I’d been walking for a week and I’d ended up at a cut price campsite (after they’d heard about my endeavours).
Since it was my first week back to the sacred ramble, Ella was coming up tomorrow to recharge my batteries.
All I had to do was watch a bit of the World Cup, catch up on my blogs, and sleep.
It was a fortuitous visit, it transpired, since Orinoco’s (the tent) tent poles had turned out to be, er, not quite up to the job.
The tent is waterproof – the poles are not. Water corrodes them – and they snap.
Not particularly useful.
So she’s bringing up a replacement Marvin (my original that lasted much longer)
I wasn’t having a great deal of success on the sleep front.
This was the most lively campsite I’d been in for a while and folk, and their children were having fun chatting, laughing and playing around.
A contrast to the world of skylarks, sheep and cows I’d become used to.
It was lovely.
I pretty much kept myself to myself until Jed, a friendly guy from Liverpool wandered over for a chat. He’d heard a bit about what I was doing, and wanted to hear some more.
He’d had some problems with his hips and his GP had prescribed him – a strong painkiller just one down from the morphine family, that had sent him to a loopy place. He’d become aggressive and snappy – he stopped taking the pills as soon as he’d made the connection.
He’d rather have the physical pain, thanks.
He slipped me £20 to my cause, and with that, wandered off, promising me lager at some later point.
The words of my lovely niece, Rachel, ring through my head at these times,
‘You have to remember this isn’t normal…’
I find this interest in what I’m doing, this desire to help…the well wishing…absolutely thrilling.
A few hours later I heard from Ella – she was going to be earlier than expected.
For everyone who knows her, this isn’t the most common of occurrences.
I had to speed pack so as to be ready for her arrival.
‘D’you want a lager?’ Jed yelled over.
I really wanted to talk to him – to hear a bit more about him – even have a bit of banter…
‘I’m going soon..’ I simpered.
He gave me that, ‘Oh really?’ look, and I caved in instantly.
So, in the middle of chatting and a-bantering, Ella arrived…my goods and chattels were still strewn across the campsite.
No matter – I was unceremoniously dumped by everyone as Ella went to meet Jed’s family in the cavernous awning attached to the side of their caravan. In no time they were chatting like old friends.
Do you know, I think she’s pretty good at this walk a mile malarkey…
Jed’s daughter came over for a quick chat while I was pillocking about, ‘Ella’s really pretty,’ she stated simply before she wandered off.
I think so…but I’m a bit biased.
I tell anyone who’s willing to listen how lucky I am. I couldn’t do this without her – she speaks to me regularly to ensure I haven’t been struck by the looniness. If I have, she comes to my rescue – if not, she comes to visit me every 2 weeks.
So, I get to speak to interesting, interested, generous, hospitable and trustworthy folk, I’m walking in a beautiful part of the world, the weather only serves to compliment that, and I’ve got the lovely Ella.
Sorry to gush, but I think I’m rather privileged.
Walk a mile