On arrival at Kampung Morten around mid afternoon, it became clear Preoch was not a man to economise by revealing what he was privy to because we were put in two separate double bedrooms.
Nana later led the way out of the rust-red painted corrugated-iron village guesthouse on stilts. We walked hand-in-hand towards a mini-skyscraper with a red ‘Prudential’ sign ablaze. I suppose it reminded visitors of staid Western dependability by advertising a worldwide company unaffected by the financial crash. Nana said the sign was a good locating beacon for tourists, provided they remembered it was on the south bank...read more
I approached the club’s non-descript wartime building whose concrete wall and corrugated-roof structure defied modernisation. It was rumoured this prompted Dougie to kit it out in WWII style so it was akin to a fighter station crew-room with period easy chairs and paraphernalia. That was the rumour I heard when I first joined the club after moving to Port Solent. Knowing Dougie as I did now, I thought it more likely his constant financial plight dictated the second-hand furnishings. It just happened the clubroom had that wartime austerity feel about it...read more
“Coffee in the lounge, Gerard. Oh, and bring the brandy, I’m sure Mr Nicholas will be able to join me in a small one now he has eaten so heartily.”
“Sit down, my boy,” she said smiling broadly, “do you know Port Solent?”
Gerard interrupted my reply when he brought coffee and two huge glasses, mine with just a trace of brandy wetting the bottom. “Just west of Portsmouth? Yes Auntie, there are some good restaurants there.”
“Not just restaurants, but apartments—some with boat moorings—offices, a cinema and shops. In fact apart from a supermarket, it’s a self contained village.”...read more
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