Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
When I next see Lusca
Just a quick technical question before we start - does anyone else have to play 'hunt the cursor' when composing posts on the blog? My page remains blank until I start typing, and if I go up or down to edit, the vertical line stays where it last was without flashing, and I have to guess where the next letter typed is going to appear. Is this just my bad settings, or is it a new policy to keep us on our toes?
Rachel has put me in mind of Ljubljana, and my brief stay there when working for a theatre company.
When I went, it was still part of Yugoslavia - though proudly Slovenian - and the difference between the Austrian side of the Alps on the way up and the Slovenian side on the way down was marked. I never got the Mercedes 207D out of second gear for about two hours.
We were to meet our guide and administrator, - the red-headed, Lusca Cosca (I know there is a much better and more correct way of spelling her name) - in Ljubljana, where she would have about $2000 U.S. hard-earned in a shoe box which she immediately gave us, so she could stop worrying about it. She explained that it had taken months to collect this much black market currency, as we could not take zlottis out of the country.
We did the shows under the watchful eye of the military-clad police, then took her on a little holiday to the island of Sress (which we dubbed 'Stress' because of the mosquitos), during which we became good friends. A tearful farewell, and we were back on tour in some other part of Europe.
A couple of years later, and we received an invitation to perform in a town in Switzerland - from Lusca, who was by this time living in sin in a Swiss Canton with her boyfriend, when only a hundred yards down the road they could have legally cohabited. She was an arts administrator for Switzerland as she had been in Slovenia.
More driving up mountains, but this time in the dark. The fact that a notice informing us that a pass was blocked with snow was at the top and not the bottom, added an extra 8 hours on the drive, and I was the only driver.
This was the longest drive I had ever made - 23 hours with one half-hour break. I followed the tail-lights of another truck through the mountains at 2.00 am in the dark, and I swear that if it had gone over the edge, I would have followed it down as well.
Some years passed, and I was persuaded to represent Great Britain in the annual snow-carving competitions in Quebec City, Canada. Another first - to work outside in minus 40 Centigrade was quite an experience. Moral: Never buy a pair of Timberland insulated boots. I almost lost toes in the first hour.
At the opening party in Quebec - there were a lot of parties - I scanned the crowd and spotted a familiar face. It was Lusca, there to represent Slovenia. Small world, eh?