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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Arundel Countryside, Old Friends, A Gorgeous Son and a Bonkers Afghan Hound

I've been having some most wonderful local walks lately 
and I have really started to explore the countryside around Arundel.

I downloaded "Map my Walk" to my mobile .
Its shows the route, how long, how many miles and 
your pace and ...yaaay many calories you've burnt up.
I'm absolutely addicted to it.

I was wondering why, in all the years I have lived in Arundel, 
that I hadn't really explored locally, beyond the riverbank.

On my walk on Saturday in the pouring rain, 
I was musing on such things,
 there was little else to do as I 
could barely see around me.

 even the ducks looked depressed

When I came to Arundel over 20 years ago, I had a son of 13.

bless him...the son of 13

 gorgeous  Jay......
and, a bonkers,but equally gorgeous, Afghan dog

beautiful hey? Oh how we loved that dog........
you can see how he became a menswear designer cant you?

In those days you couldn't take a dog anywhere near Arundel park, 
so I would mostly walk along the riverbank.
Anyway, neither of these two used to like walking that far.
Not strictly true, Jay did, at school, he was incredibly sporty.

Just didn't like walking with "Ma" as he calls me.

Honey, the Afghan DID in her younger days, 
running over fields near our home in 
Worthing, where I would sometimes spend 3 hours retrieving her.

By the time I lived in Arundel, she wasn't particularly old, 
but she had slowed down and 
 would often sit down on the riverbank 
and wait for my return,
 particularly if I was doing a regular boring walk.

Occasionally, Jay would do likewise.

" I'm not coming.I'll wait here for you"

He would sit and refuse to move.

A little further along the path, Honey would do likewise.

I just carried on, thinking they would give in and follow, 
but they never did, 
and I collected them on the way back.
Mad hey? Some dog walk that turned out to be.
Both as stubborn as each other, 
and both sitting in the same place on the riverbank  where I had left them.
(On reflection, maybe that makes me stubborn as well?)

The words that went through my head are, needless to say, unprintable.

( make a mental note of this story, Krista, wife to be....)
jay and krista

The other little foible of  Honey the Afghan, 
was the trait of nipping men, only men, mind you, on the backside.

I never quite believed it, as for a long time, she was very clever enough not to let me see.
Jay used to complain of it and I just thought he was trying to be excused from walking with us.

As it turned out, she really did..... 
and No..I hadn't trained her to do it ..

Hmmmm clever though.


"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out"

"The Schoolgirls dinner."

I value my friends, and  particularly seem to have a thing about holding onto old friends.

People you have known for a large chunk of your life, 
that are familiar with you, inside out, 
warts 'n' all.

After having, probably the worst night duty on my grown up job, 
after six and a half years in the job,
last week, 
I needed all the moral support I could muster.
Shame I cant talk about it due to confidentiality, 
suffice it to say,
it was a long long night.

By Friday I needed saving........

  Well..I was.... saved that is..
I had a great evening on Friday, 
with old school friends.

Every 2 months we take it in turns to cook a dinner.
Jay was 8 years old when this started.
He is now 34!

Who are they?
These are "gals" I have known since I was at school 
with them from11 years old,
 and we all went to
The Blessed Sacrament Convent, in Brighton together.
Apart from my mate Allie, and she is a much loved gatecrasher!

The dinner is always affectionately known as
" The Schoolgirls Dinner"

We sometimes laugh until we weep.
Other times we just weep, well, more moist eyes, than real weeping.
The vino helps with that.
 The routine works really well, but the secret to keeping it going, 
is to all take your diary and make the next date before you even leave the table.

We've been through everything together.
All sorts of joys and losses and hardships.

When Jay and I were in a  bad way,
 really struggling penny wise,
the "girls" would all get out their diaries to make the date.

 Each one calling out,
" Ill do the next one."

I kept thinking 
" why don't they want to come to me?"
Bless 'em, 
it was years later before I found out they had made a pact,
as I was pretty hard up at the time,
 they wouldn't put me in a position where
I had to get a meal
 together on what little I did have.

Old friends...nothing like them hey?

My next little gathering of old chums is next month.
Old nursing buddies!

I trained as a nurse many moons ago.
Started at 
The Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton

We all have kept up the threads of the friendships.

Two living in France, one in Steyning, one in Eastbourne and moi in Arundel.

Now...fortunately, Chrissie in Eastbourne has a massive B& B .
What better place to meet up and spend a few days together,
although we have met in many wonderful places over the years.
Paris, Nice, Barcelona, errr Brighton

Looking forward to it gals.
There will be some stories of our nursing days as 18 year olds that would make your hair curl.
Maybe another day, hey?

 I must just send out a quick marketing email before I go to my bed.
Here are a few things we are doing for Summer

Now, having just finished night duty...the blankets on..the day is I am off to zzzzzzzzzzz

Have a great day,
whatever you are doing