Monday, April 07, 2008

St John's - First Night

Last night we had dinner at the Professor's house. He lives in this wonderful three-story wooden house that literally clings to the side of the cliff - it's the most remarkable place. It overlooks the Narrows, and as we were sipping our pre-dinner prosecco, a huge tanker glided silently by on its way out to sea.

The Professor lives with his partner, the Musician - she had choir practice until nine o'clock, so while we waited for her to get home, we drank delicious Chilean wine and nibbled on baguette and sopressata, made by the Italian's great uncle and flavoured with anise and chili, which he'd brought with him from Toronto. Delicious! The Professor's beautiful German shepherd, Kitty, was very interested in the sopressata and watched us consume the entire salami with hopeful eyes and pricked up ears. We did not share.

The Professor's house is a twenty minute walk from our B&B, and the view of the harbour from the opposite side of the bay is lovely. I'm not sure if you'll be able to make out from the photograph the cathedral on the hill, and then just to the left of it another large building, which is the new museum/gallery/public archive building, The Rooms. A friend of my Man's said to him, "There's the cathedral - and there's the box it came in," which becomes a very funny joke when you see them side by side on the hill like that.

Dinner was the most incredible meal of fresh halibut, caught yesterday. The Professor cooked it in onion and cumin and garlic, with spinach wilted on top, and it was divine. He tells us the scallops are particularly good right now - we shall have to investigate this further!

Today, the Professor, the Italian and my Man are working hard on the show. It was fascinating to hear them talk last night - three so very different men: the Professor, tall and lanky, with soft white hair, a neatly trimmed moustache, and one incongruous gold earring - erudite and scholarly, but with a sort of immediacy uncommon to most scholars - like a rather academic and slightly piratical Peter Fonda; the Italian, passionate and absorbed, a storyteller, enthusiastic and intelligent - a bit of a boy genius; and then my Man, a catalyst and a dreamer, a writer, the voice - interested in the connections, excited by the interviews, quick to laugh, very happy to be working on a project with these two colleagues.

I am so interested to see how The Nerve develops. These are smart, interesting, thoughtful and skilled broadcasters and listening to them talk about their work makes me wish there was unlimited funding for the production of the kind of inspired radio they are creating.

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