by John Hopkins

March 27, Disley, Stockport

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we head north on the M1 after taking a country short-cut from Oxford where we had a raucous lunch with Brian and Kate and missed touring the Pitt-Rivers Museum (it was closed). the M1 is choked with traffic -- the rats of London heading north for the weekend. this is the first time I make a significant drive across England. high density and why-oh-why do these people drive on the WRONG side of the road? the car decides with the expression of a thak-thakking noise to begin coming apart and we are forced to pull off the road at a petrol station to make what repairs we can manage with no tools to speak of. a rubber boot has come detached from its position on the front axle and steering mechanism. it begins sleeting at the very moment we step out of the car. back on the road, the traffic crawls even slower. after a long drive over the moors, we arrive in Disley, Stockport, a semi-rural village about 30 kilometers east of Manchester where Joanna's parents, Jim and Margret, live. in the evening after dinner, I stay home writing, everyone else goes out to see Geraldline McEwan in her performance as "Jane Austin". it turns out that Geraldine, earlier in the day, had napped in the very bed I end up sleeping in. I insist that the sheets not be changed. nothing like it, sleeping with British Fame. no mention of the dreams that flowed through my soul that night. in the morning I watch Jim make bread for the week.