I was determined to see as much as I could of other countries while I was a student, and this included parts of Britain I had read about. Top of the list was Cornwall, which figured prominently in the books of my childhood – Enid Blyton – and also those of adolescence – Virginia Woolf, whose ‘To the Lighthouse’ is about St. Ives.
In case you’re observant and wondering about the address at the back, at the moment I’m spending a few days here at a friend’s place, having got quite a surprise at being invited. He had mentioned it earlier but – after Tissa Wijeratne and his remarks about the terrible expense of putting people up – I didn’t really believe in Western hospitality. But, having phoned his mother at midnight on the 2nd, he brought me here on the 4th. It’s the 7th now, past 12, and I have tomorrow for a day in London before going on to Devon. I am having a lovely time, including a visit to a ruined Elizabethan hall yesterday, a walk in a village with a Norman church, and a drive to Northampton for a play – but nicest of all’s meeting the family itself. Four brothers in addition to Charles who’s doing law at Univ including Mark who’s tiny and violent and very sweet – he’s thrilled at having Charles back and we played firemen in a boat with him this morning. Mrs Dutoy’s very charming and pretty marvelous because Charles’ father died a few years ago. His father came over from Belgium and we visited him and his wife on Saturday. He was in the hat trade at Manchester and his son was in shoes. Kettering developed due to leather. It lies between Northampton and Leicester, about 1½ hours – at a terrific speed – from Oxford.
I shan’t say much about the last week in Oxford because anytime after the 14th, Mum should be contacted by a Rev. Patrick Olivelle –, Catholic, ex-St. Mary’s Lauries’ Road, who’s at Campion Hall, whom I met through the Indian girl of my luggage. I take the momentous step of inviting a girl for tea to my room – she brings her boyfriend – a Catholic priest – fantastic story. Anyway, he’s got a letter.. Continue reading