Life is a Challenge!

By Honeycombebeach


I wanted to take part in the Wide Wednesday challenge today and realised that trees would not feature in our Girls About Town programme, so decided that when I went to Waitrose to do some shopping, that might be the time to look for some trees.  However, when I mentioned to Mr. HCB that I had a voucher for a free cake and coffee at John Lewis, he encouraged me to go and use it and then go back to Waitrose.

Being an obedient wife (!) off I went and walked along the path opposite John Lewis which has lots of trees and a railway line going over the bridge.  I took several shots before I got to the bridge and then wondered how I was going to get through the rather large puddle in the middle of the road.  However, someone has been very kind and placed some wood and stones in just the right position to get over it without getting wet feet.

As I turned to look back at the bridge and take a wide angle shot of that and the reflection, which included some trees, a man came up behind me on a mobility scooter.  He stopped and waited and said not to hurry, he had plenty of time, so I took a few more shots, and then got chatting to him, as you I do!  I found out his name was Alan,  and he told me that he used to farm Toothill Farm, from 1946 until 1962.  Sadly the farm was “gobbled up” by a massive expansion of west side of the town, so he moved to Cricklade and farmed there for some time.  

It was so interesting listening to him so I didn’t realise that a young lady, who I later found out was named Nicky, was treading lightly on the stones to avoid running through the puddle.  She called out to Alan by name and obviously knew him well;  he told me that she worked in Marks & Spencer, near John Lewis, and that they were very kind to him in there, although he lived, he told me, on the eastern side of the town, but liked to come over to this side to do his shopping.  It was a shame that I didn’t have my microphone with me, I could have interviewed him!

So, quite a different set of photographs than the one I had thought of and not particularly wide but there are trees!  The bridge showing the large puddle and reflection is at the top left, with one of the trains that thundered past on the right.  Alan is at the bottom left with Nicky in the middle right, and then Alan underneath, having just gone through the puddle and waving to me.

I went into John Lewis for my free cake and coffee and met Wendy, a friend I haven’t seen for a while, so we were able to have a chat.  All in all, a lovely afternoon, after a great morning at the radio station.  The fact that it is now raining quite hard, again, doesn’t bother me at all, and the lawn still hasn’t been mown, although how many pollinators are out flying in this weather, I’m not sure!  I’m looking forward to a Blipmeet here tomorrow, when a lovely Blip friend and a friend of hers are coming for lunch, so it’s a good job Mr. HCB picked the lettuce earlier!

As Alan and I parted company, he said “We might meet again sometime”, which would be great - and it would be fascinating to hear more of his story.  I found this quote, which summed up  my meeting with Alan rather well - and it’s interesting that both he and Dan have the same surname!

“I love talking to people 
     and hearing their stories. 
Everyone's got their own story to tell…..
     and when you really talk to them, (and listen)
          you can learn so much.”
Dan Wells

P.S.  Thank you for all your kind comments, stars and hearts for yesterday's Blip, which were much appreciated.

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