June 11, 1995 Jonathan Brind INDEX
3 St Helier's Road,
London E10 6BH

June 11, 1995.

Dear Hugo,

It was great to see you last night. I was very sorry to hear about Liz's illness. At least it sounds as if she's on the mend

I was surprised by the army of people who turned up. I thought there would only be half a dozen of us! In fact there were so many that perhaps it should have been restricted simply to the class of 64. It was impossible to talk to all of them for any length of time. I did, however, manage to talk to some.

Andy Machen, for example, claims to have had a lengthy career with the intelligence services (five years in Special Branch or some such thing). He reckoned he used to have to look under his car with a mirror. The last time I heard of Andy he was supposed to be in the drug squad. Last night he looked like somebody who had walked straight off the set of The Sweeney. He used to be a thin youth with hair which wasn't quite blonde or ginger and now he looks like a cardboard cut out detective. How did that happen?

Andy reckons that when the intelligence service helicopter came down on the Mull of Kintyre his mobile phone rang because he was the nearest intelligence officer to the scene. So I ran past him the idea that it seemed a remarkable coincidence that the whole Northern Ireland scene changed dramatically almost immediately after that event. This idea seemed to genuinely shock him. I thought these people were supposed to be un-shockable!

Then there was Keith Barker who now flies 747s (or sits there while a computer flies them). He was telling people not to encourage their youngsters to become pilots. I didn't really get to talk to Keith but when he was at school the one thing he wanted to do was be a pilot. And here he was the kid from Sir Fred's who'd achieved his dream, a great role model. If you believe in yourself you can do anything. He certainly did.

Hilary Evans said that it was the same faces with different bodies, which wasn't exactly right, but you knew what she meant. Someone else (perhaps it was you?) said you soon slip back into it and I felt that was certainly the case for me. I guess if I'd been there much longer I would have had to set about wrecking the place! Hilary looked really good and sounded very well adjusted. She said they farmed 60 acres organically. I tried to get her to sell me some carrots but she didn't reckon they had any (except in the garden). She said they earn nothing but eat well. Sometimes she thought they should have a bigger farm but then worked out that if you were losing an amount per acre to lose that amount times 300 acres would be much more expensive than to lose it times 60 acres. They have a cow (cows?) but no milk allowance so they can not sell their produce. She showed me her hands which used to be thin and aristocratic and are now large and well used (i.e. horny handed daughter of toil).

Will Vine was a joy. He seems to have blossomed. He's married to the press officer of Welwyn Hatfield Council (Jane) and they have a house in Tewin and a daughter (don't exactly know the details). Will says he's bored and I get the idea that he could de-stabilise the state, or invent a new type of music, or some such thing at any minute.

I was very surprised when you said you used to be close to Bill Cooper. He was a strange figure. He looked like the vampire in Nosferatu. Once I think Bill let me borrow a Mother's of Invention record, which was very interesting and was about as close as I ever got to the music scene in the 1960s. Bill seemed to be completely self destructive but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he turned up again as a chartered accountant living in the Stockbroker belt. Another friend of mine (who you may remember) called Omar Lemon was similarly self destructive, but has turned up again recently as the accountant to the people who own Harrods. I think you probably know what that means and if you don't Tiny Rowland would be glad to tell you some time.

Did you see Chris Chalkley? He works in computers (don't we all) but seems desperate to get out.

Several people told me they were on their second marriage and I got the grisly details of Yvonne Fagan's death. Apparently she was pregnant when they told her she had cancer. She held off having the drugs as long as she could and the child was born by caesarean section at about 20 weeks weighing in at 2lbs. I think the child survived and that it was her third.

Sue Rowling, Melanie Moser and Liz Kleisch were all there but not together! I saw Sue and Melanie talking but Liz (who came from Australia for the event) seemed to be doing her own thing. Those three always did everything together at school.

I was told an interesting tale about our Economics class. I always found this class very stimulating. A woman I spoke to (name withheld) said she had been the only female in the class (a fact I had forgotten). Every time we started on one of the free wheeling debates about a concept or some such thing, she had switched off. Apparently she found the whole thing completely boring, so she did her knitting until we got back on track again. This apparently wrankled Boatman. When she got her first job they wrote to the school to ask for a reference. She got the job despite the reference and eventually got to work in the company's personnel department. She took the opportunity to look up her own reference and found the note from Boatman to the effect that she was housewife material and would never be any good in the world of work. He also referred to her knitting in class. This still hurts to this day. Mind you she has got several children....

Did you talk to Dave Crofts? He's a planning officer in Gloucester, which must be about as pleasant a job as you can get. I was surprised to see his father. Someone had told me he was dead. I got the wrong end of the stick. Not dead but joined the Church. A vicar!

What was that stuff you were saying about John Pape? Something about motorcycle racing?

Last night was an event but I think it would be a mistake to repeat it very quickly. Maybe we ought to do it again in about a decade? In the mean time if you ever fancy a game of chess I would be delighted to drive down your way to play. Maybe you could give me a call when the photos are available (I'd be delighted to buy one of them). It would be a good opportunity to convince you of the merits of the Internet. Despite all the hype the net is the future. Everything you do (except eat, drink and multiply) can and will be done over the net. And the net even helps get food, drink and a mate. For example, Sainsbury is now selling wine via the net..... You might not like the motorcar but you have to accept the fact that it's changed our lives. The net is the same, except the impact will be much greater and (hopefully) more environmentally sound.

Yours sincerely,
Jonathan Brind

June 11, 1995 INDEX
Jonathan Brind