40 Years On

Nicholas Quirke was awake early on the 31st December and felt back in control of his health. The cough seemed persistent but it had loosened up, he could breathe and he felt an energy in him that had been lacking since leaving LA. This was good timing for him as he would have hated to meet a friend, whom he hadn’t seen since 1977 still feeling under the weather and consequently dull or worse apparently incontinent as he appeared the day before. In 1977 Nicholas was in a film, ‘Agatha’, made in his home town of Harrogate. Despite only being a Bellboy he was befriended by many of the cast, including the lovely actress Helen Morse and it was a highlight of this visit that he had already made contact and spent the morning sitting in Laurent Café with her catching up on 40 years. It was such a privilege to chat to such a passionate, committed actor who was still taking on scary challenges; her latest being a reading of Alice Oswald’s poem, Memorial at the Adelaide Festival and which would also be staged at the Barbican in 2018, https://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/2018/memorial, Helen was already making plans to meet up with Nicholas in the UK and make some introductions to some independent producers. They reminisced about the few short weeks they spent on Location with Brendan and Peter Arne, Robert Longdon and Dustin, the dinners, the visit to Howarth, playing scrabble and the highlight of not only having the privilege of being caught in the gaze of one of Cinema’s greatest Cinematographers, Vittorio Storraro, but of also seeing some rushes one evening, of the Bertolucci epic 1900. He felt inspired that their re- connection had sparked a new friendship. Kim had planned a driving tour of some of Melbourne and took Nicholas to her Childhood home and school in the North Carlton area. Nicholas could not get over the extraordinary style of the architecture and this continued into their exploration of the Brunswick Street area where he loved the eclectic architecture which he felt to be reminiscent of the American West. Nicholas also loved the unholy mess that was made of the streets by the tram lines. He bought his first pair of Vegan shoes in the form of a Birkenstock sandal. They lunched at an Italian favoured by Kim’s sister Lindis and he decided, as it was News years Eve to have a wine . Kim did some grocery shopping while Nicholas sat and watched the strange twitching and compelling behaviour of a beggars partner and could not resist taking some photos and could not help but feel in a similar state after drinking in the afternoon.  It was going to be on long night as they planned to go to see the New Year in with Fireworks in the park and they went home to prepare tea and get some rest. Kim made a lovely meal and Nicholas enjoyed another wine as he wrestled once more with technical problems with the laptop and his other pieces of hardware.  They wandered down to the Exhibition Gardens about 11 and were pleasantly surprised by the relaxed, happy, friendly and safe atmosphere. The Fireworks, when they came at midnight were spectacular and with those he sent out New Year wishes to all at home. It was a strange realisation, that he was already in 2018 and he would have had a nights sleep before the New Year was ushered in at home in the UK.






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