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Tuesday, 24 June 2014


I am now meeting a few casual walkers on the VW, whereas earlier I met few, but one sticks in the mind that I forgot to mention.

A one hundred yard path joined two roads, gates at either end. As I set off I saw a guy waving and shouting at the other side of the far gate. I thought I was being warned off, but I knew beyond doubt I was on a public footpath and was prepared to stand my ground. On arrival I couldn't make out what this gangly bespectacled thirty year old was saying, then I interpreted "I've put it on the latch for you", referring to some of that horrid hairy orange string used by farmers to tie up all and sundry which he had altered in some way, supposedly for my benefit. He went on to say (forgotten the name), x had shown him how to do this, "but he's no teeth, and I wouldn't try and have a long conversation with him".

I then saw that this strange guy had a family tent erected to the side of the path about twenty yards from the road which looked like a wild camp to me. He wanted me to stop and help him finish off some lentil soup, then started jabbering about birds he had seen, "those little black ones with a white patch underneath", and continued to tell me about laying a trail of biscuits and crisps to attract them nearer his tent, then questioning whether that was wise, "but I suppose if they are too salty they will spit them out?" Various other subjects came into his monologue which I can't remember now, and all this within an encounter that only lasted about two minutes, and as I hurriedly moved on I heard his final exhortation to share the lentil soup again, this time with some other delicacy thrown in that also now evades my memory - it was all a lot to take in.

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John J said...

Wot, no offer of tea?

The Crow said...

Thank goodness he was friendly...and thank goodness you departed when you did!


Roderick Robinson said...

What a gift, and your only thought was to get away as soon as possible. In a mad meeting why not behave madly - take notes as he speaks.

More particularly, why not use this encounter for self-reflection. Within the turrets of your self-adornment (titanium frying pans, cellular underpants, Gore-tex boot laces, Kevlar rucksack - all evidence of conspicuous consumption)you see yourself as sane and - fatally - you imagine that's how others see you. But that needn't be the case. For one thing you revel in being apart, especially in your ambivalence towards the people you meet during your ramblings. Sure, from time to time you enjoy the kindness of strangers but might that be the result of pity or charity? Lentil-Soup Man is also apart and you may be closer to his apartness than you dare to admit; being well organised and spending scads of money in Trekit aren't proof of sanity. Could LSM be an omen, an augury?

High Horse said...

Dad - Thought I saw the osprey today but now think it was a buzzard. I now really want to spot the osprey.......

Sir Hugh said...

High Horse - with a good telescope you should be able to see the nest from your window.