Vijaya Rajaratnam lived in one of the large, old houses in Lyme Regis, with 18 cats. Most rooms were darkened, except the dining room which had a large table and grand piano piled high with books, magazines and crockery.
A nuclear physicist, he had worked at CERN in Switzerland and suffered from radiation poisoning, he said. 'Formidably intelligent,' John Fowles described him, and this was no exaggeration; half an hour with him would give me a head-ache. He cooked us several meals:on a small four ring cooker, with pots and pans stacked up and warming in a way I have never seen before or since.
His uncle was a mathematician who had worked with Einstein.
Dr. Vini Rajaratnam lived in Uplyme, a village adjacent to Lyme Regis. I heard it said that he could diagnose a rare illness - that had been missed by consultants - just by looking his patient in the eye.
Sometimes, he cooked curries for the village fete, and when he did, the attendence doubled.
The dog was left to him by an elderly patient.
Sir Neville Marriner, celebrated conductor of The Academy Of Saint Martin's In The Fields, pictured here in his cottage on the seafront in Lyme Regis.
He said: 'We were staying in Lyme and they sent me out to get a loaf of bread, and I came back with a loaf of bread and a cottage.' ('They never sent me out again,' he added.)
When he came to our house, we had only a bottle of blackberry wine to offer, home-made by a French priest (a friend of a friend.) We finished it.
On the subject of period instruments, Sir Neville remarked:
'The sound of the modern orchestra is what he [Mozart] was after; period instruments were what he got.'
A few weeks later, he called round to see if we had any more blackberry wine.
I explained to Neville Marriner my idea about Beethoven's Grosse Fugue being made up of figures which are flat but which combine to create a sense of depth; he listened politely, but with a look of bemusement.
When I recounted this to John, he said, 'My love, when speaking to musicians it is always advisable to avoid using the word Flat.'
Mr Hartley's greengrocery was the best shop in Lyme Regis; Mr Hartley would happily sell a teaspoon of spice, and customers often came in with a list of ingredients for just one dish (usually a cake.)
In winter, one could walk down Broad Street and not see a soul, apart from Mr Hartley.
When there was nothing doing, his assistant, Wendy, used to weigh our babies on the shop scales. She also did it when there was plenty doing and a queue going out into the street.
Derek was a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley and Bethlem Royal Hospitals. He was the author of many psychiatric textbooks.
We spent many afternoons having tea and cake in the Bay Hotel, which was then a rather shabby seaside hotel, discussing the ideas which would become his last book, 'Consciousness Reconnected', a combination of psychology, evolutionary theory and aesthetics.
It was also there, one dreary winter afternoon, that he demonstrated David Blaine's levitating trick to me. He was quite taken aback by my response - I had never seen it before. 'Everyone knows that trick,' he said.
John Fowles called him 'My Dear'. John Fowles called me 'My Love'.
Derek explained to me that My Dear was higher up in the hierachy than My Love.