An e-mail from Western Union has informed me that I have made 1,350,000 GBP which I presume stands for Great British Pounds. Gosh! Golly! Wow! The mind simply boggles. I wonder what I did to make all that money. I should be so lucky. I have never even won anything in a raffle no matter how small the prizes.
Two guests we have staying at the moment. Michael Jenn who has a two week break from performing in the play Danton’s Death at The National Theatre so decided to spend a week of it with us. Well, we see him at breakfast and in the evenings because he is a motor bike fan and beach bunny and is gone most of the day. Who would believe it is four years since he was last here? We have known Michael ever since we lived in Richmond Road, Hackney so that is going back to about 1973 and he gets a mention or two in the autobiography but funnily enough (bad bad bad) is not in the index. The other guest is Ray Bluett from Tasmania. He visited us once before and I went to visit him a number of years back. We met when he was a student of mine back in London more years ago than I care to remember. To get here takes one of those nightmare journeys; Hobart to Melbourne, Melbourne to Singapore, Singapore to Athens, Athens to Xania that leaves a person ragged. In Tasmania he lives way way out in the wilds in a shack and a trailer almost on the beach and surrounded by dense forest. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed being there but whether that enjoyment would last continuously I somehow doubt. He has no electricity which takes one back to the old days when you took your candle to bed as soon as or shortly after it got dark. A certain amount of electricity is generated through solar panels but used sparingly, enough only to listen to the radio for a while or look at an hour or so television. Cooking is done on a gas stove using bottled gas. He lives there with his two dogs and although he has cousins and other members of family nearby they don’t exactly get on so as the dogs age and Ray ages, he is now 72, the time will come when he is forced for reasons of safety to move to more civilised accommodation. Whether he will get over his habit of getting up at five o’clock every morning is another matter. It is still dark at that hour so he lights his candles and his wood stove and takes the dogs out before making breakfast. He is still getting up at that ungodly hour while he is here and is so used to going to bed early he finds it difficult to keep his eyes open after ten at the latest. I suppose our Ray is the nearest thing to a hermit we will ever know.
Ron Southcott from Melbourne, due to arrive shortly, will I think be our last visitor in what has been a busy year for guests.