On Friday I went to the art gallery to buy a card. Helen was there - she works there - and by chance, so was June. Helen and I spoke of children and others - her niece was at school with my daughter. I think it was Helen whotold us of walking down a street in Hay and geting the spooky feeling that someone was staring at her. She turned around and found that she was being followed by a large emu. June had sold her house on Wednesday and bought a new one on Thursday, largely because of problems with her knee that make climbing stairs difficult. She is soon travelling to Turkey. She told us of being in a hot air balloon that crashed onto the Ghan railway line which runs between Alice Springs and Darwin. We must have chatted for an hour or so: it was most enjoyable.
I have known June since 1968 and Helen since 198something.
Is it churlish or pedantic to say that they are acquaintances rather than friends? They are a little like seldom seen family members. By knowing them for so long we have shared a great deal.
Similarly with Andrew, who I met at the supermarket. I have known him since 1980 or so. He is now in his 70s, and he and his wife farm sheep, which they took up on "retirement". It would be quite a tough life, but they are working hard, working together, and flourishing in many ways if not financially.
I am back home again. These encounters make me feel as if I am part of the weft and the warp of this town.
Andrew gratuitously made some complimentary comments about me. I took them in my stride. Generally, praise makes me freeze and lie low. I don't know why.