I was contacted through the Tour Facebook Group by Duncan who said that I must come to dinner in Whitstable. As it turns out we have some friends in common. Duncan lived next door to them in Bow when his family were part of a 'community'. I think Duncan misses that world a bit and was attracted to the exchange of kindness and treats of the Choc Star Tour.
WHO CAME: two twinkly-eyed couples who'd been to school/uni with D&H. One of the girls wore pearls and had the most lovely smiley way about her and a kind of innocence that seems almost old fashioned. Her husband was cut from the same cloth. The other couple seemed sweet too - the guy even offered a possible supper party in a cave down in Swanage (very Dead Poet's Society), D, H and me.
DINNER TABLE TOPICS: Upcoming friends' weddings; booking hotels for these weddings; my tour; house renovation; Duncan's mum's sex life.
MY BED FOR THE NIGHT: I was struggling to stay awake from 10pm. Really struggling, yet I felt I absolutely couldn't go - it would be so rude. This is going to be part of my challenge - how to handle the dichotomy of being treated like a friend and yet being a total stranger. And should I remain neutral and journo-like or try and be the life and soul and thus earn my keep in entertainment value? Or is the pudding enough? Anyway, the bed was a series of cushions on the floor covered with a pristine white sheet and topped off with a big, cosy duvet. It was met by me with the kind of enthusiasm normally felt after a very long haul flight. I slept like a log.