Friday, 15 April 2011


Seeing old friends after 28yrs can be fraught with danger, especially if (as it were from a standing start of twenty eight year ago fitness levels) one friend has matured in to a nimble mountain goat and the other into a lover of chairs, preferably his own, and the watching of WW2 documentaries while sipping a large one. So our 'excursion' today in search of the 'second best beach cafe in the world' was touched by a) my silent concerns about the word cafe and b) what appeared not in the least bit a gentle five minute stroll through 'Bluebell Wood', but the gradual realization of a decent into the unknown down and up and up and down the very steep worthy of JRR Tolkien and the advent of cliffs. Luckily, the friend is used to handling children, and for all I know hobbits (ie never telling them the truth about the rigours of any impending encounter and relying on their general wide eyed innocence) and therefore thoroughly (but unintentionally I'm sure) misrepresented this as a 'little stroll' which had, within fifty steps, Julie howling with laughter at my sudden predicament (despite the abundance of pretty bluebells).
However we eventually made it, and the cafe thankfully turned out not strictly to be a cafe, and our swift footed Achilles even raced back up to get the car to rescue us from a dreaded, actually physically impossible as far as I was concerned, return trip.
The dangers of such 28yr old re-acquaintances are of course mitigated by the gradual realization that even after all this time not much has really changed. Circumstances, choices, of course, but not that mysterious bonding of individuals that makes them friends in the first place (especially in the general adversity that was Bristol University). These great mysteries are worthy of the greatest literature, which is why I am now safely sitting at our open hotel window in the sunshine watching (and listening to) the waves break again and again and quite happily reading The Illiad.

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