country drive

Daphne began to worry about me hanging out with her so much. She thought I should be with younger women my own age. Maybe I was gay? To test me she suggested we take a bath together — à la Henry Miller, I imagined? I declined awkwardly. At the time I was not into 75 year old redheads. Today, it may have been a different story.

 grey suit  brown suit

Daphne gave me two Italian suits I was able to wear them for a couple of years after returning home, but after that, my waist size had enlarged to 32 inches and kept growing. The suits hung in the closet a few more years. Eventually, like most of our duds, they were destined to make some skinny fellow very happy at Goodwill. Nowadays, that guy would be me, for once again I look like an escapee from Auschwitz. left behind by a former visitor with a 28 inch waist. One was cool medium gray and the other a warm shade of brown. Because I had been starving for two months, I fit into them perfectly. Haute couture! Daphne explained that the English are very picky about the clothes you wear. They judge your social class by your fashion.
I suppose that's true everywhere, I said remembering my interview in Brussells last month.
But in England even more so, she insisted.

country drive

Daphne wanted to show me off in one of the suits at a weekend gathering on someone's country estate. One of Daphne's friends drove us. I remember how narrow the roads were — hardly any room for two cars to pass. We would call them country roads in the states, but in England at the time, most of the roads were country roads.

Tenniel's Alice

Do I recall croquet on the lawn with hors d'oeuvres and wine? Vaguely. Daphne introduced me to Michael Facer, a retired ballet dancer in his 50's who looked 30 something. Dancing keeps you young. His younger companion, Keith Hudson, also a male dancer, most likely played a part in Michael's youthfulness.


Then Daphne introduced me to Amanda Hayes. Amanda was twenty something and eager for adventure. The two hairy hippies accompanying her appeared equally eager to provide her with this adventure. She gave me her address in London as 16 The Mall-East Sheen-London SW14. I wrote it down in my little green book just in case Daphne had had enough of me by the time I returned from my Celtic tour — starting tomorrow. Amanda was on her way to visit her folks 280 miles north in Newcastle, gave me their address, and invited me to stop by if I were ever passing through. I said I would, and I did...later.

On our way back to London, Daphne said I received many compliments on my appearance. Clothes may not make the man, but Armani suits come close. Bet that fellow in Brussels would have hired me now. Such is the importance of trivia in the world of haute couture.


Shostakovich died today.