Sunday, 30 August 2009

Day 2 :- Saturday 29th August 2009

Quite amazingly - slept the night through and no jet lag. A beautiful morning here in Grove - few and far between I understand this summer, so my sister in law is making the most of the morning rays whilst my brother is attending to his "honey to do" list.  This involves taking a hammer to a window pane of glass - and not in anger!  Quick - time for me to escape to Newbury.

Wow - have I got to get used to country lanes again.  Up and down, sharp bends and corners, high hedges and tall trees, dappled dazzling sunlight on the road, narrow lanes and speed limits that make me feel I am riding the latest adrenalin boosting, fear injecting, big dipper!!  Help - bring back the open roads of Alberta!!  Not a lot of inner peace for that 30 minute drive with other drivers "up my bottom" seaking to overtake - or run me off the road .... not sure which!

Here I am approaching Newbury.  I have my map to my left (carefully drawn by my brother) - but heavens, no time to consult it.  Suddenly I am on the outskirts of the town and no time to check how many roundabouts I must go through before turning left then right .... or is it right then left?  There's buildings everywhere and so close to the road and pedestrians and cyclists and cars coming from all directions .... sensory overload .... STOP!!  Oh well - no free parking in Byers - it's off to the multi story car park instead.  My contribution to the local economy.  I was offered the sat nav but turned it down - in retrospect perhaps I should have taken it!

Newbury was lovely.  An old market town busy with Saturday shoppers.  I had a wonderful afternoon wandering the canal bank, perusing through the market and popping in and out of old familiar shops. I had forgotten about "charity shops" - different small stores for different charities eg. Oxfam, PDSA, Cancer Research, Save the Children.  Amazing what goodies one could find (like in Goodwill) and especially a couple of Enid Blyton story books for my little friend Jackie.  Along the canal the swans and cygnets behaved as if they hadn't been fed for a week - I just love the serenity of a gliding swan across a calm suface of water.  Plus the canal boats chugging quietly along with their holiday families aboard, waving back to anyone who feels silly enough to initiate the contact!  Such familiarity.

I came across a book by the British mountaineer Stephen Venables - but not a mountain story.  Sadly, the story of his 10 year old son's fight against autism, leukaemia and finally, I believe, a brain tumour.  I get a shock of reality.  There are many people quietly (or not so quietly) suffering also within their lives ..... each one dealing with their own pain.  Can one person's pain be compared to another?  Who decides who is suffering most?  When one's depth is so great, is it possible that another's could be more so? 

Arrived back from Newbury to discover a new drama.  It seems the man who had the rental car before me, believes he has left all 3 of his family's passports in the car and is driving from Brighton to collect them before a flight tomorrow.  Bad news - the passports are not in the car.  I hope he doesn't think I have had anything to do with their disappearance!!  I wouldn't like to be in the same room as he and his wife just now!!

Must go and get my glad rags on.  Oh, I forgot - I don't have any!  Oh well, something will work.  It's party time at the local pub - a stranger's 50th birthday party ..... more tomorrow ...


  1. (1) Did that man every arrive to demand his family's passports? Was he awed by your charm and good grace? I expect he left happy but not sure why. :-)

    (2) Why am I the only one posting comments?? :-P

  2. The others of us (or at least one of the others of us) have finally figured out how to post comments, that's why! (Don't ask).