The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Walk not run

on February 5, 2014

Sometimes you do something and then wonder why you never did it more often. In our London life, weekends could be booked up months in advance filled with Birthdays, weddings, family visits, catching up with friends you haven’t seen for far longer than you would like. How does it happen that you can live in the same city and realise you haven’t seen a good friend for a very long time.

I love London, even more so now that I probably may never live there again and look back with a rose tinted haze. But with living in any confined city, you often wonder what’s out there. Where exactly are the rolling green fields of England. They’re always closer than you think.

So for no particular occasion a group of us rented a holiday home and shared a long weekend together with wine, beer, food and a plan to do a long walk along the Dorset coast.

The weather six years ago this week couldn’t be more different to the reports I’ve been reading about today. Storm battered Britain. Floods. Thousands left without power. Coastlines falling into the sea.

This is Golden Cap, Dorset in early February 2008. We were staying in a farmhouse in nearby Charmouth.

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Look at the clear blue skies and winter sunshine. Just going back through these photos makes me smile. Look at the beautiful views and rolling green fields and how can you not feel happy. We were fully expecting grey, wintry weather with it being early February and the fact that this wasn’t going to put off our friends from joining us is always a good sign.

The Dorset to East Devon World Heritage site is also know as the ‘Jurassic Coast’. It stretches across 95 miles of stunning coastline. Not only is it gloriously beautiful but it provides an education into the science of the earth. Which we didn’t learn much about except look for a few fossils along the beach and we barely covered much of the 95 mile available to us.

What I did learn that weekend is how to take an almost authentic ‘face punch’ photo. Yep. Courtesy of Ms Beefy who bestowed this new skill upon us. She does it scarily well. It’s a three person stunt. One person has arm outstretched locked in ‘punch’ mode, the second vigorously shakes their head from side to side with jowls loose. Only with jowls loose can you achieve the desired effect. Then the third person takes the photo. This is not an activity for ‘selfies’. Hours of fun. Though I haven’t tried it since. It gives me a headache all that head shaking.

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I love long country walks. I’m sure many of us do. I have romantic notions of dragging #1, 2 and 3 on many of them in years to come. Will they love it or will they complain about it and say it’s pointless? Either way, I think they’ll look back and appreciate it. Hopefully they’ll have an idea of what a ‘long walk’ is because it is quite possible to reach your mid thirties and not know.

Who could not know? Well, for some of us, enjoying the amble and taking in the view all around us is part of the whole enjoyment. For others, point them in the direction of the summit and that’s their goal. So off they zoom. Without pacing themselves. Without even the correct footwear. Like one of those wind up toys that go off and then wear themselves out. Expleting the F word quite liberally along the way and yet proclaiming to be having a really good time but F word where’s the pub and pint coming along? I suppose I shouldn’t say who that could be…

You can go away with a group of friends for the weekend and relive the good parts of when you shared a house together. The laughs without the quirky habits they have that you remember from ten years ago. It’s good to get together away from the usual places we always go to and all the things we usually do. So why on earth didn’t we do it more often?

It may be a while before we’ll be planning a long weekend away with just friends again and I wonder what new skills we’ll be picking up then?

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