Our company has changed again over the last 24 hours. John and Susan departed for home yesterday. And are much missed. Then, in the afternoon, Joe Dunlop and his son, Chris, arrived. Joe is a Patnem old hand and it is so lovely to have him back. We met him and his lovely wife, Janet, 6 or 7 years ago, and became great friends. Sadly, we lost Janet 2 years ago, so this is special because it’s Joe’s first time back in Patnem. Doubly lovely that Chris has come too, all the way from New York. We always talked so much with Joe and Janet about how much Chris would like Patnem….
And first thing this morning, our friends Penny and David arrived. This is their first time to India! They got here at about 0830, a little bleary, but gamely decided to keep going all day and go to bed at a normal time tonight. We had breakfast at Eve’s. I had an omelette. Honestly, their omelette chef is amazing – just the most light, fluffy omelettes! YUM!
We all ended up at Salida by about lunch time. Penny and David met the local cows who were on their free-range walkabout. The sea was pretty rough today for some unknown reason although I noticed the fishing fleet were inshore so there must have been rough weather out at sea. Went up to about thigh height but it was too challenging beyond that for me. Did some beach walks, played cribbage, and did a lot of chatting in the shack. Joe and Chris spent quite a bit of time in the sea and enjoyed it. Joe’s cough is a lot better already.
Tonight we ate on the beach at Tantra. Lots of Margaritas. Food was frankly average. I don’t think their normal chef was in the house. Generally, I count their palak paneer as being the best on the beach and tonight it was pretty tasteless. However, we had a very convivial dinner and then went back to Eve’s for nightcaps which was even more convivial.
Joe was on top form and we had some most excellent theatrical stories, which I always find enormously amusing. I think if you’ve ever been part of any sort of theatrical experience, whether it’s the school play or Broadway, there are just some “things”, some shared experiences that just make you crease up with laughter, even if it’s a remembered agony like forgetting your lines or reaching into your pocket to pull out the murder weapon and finding it empty…… we’ve all been there or been close to that situation, and can laugh about the things you do to get round it… that moment of terrified, feverish desperation… the mad rabbit staring eyes…. the frantic adlibbing to get back on script…. the horror when someone cuts out about 5 pages of dialogue and you pedal frantically to catch up….
Anyway, we had a great night and count ourselves fortunate indeed to be eating in t shirts on the beach in mid February…. and to quote a better writer than myself…. 🙂
“And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here….”