Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Old friends

It's this time of year I start thinking of old friends.

Of course, a few old drinking / school / college buddies that I regularly swap e-mails with, but also those I rarely see or have lost contact with:

My old mate John Williams and his mates (main blog picture, climbing Stac Pollaidh), who whisked me off on a mad weekend to Assynt.

June, who I met in my first job at S. Davall & Sons, Perivale. A caring no nonsense soul who looked after me while I learned the ropes.

Martin Hooper, who introduced me to the world of long distance walking (backpacking) with the Pennine Way and the Tour De Mont Blanc. I also met him at my first job: We used to get each other's mail.

Martin, two friends and yours truly, Derbyshire 1987

Pauline (and Ken) who I met on the about Pennine Way whilst I soldiered on with a damaged knee. (We got to worry about the hygiene of some of the bunk houses we stayed at; there were times when Pauline was a day behind me. When she caught me up she remarked that she could always tell which bed I'd stayed in because of the lingering smell of my knee medication!)

A bad snap of Pauline.

John moved to the West country and I lost his address.

June I saw two years ago at Christmas. It was her first Christmas without her husband. She wasn't looking forward to it.

Martin could be anywhere! He married a Scottish lass and moved to Stirling.

Pauline and I still exchange Christmas cards and it was she who sent me these photos.

There are others. Richard who bought a chapel in Norfolk and his partner Sandy are but two.

I suppose it's impractical to keep close contact with everyone. To use an analogy, while bobbing about in the sea of life some friends only stop to visit before sailing on. Others come and stay for the duration. My partner was one of those that initially just came to visit but then, fortunately for me, came back for the duration!

I'll stop now, I'm beginning to feel a bit unwell...

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