It’s funny the way some things trigger memories of friends long since out of your life. I was chatting with Piggy at the weekend when he mentioned Dan, one of the first people I met when moving here twenty years ago.

Dan was one of these eternal hippy types, who wandered from continent to continent, seeing the world and broadening his horizons. It therefore came as no surprise that he should decide to head off to Nepal to find some sort of enlightenment.

On the slopes of Everest, however, he found more than just spiritual uplifting with a sherpa’s daughter and news reached us of a hurried marriage under suspicious circumstances.

We thought that was the last we would see of him, but a year later he strolled into the Grot as though nothing had happened. He seemed a tad unwilling to expand on his experiences at first, but the tongue-loosening effects of several pints of 2’s soon had him recounting the whole sorry tale.

Apparently all had gone well at first, the romance (and lust!) of the situation more than made up for the fact that these two people from different cultures could not even converse in a common language in the rarified atmosphere.

It all started to go a bit pear-shaped when his new in-laws suspected him of helping himself to more of the family food rations than that to which he was entitled. Under local customs he was charged with theft, not that he knew until a multi-lingual passing climber, in search of his father-in-law’s services, passed on the reason for him being banished to an outhouse.

The arrival of the climber came at an opportune moment and allowed for a resolution of the situation. At a specially convened ‘court hearing’ the elders of the village found Dan guilty of theft, and agreed with his father-in-law that further punishment could be avoided if the marriage of his daughter to this ‘wanderer’ could be annulled.

“I don’t understand”, my friend said to the climber as he was told of what had been decided on the slopes of the highest of all mountains.

“You mean”

“Yes, Stealy Dan. This is your High Asian divorce.”