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.