THE CATHEDRAL CONCERT
There’s a striking difference between what Bivar originally wrote about the concert in the cathedral and what eventually appeared in the published book (thirteen years later). Most of the original draft was taken out of the re-write before it was published. The concert is remembered as a set made up of Incredible String Band songs, though Tony tells me that he played half his set with Dave Rossiter, Reg Desborough and his partner Gaynor – which was all ISB songs; the second half he did solo, which included some of his own songs. Whether the published version tells us what was actually played I’ve no idea, probably it’s near enough, including ‘Ducks on a Pond’ and ‘Maya’, with a mention of Maria Luisa’s outburst somewhere in the middle of it all. Bivar did a good enough job of re-writing it, certainly it’s evocative for those of us who are Incredible String Band freaks:
THE ULTIMATE RECITAL
(From Verdes Vales do Fim do Mundo, 2006 edition, pp 166-167)
When we left the house, around ten-thirty, there was really such a storm as to leave a man scared to death, with the impression that the sky is going to collapse right on his head: lightning, thunderstorms, torrential rain and high wind.
Tony Mawson's recital was a social happening that attracted not only those from the house and their circle, but also a considerable band of youngsters, alternatives, from the city. Even Veronica had taken time off work.
Tony Mawson is already on the stage – which has been specially set up for the event. The Cathedral is lit up with fairy lights. The minstrel takes up his guitar and, smiling, announces the first number, "Ducks on a Pond", causing sighs in the audience because it is one of everyone's favorites, a song that begins very simply, telling of ducks on the pond tracing graceful circles in the water and ... (here you lose a verse or two because Maria Luisa, starting to worry, nudges you to ask: "And Terry? And Terry?") … the song goes on. Now the minstrel tells of the lion and the unicorn and how a charming maiden (your eyes look for Veronica) manages to make the lion into a loving lamb that follows her passively (your eyes dry those of Veronica) wherever angels are (here they meet the eyes of Tony Chivers, who gives you an unintelligible telepathic message, they land on John Atkins' lovely profile and pass by the lovers of the day, Angela Dodkins and Bruce Garrard, hand in hand) and they seek out John Ingleson, finding him biting his nails with his eyes fixed on the stage. The minstrel continues his song:
"I asked the ice, it would not say
But only cracked or moved away ... "
And the song moves forward, so beautiful, with passages sometimes happy and fast (everyone trying to dance), sometimes sad or decorated with gothic images, simple or pastoral, like the verse that says "Hello, I must be going, well I only came to say, I heard my mother calling and I must be on my way ... ", or that other one, about the young washerwoman in the stream sculpting crocodiles with soap foam. And it goes on, it goes on, until the refrain:
“Following my fortune
Now the Holy Grail is found
And the holy bread of heaven
It is given all around,
Praise God the open door,
I ain’t got no home in this world any more ... "
Tony Mawson finishes the number, acknowledges the applause, drinks a sip of water, smiles, runs his long thin fingers through his long, shiny red hair and you think: "Is he still giving headlice shelter?" remembering that Sunday when this elf said that headlice are also children of God. The elf smiles and announces the next number, "Maya", also well known to the public and whose refrain says that the world is nothing but a play, and that it’s best for us all to be joyful players.
“Oh Jesus, I'm going crazy!” shouts Maria Luisa, raising the pitch of her voice so high that the minstrel himself on the stage takes fright and goes out of tune. All faces turn to the Portuguese woman. Serene, solemn, beautiful, very beautiful, but cold, icy faces. It’s as if a telepathic current passes, that says: "Such Lusitanian drama and emotion is out".
Maria Luisa quietens herself. Someone, surprisingly human, comes running to help the Portuguese woman by bringing a mug of hot chocolate.
After the pleasant recital, we return to the house through the heavy rain. Maureen prepares some juicy spaghetti that is eaten in two minutes flat.
Judging by the inner drama that was actually going on for him though, I’m amazed that he remembered anything of the concert itself at all. What he actually wrote at the time, probably the next morning, was this:
The house in Saint Anne Street house was excited, that day of our arrival. Within two days Tony Legolas would give the concert in the Cathedral, at 11 o'clock in the evening when normally Salisbury is asleep. Since I’d appeared in the city for the first time, and since Zé Vicente thought we were “disturbing each other”, and that the best "remedy” was for him to leave for "Manchester”, and he had in fact left, and for me to stay in Salisbury, and I had in fact stayed, in a city that, according to him (through my eyes), the Great Good Magic had chosen for me. And as a “prophet of hope" and a friend, Zé Vicente was not mistaken and neither was I, when I chose Salisbury in one of the purest and most sincere moments of choice in my entire insecure and fluctuating life, since when all my dreams and my ‘castles in the air’ were overturned one by one, for the worse, by others, since I was trying, through my individuality, to live my life without being prickly in the lives of others, choosing my own friendships, often being taken to deceive them and/or letting me be deceived by them, all this not only my fault or the fault of my chosen friendships, but because of … I don’t know.
Salisbury exists and historically it is important, not because of kings, queens or nobles, but because of its cathedral spire which is the highest in all of England and also because of Stonehenge, which is close (20 minutes), because of the magical-mystical-religious past of the region, the magician Merlin, the proximity of the Round Table, its knights, elves, leprechauns, fairies, etcetera.
Let us say, here in this book, that Salisbury doesn’t exist. Let it be just a fantastic and childish projection of my peterpanesque head, a symbol, a dream. Let us say that I’ve been welcomed by my own dream and that Salisbury has received me with open arms, without me needing to push my way in to have been accepted. And since my first arrival at the house at number 63, Saint Ann Street, months ago, that I hadn't seen so many people coming and going, as I did in the days leading up to the day of Tony Legolas’s concert in the Cathedral. People I’d never seen before but who, all the same, it was as if I had been close to them all of our lives. For the first time the house seemed to me too small for all the colourful people inside. Sometimes it seemed that the house was going to burst, as in that deck scene from the film ‘A Night at the Opera’ by the Marx Brothers. But the setting was different, the characters were different, the time (without time) was different. Almost all the people from the past appeared: John Atkins, Veronica, and others without name, because of certain lapses in my memory. Absent were Derek (the West Coast Hell's Angel), Roy (Derek’s friend), Don (the prince), Sue, Julie and others who had passed by and chosen other paths even though they would never have forgotten those pastures from a certain time in paradise. Terry wasn't there either. According to reports, he had gone to Cornwall to look for a job. Maria Luisa, Terry's Portuguese partner, sought solace with the other people present, but from time to time she was crying and feeling confused and lonely.
“What happened to Terry in London?!” Maria Luisa wanted to know. So I tried to explain to her that the truth was Terry had not gone to London to look for a job, and that after playing and leaving the others exhausted (at Naná's house), he'd suddenly left, without saying where he was going.
"I'm so confused”, complained Maria Luisa.
Tony Legolas was in Maria Luisa's room choosing the songs for his repertoire, that he would play and sing in the concert at the Cathedral. Some people sitting on the ground around him were helping to choose the songs,
"Lalaiá, lalaiá, lá-lá-lá, lá-lá
Lalaliá, lalaiá, lá-lá-iá, lá-iá
It was one of the songs, one of the ones that I most liked, that I remembered from other times, beautiful, hopelessly sad (and serene, in the sweet voice of Tony Legolas).
In those days I went out for a few walks around the city, in the company of one or another of the elves, through the nooks and crannies where time did not pass. Within me, deep in my soul, I was feeling a sensation that I was almost unable to touch, of sadness and of fear. In a few days' time I would be leaving Salisbury, London, England, and I would be carrying with me yet another past, along with all the others. In a week or two or I would be back in Brazil, where - due to the circumstances and geographic location – the reality that awaited me was quite different, so changeable and so changing that I couldn't imagine what I was going to find on my return. Such were my nightmares in the last few nights. And all with a beginning, middle and end, as in dramas, in comedies and in classical tragedies, or clichés.
On the morning of the day of Tony Legolas' concert, Juanita Banana turned up at the house in Saint Anne Street, brought by a group of elves.
“I was visiting the Cathedral to see if I would meet you there” said Juanita, “when they (the elves) surrounded me and asked me – "Are you Juanita, Bivar's friend?" Juanita came with them and when she entered the house the elves introduced her to everyone who was there, and a bit awkwardly, though showing a certain amount of pluck, Juanita found me and told me about her discussions with the people at the cinema school, which she attended in London. Then Andrew Lovelock appeared from one of the rooms on the top floor and she (Juanita Banana) just felt more comfortable, more relaxed, more at home.
When I met John Ingleson, I apologised for not having brought, from London, his little dog called Gnasher, that a family that he knew had given him.
“It doesn't matter, Bivar, a friend brought her”, replied Jonn Ingleson, and he went upstairs to fetch Gnasher and he introduced her to me, a baby dog, black like Benjamin, Naná’scrazy-cat. It was just as well that I didn't get Gnasher in London, the mad Benjamin could have mistreated her. I explained this to John Ingleson and I felt guilty. John Ingleson then brought downstairs from the upper rooms both Gnasher and my baby goose, a gift from Tony Chivers (the elf), that night the last time I was here. The good John Ingleson was taking care of Gnasher and my baby goose, which I preferred to leavein his company, in Salisbury, than to risk taking him to Brazil with me, because I was more than confused but still kept a certain clarity with respect to the difference in climates.
Juanita Banana was soon making friends with some of the ‘habitués’ of the house and told them things about her life in the ‘heavy bar’ in London, Marseilles, São Paulo and in Norway, since Juanita was a traveller. And everyone laughed and were also a little bit scared by the stories of Juanita Banana, who also knew at times how to behave like an exciting ‘femme fatale’ from the international underground.
On the day of Tony Legolas’s concert everybody ‘tripped’. It was altogether too much and many people swore never to trip again. With difficulty I’m trying to remember all the details and micro-points, and even many of the major points, most of what went on. But I also have to excuse myself – if it’s necessary to do so – saying that I was more living the thing than observing it. Some unknown and ‘friendly’ guy had brought acid down from London, one of the many guys of the dozens of new faces that appeared for the event, and he distributd acid free for everybody, during the afternoon, in the cathedral cloisters. The old man who looks after the cathedral keys made a point of calling him out and asked: “Is it true that you were handing out pills inside the cathedral?”
The youth looked the old man in the eyes and, presented with such honesty (from the old man with the keys), he replied: “It’s true. I was.”
The old man put his hand – paternally – on one of the youth’s arms, full of understanding, and said: “I don’t have anything against pills, but if you want to distribute them, do it outside the Cathedral, in the Close, out there.”
The old man said this and smiled, with his eyes filled with such kindness that my own eyes, which witnessed the scene from nearby, filled with tears. The youth with the pills was also filled with emotion. Everyone was emotional, even Juanita Banana – at times insensitive and dour. It was afternoon and no-one took the acid, ‘pink squares’. Everyone looked after it to take at night and to trip during Tony Legolas’s concert, at eleven o’clock. It rained copiously that day, the whole time. And the house itself in Saint Anne Street was transformed into a sweet and agitated quagmire, such was the coming-and-going of dozens of different people. More difficult still, and indeed almost impossible to relate, is what was going on at that time, with so many people talking, playing, singing, dancing, going out and coming back in. People filled all the rooms of the house to absolute capacity, from the kitchen to the bedrooms on the top floor, the stairs, the corridors, every corner, every little hole in the house in Saint Anne Street.
In one of the bedrooms Bruce said, in the midst of all this Chinese: “There are people who’d like to be superstars …” and I became bewildered, asking myself who Bruce was referring to, whether to Tony Legolas, or to myself, or whether to someone else, I didn’t know …
“Who is it who wants to be a superstar?” I asked Bruce, a bit suspicious.
“Someone” replied Bruce, vaguely. And faced with my expression somewhere between suspicion and guilt, he went on: “A guy who appeared here, with instruments, sound equipment and everything else … he wants to play in the cathedral and he obviously isn’t ready for it.”
I made a kind of “ah, yes …” with my head, agreeing with Bruce completely. There are people who think that they only have to pick up a musical instrument for the instrument to play itself. Certainly at home, amongst friends, you can play music, but a concert in the Cathedral is much more than a game ‘em família’, even if it can in the end appear to be a game, something light, a musical serenity that takes us to magical, strange or familiar worlds, the world of music, an enchanted world – principally when the music and the musician are good.
The house wasn’t far from the Cathedral but the rain was so heavy that we all had trouble reaching it without getting completely drenched. And there were no umbrellas but dozens of people. When it was about half past nine at night everyone took their ‘pink squares’. And when the effect began to be felt, small groups of three, four, five, eight, two people went down Saint Anne Street on their way to the medieval Cathedral, through the night full of heavy rain, black sky, wind, cold, excitement and expectation. The four umbrellas that did appear were of little use, but were brought to give the appearance of some help and protection. And the knack was to thread oneself between the cloaks, capes, oilskins, ponchos, covers, coats, and to get yourself through the heavy rain all the way there.
We were in a group of three, Juanita Banana, me and Mary Scar, who was out to seduce me in those days. And in the middle of that scenario of tempest, Mary Scar said to me, “I’m a blood sucker”, and teased Andrew Lovelock – who was in front, with another group. “Vamp, vamp, vamp” said Mary Scar to Andrew, laughing, sinister, and she frightened me in the middle of all that, the ‘trip’, etcetera, and it wasn’t difficult to believe Mary Scar’s ghastly words.
Andrew Lovelock went in front, with one group. Bruce, David Hayward, Roger Elliott, Tony Chivers, John Atkins, Veronica, Maria Luisa, Maureen, Penny (pregnant), Sadie, and the others, the elves, goblins, trolls, etc … were already in the Cathedral. Tony Legolas too.
This was an (entirely) English experience, which I had never been through before. The behaviour of the creatures was different from other places and from the usual occurrences at the Cathedral. The concert was taken seriously and the people were acting solemn. Even the freaks all carried themselves like boys and girls ‘de familia’ in distinguished and refined surroundings. And for the first time I surpised myself by not knowing how to be naturally solemn. At the Cathedral entrance the people went by two by two, whilst I and Juanita Banana stopped with dead-pan faces, not knowing how – at such a time – to enter the Cathedral and that already somewhat mysterious gathering. Mary Scar had disappeared as if by magic and everyone we knew was already inside the Cathedral. Those who passed by us were unknown people and although my face must have begged them for help it seemed to me that they didn’t see us, neither me nor Juanita, a strangely Brazilian couple.
I must say: there were no French, no Germans, no Indians, no Americans, no Spaniards or Italians, there was no-one, except for Juanita and I, who were not Salisbury people. There was Maria Luisa, who was Portuguese, but Maria Luisa … you know what I mean. We were just about thinking of going back home, back to London, Juanita and I, because our situation there outside the Cathedral and under that torrential rain, alone, rejected, was sad and almost tragical. It was desperate. And this without mentioning the hallucinations from the ‘trip’, already taking strong effect, in those heights of expectation and of fear. It was there at this moment that Andrew Lovelock appeared, and also Roger Elliot and Tony Chivers (the elf), in order to bring us inside.
“Why haven’t you come in yet?!” asked Andrew, as if he didn’t understand.
“We don’t know how” I replied.
“But the door’s open …” said Tony Chivers.
“I know, but we just don’t know how …” I argued.
So the three of them took us, me and Juanita Banana, inside the Cathedral. When we went in all the eyes which until then had been turned towards the front, to the stage, turned to the back, to watch the entry of the strange Brazilian couple. The situation was, to say the least, embarrassing. Then Mary Scar came smiling from afar, with one eye covered by her long black curly hair, a navy blue black, covering the scar that she was so good at hiding, and when she passed me she threw a woollen scarf with two yellow-green stripes, which landed right around my neck. As if understanding the hidden meaning of that gesture, I thought:
"Hey, by the way, this is going to be a political-symbolic meeting, England-Brazil". And I kept thinking about loads of seemingly absurd things such as "black mass", "death", “sacrifice of one for the good of the whole", since Juanita and I formed a strange tropical couple there in the medieval Cathedral, at eleven at night and in the midst of those young and solemn people, full of meaningful looks and gestures with a hidden meaning but which I understood or at least supposed to understand, behind the thoughts and because of the acid, which already took me to places I could not even imagine.
But I was completely shaken and full of fear, a little paranoid because of the fact that I was inside the Cathedral that night and with Juanita Banana at my side. Things were not so just because they were so, I thought. In addition to the obvious, they had more serious, definitive and important meanings for the course of the human race, with all the latest developments that the newspapers told us about, the collapse of the world in which we live, from ever-increasing over-population, hunger, wars, bombs, drugs, shootings; how is it that families could still save their children, the sons of their mothers, my son, beloved son, blood of my blood, of our blood, we are all ONE, I am your brother, and only love should lead us on.
Someone took my hand and led me, he was the father and I was the son, he was the guardian angel and I was the innocent boy who followed the path that he pointed out to me as being "the good way".
That fearless love of early childhood, when mother caressed us and we laughed, in the crib or on her lap, at home, without knowing anything, neither the cold nor the winter of future years, the struggles for survival, poverty, all such difficulties, all repressions, all hostilities, at noon, at lunchtime, all, all consciousness, fear and paranoia, demons, the sky and hell, everything, and the people with fear, with fear, and temptations tempting us, and the apocalypse, the labyrinths, the Minotaur, terrorising us, the flying sparks, the thread of life, the coldness of Medusa's eyes, the patience of Ariadne’s spinning, disillusionments, vice versa, the crazy parade of the human race, each person with something of his own, personal, individual, inside his head, an addiction, a virtue, a sin, a desire, a suppression, a danger, a hostility here, a beating there, by leaps and bounds, the sea that drags us, we are strong, we are weak, we are good, we are human, we are humble, we are arrogant, we are beautiful, we are trash, we are everything and we are nothing, naked in a town square at midnight or at noon, tick tock, the clock of eternity, dying, living, playing whilst there’s time, laughing, wanting to laugh and being able to laugh for nothing, just because you think everything is a joke, life is serious, always, but at that precise moment it is a joke. And so? It cannot be? Yes, why not? Because I love you.
I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you for what you are, for what you do, for what you let life do for you, for your crooked side, for your pierced eye, for your damaged, decayed, filled, upright tooth, for your whole and unbroken soul, I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you. Embrace me, here, in front of everyone, I love you, I love you, I love you, eu te amo, je t'aime, je t'aime, io ti amo, I love you, I don't know how to speak many languages but I LOVE YOU.
"Do you love me too?!"
"You don’t believe it!?"
"I don't know, life has always been so difficult, I was almost giving in."
“But don't give in, forget it, what's that?! I love you."
Inside the Cathedral Tony Legolas was already singing and playing on the improvised stage. Tony Legolas's blond and curly hair, huge and golden, full of headlice and beautiful, his aura of a good man and a friend of all, and a friend of headlice, with a silver star on his forehead, his medieval carmine tunic covered with birds, everything transmitted a frightening and fantastic light. His voice and his acoustic guitar went out-of-tune from time to time, or was it my hearing that was distorted? I was almost going, trembling, afraid, wanting everything to be okay but realising that the atmosphere in the Cathedral was confusing, that is, what I imagined was happening inside the heads of approximately eighty people who were there, all tripping. The youngsters were all so solemn and I was afraid of everything, of everyone and of myself, afraid of a scream, of a scandal, of something that might shatter the apparent harmony, that is, in my condition as a tropical man coming from the most humble and popular classes in the tropics I never had to be very solemn, I mean to say, in the past solemnities were all posed and insincere, nobody was solemn (in those days) and in the middle of that ‘nobody-was-solemn’ I was also more or less lost in all that hypocrisy and I could take it or leave it, between parties and receptions and all those lies in the life of an artist, a life that I joined a little just to see how it was because I had read so much about it, and I was so poor, ‘Antarctica’ brewery worker, and reading those amazing and fantastic things, one day I said to myself: "Go see if it is how they say it is." I went, and here I am miles and miles away from my homeland, in a medieval Cathedral, on a stormy night, with approximately eighty people tripping on acid, a night both realistic and fantastic, an apparently absurd night, with the magic of the past proving that Eternity is Eternity, the Cathedral so solid it has endured through the years, only those who don’t want to don’t see it, only those who didn’t want to didn’t come, to the Concert of Tony Legolas, the Minstrel.
Could it be that I was privileged after all, and I ended up here just like that? Or was it thanks to my fantasy, my imagination – originally proletarian, my head, the dream, the illusion? Today I could still be carrying truck-fulls of beer crates there in Ribeirao Preto, with so many like me who are still there, carrying crates of beer, guarana, lemonade, soda water and other refrigerated drinks that relieve the tropical heat, an indisputable fact. However, I am here, in the Middle Ages, even further away, in sweet Eternity. I, who can't even speak English right, am here in their midst, and they protect me and I am their joy and they are my spectacle and I love them and they love me, and we often understand each other by laughter, by touch, by look, by love. We understand each other by love. And it is for pure and simple love that I am here. What’s happened has happened, today they make me feel free and without guilt, even though during the Cathedral concert there was a moment when I felt all the guilt of the world inside me and almost succumbed, my heart almost burst with pain and suffering. But then Juanita Banana touched my left leg with her right hand, giving me protection and affection, and love. And she saved me.
Tony Legolas is simple; he likes Mary, another Mary, the Mary of Tony Legolas, an American Mary who is far from here, in the United States, from where she writes letters saying that one day she will return to the land of the Elves, where hope doesn’t die and where time doesn't pass. Tony & Mary. Andrew & Jane. Bruce & Angela. Me, the loner, and the others, John Ingleson, me and Trip, me, me, me, the stupid, poor and confused tropical specimen, the one who doesn't know very well what he wants, or rather, the one who knows that all he wants is love, but he still doesn't know (or he no longer knows) how to love. I saw many ugly things that owned up to being ugly, I became aware, considered, feared, confronted (with my head down), not wanting to cause any more unhappiness, any more harm, I just want to see others alright, in peace, happily ever after, for all of eternity.
I'm afraid that what I think I want may not be what I really want. It is that. It is just that.
"I'm so confused!" said Maria Luisa, sitting next to me on one of the Cathedral pews, and me in such a state of clarity, like children's art! I was sitting in the middle, with Maria Luisa on one side and Juanita Banana on the other, not by choice but by chance or fate. And I’m shivering, about to explode, and Maria Luisa is telling me things, that she is confused, paranoid, that all of this had been planned by Bruce and Angela, those terrible children, and me thinking about my yellow-green scarf wrapped around my neck, that Mary Scar had been playing with, making me, at a glance, think of international-occultist politics, a secret meeting where I would learn about my role in the direction of the human race’s salvation, when the world already seems hopelessly turned upside down – de cabeça pra baixa - confusion everywhere. And I couldn’t even hide my feelings and my trembling and when I looked to each side and in front I saw that everyone was natural and solemn, despite the significant looks of Tony Chivers, Andrew Lovelock, Bruce, and of some kind girls. And Maria Luisa asking me:
"Why are you the one here next to me, and not Terry?!" And I don't know what to say to her, ‘a portuguesa’, tripping. And Maria Luisa asking "Answer me, answer me ...", almost crazy, threatening that "I'm going to scream!"
"If you scream, it will disturb Tony Legolas's concert, look at the other people's faces, they are enjoying listening to Tony sing and play ..." Maria Luisa looked into my eyes and said to me, "You say a few things that are very clever", with an air of being stunned, asking me to say more. And I replied that I had nothing to say, that I was just listening and watching the concert, that it was better for us not to be talking, that our conversation disturbed the other people there. "Oh Jesus, I'm going crazy!" said Maria Luisa, and I had to control her madness and my own madness and ... it was already exploding when Mary Scar came to bring me a mug of hot chocolate, which went down my throat, burning me inside but relaxing me just a little from that uncontrolled tension. And Tony Legolas's concert ended and people sat solemnly waiting for a group called Decameron to perform, a folk group that played and sang asleep whilst standing up. One of the members of the group wore trousers so tight that his body was obscenely obvious and I couldn't take my eyes off it, until Maria Luisa asked me, "Why do you look at that boy so much?" and I replied, "Ah, I’m so desperate to have a pee" and Maria Luisa, out of control, burst into such loud laughter that Decameron’s four musicians woke right up, and everyone in the Cathedral turned their heads in our direction. "How shameful!" I thought, absolutely frantic.
When the Decameron concert was over, I was blown all over the place but found a bench to sit down on. Then Bruce came and put his hands on my shoulders and smiled at me gently and I burst into tears. After all, after all, I was still alive, broken but alive. David Hayward walked past me and said, "We used up all our energy tonight." Roger Elliot came up to me and said, when he saw me surrounded by consoling young women: "So, you are feeling well, eh man?" And I don't know where I was at with my head when I answered: "I deserve it, because I'm so old". Outside, it was raining more than ever and to get to the house in Saint Anne Street we had to take a very long way round because the gate that we’d usually go by was closed at that time of night.
People were wet and hungry and in the pantry there was nothing to eat but a packet of pasta and some tomatoes. Maureen cooked the pasta and filled up a bowl, which was passed from hand to hand and each person took a bite and passed it on to the next, and so on until it was all gone. And the house was full. Roger Elliot brought some bars of chocolate and some cigarettes and so it was another night. And again I slept in the living room in the midst of all those people talking and playing ….