A Wet and Windy Weekend
Wet and Windy
Bertie: “Cor blimey, Bobby. It’s chucking it down out there!”
Bobby: “I’m still going walking, Bertie.”
Bertie: “You must be bleedin’ mad!”
Bobby: “Cardiac Rehab.”
Bobby: “I haven’t got OCD.”
Bertie: “You sure about that mate? Fits in well with all your other GAD quirks. Just another form of anxiety.”
Bobby: “Well, Bertie. OK. But it’s not a problem of anxiety. If anything, it’s a driving force. When I started at Epsom General a year ago, the gym was once a week. But we were given an exercise programme that involved a lot of power walking. So many hours a week of walking to raise the heart beat. And I have done it ever since. Lockdown gave me even more opportunity.”
Bertie: “I must say… Well done! But I’m not coming.”
And off he went. By the time he got to Westcott, he realised that the Downs were not a sensible proposition given the wind as well as the rain. What to do? What to do? Maybe just give up and drive home in these wet and windy conditions, up those wonderful sunken lanes that typify this part of Surrey. So he did. Fantastically beautiful, even in torrential rain. But a nightmare too, in being single track with others doing the same thing in the opposite direction. Reversing miles.
He gave up again and drove home via Leith Hill. Or would have done, but the road was closed. Memories, memories! At exactly the same time twenty years ago, following a similar period of heavy rain, the Landslip slipped. With leaves still on the trees, the land slid a few feet downhill. The road was wrecked and took major works to rebuild . The weird thing was and still is that giant trees moved with the slip and stayed upright exactly where they are today. But the road had dropped a few feet next to the car park. Whose name is LANDSLIP Car Park. As described in full in Franks Walk.
Other Leith Hill car parks were nearly full. Loads of cyclists too. And still the rain lashed down.
“Are you a wimp?” he could imagine being told. “Sod it. Abinger Roughs it is going to be.” But, nearing Abinger, the Tillingbourne had burst its banks and the road was impassable. He got to the Roughs eventually. Crowded. Like the other car parks. People oblivious or in spite of the weather. He met Corinne and her dog. A friendly stranger. The rain lashing down. “You won’t believe what I am doing tonight. Moonlight Halloween Paddle Boarding in fancy dress. At an adventure centre in a quarry.” And back home for “Strictly”.
Still pouring down.
Sunday was All Saints Day. The day on which we always go to our local church, for their Time to Remember Service. In which our dearly departed loved ones’ names are read out. When it’s your turn, you walk to the front and light a candle. We always find it very emotional. This was the church in which her funeral was held. The church where the spotlight dedicated to her beams down. But not this year. Instead, the resolute Reverend BSA recorded the simple service on YouTube and Diddley’s name is on the list. If you would like to watch the service here it is:
Sunday is grass-roots football day. For us, the best day of the week. East Preston Under 12. Granddaughter Daisy playing. Driving south, the rain eased and we watched a terrific game that ended in an honourable draw. Not satisfied with that, Daisy went straight to Worthing Town Ladies to play for them!
Grass-roots football is so important for the development of our young people. All grass-roots sport is. Going far beyond the game itself. Involving local communities and a real sense of pride. Unfortunately, it has fallen foul of the latest Covid lockdown. We don’t think that’s fair or sensible. If you agree, please consider signing the following petition.
And finally, Cardiac Rehab / OCD / love of the sea saw him on the beach at East Preston. A gale was blowing. The tide was receding and the wading birds were waiting for the sand to appear to feed.
Weather? Whether or not? Stay safe. Wet doesn’t matter. It was a splendid wet and windy weekend.
Lighting a Candle for Diddley.