Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Auld acquaintances

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.


Elephant's Child said...

I love your description of your acquaintances as being like seldom seen family members. Perfect. And often true.
And yes, praise is difficult to accept graciously (or believe). Which is sad.

Relatively Retiring said...

What lovely acquaintances you have, but I would like to know what happened with the emu?

Vagabonde said...

It is nice to have old acquaintances. Since I left France and came to the USA, when I go back home I don’t know anyone there anymore, I wish I did – I would love to speak French for a change. Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving a comment, I appreciate it.