RR almost smashed into two cars in the car park of the Gorilla Arboretum. He simply did not see the brown Ford Escort Mk 4 as he reversed into what he thought was a free parking space. On his second attempt to park, he was within millimetres of scraping a long line of paintwork off a metallic blue saloon car.
I was so relieved to be able to open the car door. Similarly RR, JS and TPR were grateful for the end of my involuntary back seat driver screaming at every turn of the steering wheel.
For an autumn day, it was rather warm, and I was completely overdressed. So at the entrance to the park I stripped down as far as I could – to my long-sleeved white thermal vest, white jeans, and cowboy boots. I carried the rest of my clothes over my back in a black bin liner. Had I not dressed in such a hurry that morning, I would have taken more care to select weather-appropriate clothing for a walk in a gorilla arboretum.
We started our visit in the arboretum shop. It was stocked with the most beautiful household goods. I was particularly taken by some blue place mats. Amongst the displays a man was seated next to a pile of tea chests. He announced to customers that he was ‘Mr Diamond’ and would be delighted to offer each passer-by a sample of his wares.
‘That’s not Mr Diamond’, I said to JS in a very loud stage whisper. ‘That’s Bill Paterson, the famous Scottish actor’.