Nice Times (6)

On Holiday in Kenya, 1983. We attended an ‘African Cultural Evening’ staged at the hotel in Mombasa. There were dancers and music, then they produced snakes to be stroked or avoided, depending on your fears. But the best bit for me was when one of the dancers put a live Chameleon on my arm. I have always loved those fascinating creatures, and I watched as it made its way up my shoulder, and eventually sat happily on my head. I can still feel the sensation of it climbing slowly.

I took my mum to one of the most expensive Chinese retaurants in London, the Feng Shang floating Chinese junk, on the Regent’s Canal. My mum always claimed to hate the taste of garlic, yet she devoured garlic prawns and Singapore noodles, before exclaiming they were “Delicious!” The Chinese staff showed great respect for her because of her age, and were very attentive. She had no idea how much that meal cost, but I wouldn’t have cared if it had been ten times more expensive, as she relished the atmosphere for every second she was there.

My last visit to Paris, in the 1990s. We went up a few stages of the Eiffel Tower, took a river trip along The Seine, and we were staying with my dear friend Francoise, who lived in a smart apartment near the centre. When it came time to go home, Francoise had already left for work, and we needed a taxi to take us to get the Eurostar at the Gare Du Nord. I used her phone to call the cab rank, and requested the taxi in very good French. My (second ex) wife looked at me as if I had just split the atom, and said, “You sounded so French”. She was actually surprised when the taxi arrived ten minutes later.

Leaving Ollie at the local Vet when he had just had the tip of his tail bitten off, and needed an operation. The Vet nurse came to get him, and as she led him away on his lead, he stopped and looked round at me. I said, “Good boy, Ollie, you will be okay”, and he trotted off with her, trusting what I had told him. Despite being worried for him, the fact that he had trusted me brought tears to my eyes.

42 thoughts on “Nice Times (6)

      1. My grandfather and uncle were story tellers. When I was little and first realizing this, I would beg my grandfather for stories and ply him with questions. One day he said to me, “Well____Miss Moulton! If you shut your mouth and open up your ears___you will learn a lot!” I thought a lot about what that meant. I got the message and so I stopped so much chatter, and listened.

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  1. I also remember being in Paris, this time with my mother. We found a little cafe that we loved so much we took supper there each evening all week. We had intended to explore options but figured why bother.

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    1. If you get back to London, you should check out that restaurant. It is close to London Zoo, and suitably ‘up-market’. Have a look at the website from the link I posted. (I used to live almost opposite where it is situated.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. I’ve only ever passed through Paris, on a coach trip; we did stop for maybe half an hour there, but that was only enough to savour the air & ambiance. I might risk a visit sometime, but probably not next year: still too much confusion. As for Africa, Gambia was too hot for me; I don’t think it was summer, but I still couldn’t hack it: prickly heat is no fun. My then wife was OK, so one source of grief was avoided there……. 😉 Cheers, Jon.

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    1. I went to Kenya and Tanzania in July that year. It wasn’t too hot there, rarely much above 70F. It also rained at times, mostly at night. I have been to Paris a dozen or so times, but that trip was the last time I visited the city.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. I remember going with Sam to the restaurant at the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was a hideously expensive lunch, with a flurry of waiters attending to our every need. They even brushed the crumbs off our table with a little brush!

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