Thursday, February 18, 2016

Long walks and new friends

Up after not the greatest night's sleep despite the comfortableness of the beds. Lorraine and I sauntered into the pub from our room and had a good breakfast, which included black pudding which I'd not had for some time, and remembered why.  Lorraine had sourced a circular walk for us up into the wooded downs and we had an absolutely lovely walk for about three hours. Very squelchy underfoot, but lovely to be among trees and crossing fields in little valleys and climbing up to a long straight forested path, and down again through fields. Good to see Lorraine's pink cheeks as we puffed up the hills.

The excellent thing about going for such a long walk is that it renews your appetite. We had a substantial lunch and a pint of Tipster and a bit of a read in the pub before retiring back to the room for an afternoon snooze. Gradually stirred ourselves and drove off to see Lorraine's work pal Fiona and meet her husband Simon. I'd not met either before, and they were a welcoming, friendly and interesting couple. Simon is a hospital consultant doctor, and Fiona a headteacher. Both interested and interesting, which is refreshing. A long convivial meal 'beans on toast' Fiona described it but actually a cassoulet with fresh artisan bread.  Simon saying about a talk he'd gone to years ago about a firefighter calling his crew out of a burning building 'on instinct' seconds before it collapsed. It was an example to him of how experience filters into everyday life. When he's walking past people in his emergency department, he frequently knows just by looking at folks who is in need of most urgent attention.

Simon and Fiona live in a lovely little village, in a house called The Old Laundry. Crisp cold night when we got outside, stars in the sky. A drive back to the White Hart and a final drink there before a heavy sleep. Man at the bar talking to three women: 'no, hear me out... Hear me out...' He kept interrupting himself until the women were bellowing at him to just say it. A funny interlude.

Really feeling as if we were on holiday.

Below snaps along the way, and the final shot our journey's end.









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