Back In Germany

Thursday 22 March, 2001

I arrived in Germany yesterday and as I walked the short distance from the underground to Francis’s house, it felt like I had never been away. I smiled a broad smile as I rang the bell. Francis opened the door and we hugged. Paula was there too which was a lovely surprise and we hugged too. The three of us sat down and began to chat. Just like old times.

We chatted all afternoon. The conversation flowed beautifully and the silences were equally pleasurable, although I do find myself questioning whether or not Francis is happy – not generally but in the moment. I should verbalise this.

In the evening Francis and I met up with Ralph for a few beers. The three of us had a great evening. I really enjoyed the conversations we had and I was really able to relax in good company. The message for me so far has been that when you play in the real world, when you interact with it, you have to play the game, and it is a real skill. Francis has talked of being a buffer zone with people. Be flexible and be prepared to stand down for the sake of harmony and dignity. Too many people are scared of letting the other person think they’ve won; fights ensue and people stubbornly stand their ground for the sake of their honour and their principles.

The evening ran smoothly, as it so often does when there are just men involved (as I’m sure it also does when there are just women involved).  Again, the conversation flowed.  We carried on talking back at the flat.  It is a lovely experience to chat with like-minded people, and tonight was no exception.


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