In Which Vivian Winds Up Living In A Trunk, which is the next best thing to Being Born In One.
For the record.... Vivian did many things and he certainly was many things, but he not did not 'think up', finance, create, struggle for, book, do the day-to-day running of (or have a complete nervous breakdown for), the Thekla. Vivian was there. He did what he did, but the Old Pro was mine. I had the nervous breakdown. Be that as it may -
There came a day, and a difficult day it was, when I would either leave the endlessly sinking Searchlight to go back to Califorlorn penny and poundless, but not Tubeless - for the Tube was three years old. Or. I would find a way to remain in Blighty, which meant 'remain near Vivian'. But not too near. For though I loved every hair in his beard (red as a wattle and thick as a wire: Silky calls them Daddy Hairs and daily finds an example on her own head), Vivian had come to another crisis in his life. For him, a crisis could be just another month long 'dark night of the soul' (and noted as such, in code, in his ever-present dog-eared journal, along with whether his python was in need of a -
But for me, it was a bloody great deep-fried
Truth was, then and now, I very much wanted to remain near Vivian... so - over the course of a long long day and a much longer night, that rare thing, an idea! came jittering along. My daughter Sydney, being then, uh, I think seventeen, and I being whatever the hell age I had managed to get to at the time, talked all night, and sometime around in there, the SHIP was born. Naturally, and as we all know, what we want we can have, especially if we need it - and what we also all know is that what we need comes about magically. Of course, as with all magic, there's a lot of hard work involved. But never mind the hard work, that's all in the BBC Omnibus documentary filmed while all the hard work was working away. And never mind the neighbor who got involved, or the litigious housewife he finagled into the plot; these two are also in the documentary - but do not concern us here.