I spent a rather whizzy weekend in Leicester, buzzing there on the excellent skylink bus which gets you from a to b almost as fast as the train, thanks to intermittent stops and smug bus-lanes; then charging up to the Martyrs for Tomatoes where we eventually completed the Telegraph prize crossword and I fielded varied questions about our current status (where are we? what are we? and most importantly, how are we?) before heading back into town, spending an hour or so at the library and succeeding in locking the toilet key inside the toilet. The librarian smiled in a resigned sort of way, indicating that this was probably an almost daily occurrence. After that I positively fizzled up to the Friends’ Meeting House where I was convinced that an afternoon of exciting events was scheduled to kick off at one; only to find a lonely refugee in a hat who turned out to be Ruth, my hostess for the evening. We chatted until others arrived whereupon we learned the art of felting (I made a coaster) and heard some stories from Ruth.
Then back to hers: Ruth lives in a rather surreal building called John Woolman House (JW being an early Quaker) which is basically a row of houses all knocked into one. It’s a bit like a friendlier version of the storage place, with rows of doors and endless corridors, but all very friendly (and Friend-ly) with a guest room which I inhabited, a wet-room with shower and bath and a gorgeous sun room where I meditated and later slept.
And god bless that woman! for she not only organised a guest room but took me out and fed me at the new-ish and delish South Indian restaurant on London Rd called Chettinad. The thali was to die for and over its many tiny dishes we discussed past lives in India, America and various parts of Britain. Most enjoyable. And so to bed.
Sunday was Quaker meeting followed by Local Business Meeting where I learned about the Quaker tapestry, an artefact which bids fair to rival the Bayeux one in its scope and splendour. And so back to Ruth’s for a rest in the gorgeous sun room, a cup of tea and then home.
I can hardly believe that was just yesterday…
Must crack on now. I’m doing a course on Quaker history.