Torquay: Postcard from ‘Lex Toonan’ – Meeting Peter Middleton (c. 1995)

Berry Head – Torquay – Peter Middleton (Left) and His Then Partner (Centre) and the ‘Author’ (Right) – c. 1995

I received a telephone call one sunny Tuesday morning (around 9am) from my friend Lex Toonan who lived in the Netherlands – stating that he was already in the process of ‘hitch-hiking’ from Holland – down to France, and across the English Channel by Ferry – and then continue to ‘hitch-hike’ from Dover to Torquay! Although ‘hitch-hiking’ is not an exact science – Lex was of the opinion that he could make it from Utrecht to ‘Meadfoot’ beach (in Torquay) by ‘3pm’ – a distance of some 496.3 miles! I lived in Tiverton at that time, and as this day was for administrative, archiving and letter-writing – I possessed the leisure time to travel to Torquay (a journey of 46 miles by bus to Exeter and then by train from Exeter Central to Torquay)!

Lex is Going to Thailand!

As matters transpired, I arrived at Meadfoot beach in Torquay by 145pm and set about waiting. Believe or not – a lorry pulled up at 2pm and Lex got out bang on time! We then met Peter Middleton (and his lovely partner) and traversed back to their home. We shared a meal, and discussed the ‘Rajnesh’ situation that had occurred in India. Peter’s partner had been a part of the Rajneesh Commune and told me how the Indian Authorities stormed the compound and killed a number of his unarmed followers who were protecting his dead body (he apparently had died in the upright sitting position – like all great Sages) as the Indian Government did not want Rajneesh associated with ‘great’ spiritual leaders! Around 5pm I said ‘thank you’ for the hospitality and slowly made my way home! A few weeks later I received this ‘Postcard’ made from a photograph that Lex had taken himself whilst we sat on Berry Head!

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