I loved being there. At breakfast K, one of the writers, would read us snippets from the newspaper--a woman was found wandering confused in Torquey. When asked what the trouble was, she said she had asked for directions to the airport for the plane to Turkey. I wonder if K. made up the story.
One day, K. and I went sight-seeing and came upon a doocot (dovecot). After taking a picture of me in front of this charming building, he nick-named me, Lady Miriam of the Doocot. Now he just calls me Lady or Lady Doocot. I call him Sir. He's from Brooklyn; I'm from Paterson, New Jersey--land of the untitled.
Sir K. was a wonderful traveling companion. If I hesitated to spend money, he urged me on. He turned out to be right. John is still praising a sweater I would never have bought for him if it weren't for Sir K.
On our last night at the castle, we decorated ourselves with lapel pins we made from ketchup packets we had taken from a pub. Not a drop of ketchup was ever served in the castle.
I remember the views from the windows into the green glen, the sound of the loch, the taste of sherry in the little orange-painted garden room, the wood fires, the cool air, the thrilling absurdity of Sir K. of Brooklyn and Lady Doocot of Paterson living in a castle. Did I get any lasting work done? I don't know. But back home I'm still living on some of those cool green days at Hawthornden. This morning I heard from Sir K. He was back from more travel, and eager to tell Lady all about it.