael has just the right mix of cynicism, compassion, honesty, kindness and sentimentality." That's nice, isn't it? So many elements I couldn't demur on all of them in the same way, so I try picking them out one by one: I think I'm way too cynical and honest, am I honest? Oh, kind! huh... then I think, what is "just the right mix" anyway? and so all my takes on the attributes get muddled and the whole thing goes on too long and it all slumps back into this nice list which makes me feel good.

I never added any slips of my own so each of the six was a surprise - and a nice surprise. No blank slips or backhanders here. Whoever wrote them - thanks. Especially that bit about my excellent physique.