A Night with the Cousins

Nicholas Quirke was beginning to find himself enjoying a short hiatus in his activities on 19th February. He had another week in Melbourne before heading of on another stage of the Odyssey which was going to reach its fruition in March. And even though the pace with which he had attacked this journey had slowed, he was still busy and active and had some major planning to do. The next 6 days would give him the chance to start making decisions about his future and he made the most of todays opportunities to get started. He woke early and started clearing out his Email inbox which had innumerable junk with elements of value. He wrote to friends, read a couple more plays and even tried to get some of his photographs in order. Kim was working from home but the internet for both of them was playing up. She needed to go to work from the office and he was more than happy to join her. They called into Patrick’s family home first as Kim needed to collect some colour swatches from her cousin Paul and to check on the wellbeing of her family. Nicholas was pleased to see Jake who he’d met at a meal when Lindis and family had visited London some years before. He was delighted to see Patrick who invited them to dinner and they made arrangements to go to the Twelve Apostles on Friday. He couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness that he was in the home of his lovely friend Lindis and she was no longer around to see him there, It was then onto 16th Street, Kim’s studio, where he met Tara, Christian and Dylan. Tara set him up with a desk where he could spend the afternoon at his laptop. A spontaneous visit from Claire meant he was able to enjoy her delightful company again. Plans were changing and Nicholas took the opportunity to start buying flights and booking rooms and alerting friends of his imminent arrival in their vicinity. There was suddenly a lot of organising to be done and he was enjoying the return to some form of order. Kim’s cousin Maureen had invited them out for supper and Nicholas was really looking forward to seeing her again. They were dining at a Vietnamese and were expecting Paul to join them. He was enjoying the company immensely but Maureen choked on an oversized piece of meat, and though she happily survived the incident, despite Nicholas taking too long to consider the logistics of the Heimlich manoeuvre, in which gap Kim stepped up and saved the day, the  shine had come off the meal, but not off the laughter at their own expense: Maureen’s peculiarly birdlike choking, Nicholas’s lackadaisical attempt to help and Kim’s extraordinary vigour in saving her cousins life. He did enjoy the food and was particularly impressed by the serving of hot spring roles in ice-cold Lettuce. They took the remainder of the meal home and Paul came to eat his share. They talked for some time on the balcony and Paul eneded up staying the night on the sofa. As ever, tomfoolery erupted as they retiried to their beds.

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