John Timpany

Norfolk


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    and in the beginning.....

          For a couple of weeks the fear had been building and I found excuse after excuse to stop me from leaving. All the fears were irrational since I had done this for many years once before, but they still came back to haunt me, but the day came when I couldn't sleep so I packed the car, which was the last excuse I had, put an approximate position into the Satnav and started the engine.

In an odd way it was comforting to have a voice telling me where to go since that was my greatest worry; "Where will I live?" but she told me where to go and that somehow gave some comfort and after asking at two or three farms I found a Norfolk born and bred farmer who allowed me to put up a tent for the night in one of his fields.

It wasn't at all how I imagined it would be or how I remembered the camp 'sites' that Audrey & I used, but it was like one of the hundreds of forgettable ones, and I realised too that it wasn't the same on your own which made me suddenly miss my friend.

On your own no one sees your mistakes but likewise no one shares the rewards and the latter was a peculiar difference she and I shared. Looking back I think most of the mistakes were mine anyway where her only mistake was being that much older then me and I can't really include that.

It's mid September and a breeze blows across the front of the tent causing the fly sheet to scratch against the thistle stalks and dry brome grass, while insects drone by and birds call in the distance. I had forgotten just how noisy the outdoors was until you listen to it.

Snuggled into a stand of pine is the farmhouse. A lowering sun picks out the cream stucco gable end now dappled with the grey of watermarks, and tips the trees with gold, while the sigh of the wind 'shushes' through the grass like footsteps.

I lay there wondering why someone was tapping on my neighbours gate with a stick in such a repetitive 'chat chat, chat chat' manner when slowly I realised it was a birdcall, and that I had dozed off. The smile it gave me made me realise I would probably like this once more, despite my age and despite my illness. There is something about the outdoors that thrills me just to think of it, but I wondered just how long this might last when the weather changed?

A gun shot made me snap back. So the pigeons were now coming in to roost which meant I should get myself sorted out for the club I had planned to play at that evening.



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