Whilst Mrs. Ha and I explored the environs at dawn most of the cast was asleep.
The odd couple were also early risers. She intrigued me first. Her hair was roughly short-cropped. I noted it as copper-dyed. Her frame was thin and her dresses erring on the Bohemian. Her age was given away by the hands.
He was a large, well built man, who seemed not to notice the chill that preceded sunrise. They sat, just under cover on the sun deck, coffee and ciggies to hand, and felt content in their own company. I called them the odd couple because of the extreme contrast in her apparent frailty and his powerful physique. We conversed little but they seemed pleasant enough.
The man with the rug was doubtless still asleep, dreaming of the days he still had the genuine article. I have no vanity and would never contemplate a comb-over let alone a rug. He also wore a permanent warm smile and I certainly don’t begrudge him his freedom of choice. It was just, well, so obvious. A veritable summer meadow of golden locks, thick and luxuriant, only slightly betrayed by the thin fringe of fading silver peeking out from beneath. He could never be the murderer. Far too jolly.
I’m not so sure about Roger Jennings though. I have no idea what his name is to be honest but he reminded me strongly of my old friend and colleague so I passed on his name. ‘My’ RJ had already discovered that he shared his name with an alleged British spy so I doubt that he would shy away from sharing it with a putative murderer. RJ flew to Iran for us once. He was scheduled to see the governor of the central bank in the days when such things were allowed. He went to pick up his visa on arrival and was immediately roughly ushered away into a ‘holding area’. For 8 hours. The worst of it was that he was denied beer and ciggies. Then he was bundled onto a plane to Dubai and never got to see the guv’nor. It turned out that many years earlier Iran had jailed a chap called Roger Jennings for alleged espionage. He was eventually released but Tehran thought my man had turned up to give it another whirl. In the fullness of time he received a letter of apology and an offer to return at the Iranian bank’s expense but he did not take them up on it. My biggest success on the trip was not asking the new RJ about the woman in his life. I could not decide whether they were son and mother or husband and wife. (It turned out to be the latter). I am useless at guessing someone’s age. Ladies, never, ever ask me to guess. My father’s pearl of wisdom as I left home was to tell me to subtract mentally at least 5 years from my actual guess before having a stab. I think I would still have been out by a country mile.
So where does that leave us in the photographic stakes? Well after so much colour it is time for a little monochrome. So here we go:
And there I must pause again. I am still reviewing images, picking and deleting my way through the candy jar of 1200+ photos. Some are like sherbet and give you a real fizz. Others are the black Liquorice Allsorts that sadly nobody seems to like but Bertie Bassett thrusts upon us anyway. I shall try to find some more sherbet fountains for tomorrow.