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She lived to tell the tale
on 3 July 2009
There I was, down in the basement of Seed Restaurant in the psychedelic Sixties, dishing up the first organically grown natural foods to ever grace a British restaurant table. It was the cool place to eat, and the cream (and the whey) of the `underground' scene came through; one felt immense pride to be introducing them to wholesome living. That is, until Frances Lynn's book Frantic came into my hands.
Now I realize that once off-premises, many of my loyal customers proceeded to do everything possible to counter-balance their healthful experience at Seed, ingesting things that were definitely not macrobiotic and engaging in decidedly unwholesome behaviour. How could they! The brown rice obviously wasn't `speaking' to them.
Sure they had fun, and Frances spares no details in her rich and fulsome recounting of the wilder side of London and San Francisco in the late 60's/early 70's, so much so that I feel like I was there - and I was, but now know what part of "there" I was missing out upon. But at what price, the fun? After reading her book, I am not sure whether to feel left out of the action, or smug that I spent that time chewing each mouthful a hundred times. I can feel both.
Thank the muses; Frances unbelievably survived to tell the tale, managing to do so without glorifying her colourful characters. I'd rather laugh at their faults and foibles than feel sad for them, recognizing that had they got with the wholesome programme then Frances may never have written her very entertaining book. Would the world be a poorer place thereby?