Friday, 29 November 2019

I met Clive James

once - quite by accident.
I had no idea who he was at the time. He certainly wasn't famous back then.
I was living in London at the time. My paws were mostly on my books - unless I needed to go and visit a school or a child in a family setting. 
It was on one of those latter occasions that I came across two people who were looking for "Neal's Yard". This was before Neal's Yard was anything like it is today.
Quite by chance I knew it because of the "Whole Food" shop. Students who were self-catering, trying to eat sensibly, responsibly and cheaply knew the Whole Food shop. There wasn't much else in Neal's Yard at the time.
I explained how to get to the general area and how I came at it from the other direction.
And there was someone listening as I told them. He looked at me. I looked back warily. He asked how a "Downunderite - or are you a Kiwi?" - came to know where it was. It was a place he had just heard about and thought he should visit. 
I kept prowling towards Charing Cross station rather wishing this man would leave me alone. He asked what I was researching "I probably won't understand a word of it but it is useful to know people who know things". I told him. There was no reason not to tell him. I was in a street full of people and safe enough.
I carefully didn't tell him my name or where I was living. I thought he had been given enough information. If he was ever really interested he could find me. 
He didn't of course but I often wonder whether he used the term "visual perception" or - more importantly - if he did visit Neal's Yard.

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