Thursday, 15 December 2011

Meeting old friends

Last Saturday we went back to the village of Avonwick where we used to live to join a lot of old friends for lunch. The daughter of one of Marcia’s very close friends was married a few weeks ago and this lunch was to celebrate that event. Not only were we able to meet her new husband – a thoroughly delightful man – but also catch up with old friends.

It being some ten years since we have seen most of them, it is hardly surprising that they (and, no doubt, we) were all looking older. As one pal put it when talking about old age, ‘Funny, when we were younger we just never thought it would happen to us.’ Am I surprised that so many of us continue to work or remain as busy as always? Not really. Most us seem to me to be pretty young at heart and I suspect that is, in part at least, because we are all busy and continue to be interested in what is going on around us.

Coming back over Dartmoor we had a huge stroke of luck – and in a place I would not have expected it to happen. We were driving up towards Lee Moor and Wotter and had crossed over Quick Bridge and were approaching Tinpark Farm (now a riding establishment) when a three hinds jumped into the road from the scrubby woodland of Cholwich Town Bottom and up into the fields on our left. I grabbed a camera and, thanks to their usual moment of curiosity before bounding away, was able to record the moment (although I’m afraid one is somewhat out of focus).

 The light as we crossed the High Moors was quite incredible. Unfortunately the best photos would have been with the jagged top of Pew Tor against a flaring cloud-wracked sky but it was not to be. We were in the middle of a stream of cars with more coming towards us and so to stop would have been impossible. By the time we could, the sky had completely changed and there was no point in retracing our steps. Still, the ones I did get were reasonable.

The rest of the week has been uneventful – if you ignore the weather. We have been hit by everything going (including the first snowfall of the winter) but have been counting our blessings - we have friends who live up on the banks of the River Clyde in Scotland where the winds have reached over 150 miles an hour - but, I can’t help but be glad that in a few days the evenings will start to draw out once again.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to report that the next book makes steady (if slow) progress despite all the distractions that we have at this time of the year.

I am putting this up on Thursday evening as tomorrow is outrageously busy. Apart from other appointments, I have one with the optician. The laser treatment has been satisfactorily concluded and so I can now have new glasses. Will I be able to drive again? Tune in again next Friday to find out.