Thursday, 12 June 2008

Swimming with snakes wearing goggles

Ordinary Gym-ing today, starting with thirty minutes on the treadmill, walking very fast on an incline; followed by a leisurely swim. All was going well - just a couple in the jacuzzi and I alone in the pool with some scarce evening sun reflecting off the rippling water and bouncing around the wooden lapboard surroundings. In walked a man of about seventy-ish, with goggles on his head and started to swim nearby. I took no notice at first, then as I swam up and down I noticed his head turning to me under the surface as I swam past. He was oggling my submerged body parts through his goggles, straining his neck as he passed by. I was tempted to do a 'mooney' but thought he might have a seizure and drown. I got out of the pool not sure if I should be angry or just pity him.

As I left Reception, he was dressed and followed just a few paces behind me. I got in my car, watching him get into his. I drove the five miles along country roads towards my house and he was still behind me. I was now getting worried. I didn't turn off the B road into my lane but kept going... towards the next village. Somewhere he must have turned off... I no longer saw his car in my rear mirror. I went to the local co-op, bought a paper and made my way home again. He was nowhere in sight. I have an awful feeling that he may live in one of the few houses along my remote lane.

It's times like these that I am acutely aware of my loneliness, but I say to myself; 'he is in his seventies and I am a very tall, strong and healthy woman twenty years' his junior.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Wellies for the Green Gym

I love the oriental poppy, fleeting as it is in it's sun-drenched bloom.

Yesterday I sunbathed... yes... topless in the privacy of my back garden, swathed in factor 16 and cat hair from a curious Pebble - not a good look!

Today, it was Green Gym-ing at the water meadows in Woodstock, with a large turn-out of Green Gym-mers. The Himalayan Balsam has grown tall and is about to flower, while nettles have also grown and prevented access to much of the Balsam. Wellies abounded and I spoke up in order to offer a pair of mine to a new member... but, my head or my mouth wasn't working and it came out as: "I have a spare pair of willies in my car..." It set the tone for the rest of the morning. Sorry!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Ripley Castle and Craft shows

My good friend and I sat at tables outside the Marquee at Ripley Castle, resting our aching feet and weary bones while drinking tea and eating carrot cake. As I looked across the lake I saw three magnificent trees and just had to take a photo.

The craft stalls were good and varied and I gave in and bought a white whicker two-tiered fruit basket, some fancy ribbon and a rustic, green-painted mirrored shelf unit for the porch. I didn't plan to... it's just that when I see something that I know will be ideal for a certain 'spot' in my house, then I just have to buy it. I'm getting better acquainted with Yorkshire and have come to love the rolling hills and stone walls with little villages of substantial stone-built houses. However, the journey there and back can be tiring and long - depending on the time of day and traffic. Four hours there - due to two road accidents, road-works and an abnormal load, as well as the heavy tea-time traffic congestion.

As always, I love going places, but love coming back to my little home in West Oxfordshire; to my two cats, abundant garden and best of all... my king-sized bed, where I escape into my private world of dreams; some of the past and dreams of the future. Escapism is good... it keeps me sane and optimistic.

Checking my phone messages I discover there has been a family crisis. Don't know how to help, but help I must!