Taking a Toffee from a Stranger

Bridge at the Anne Valley Trail, Dunhill, Co. Waterford
Bridge at the Anne Valley Trail, Dunhill, Co. Waterford

This morning I was out for a walk along the lovely Anne Valley Trail with puppy Stan on a lead for the first time. I had this feeling that I was seeing the world through new eyes and, to be honest, it was quite a relief as I was in one of those unsettled moods that can descend when the seas (of various descriptions) are rough.

It seemed like we had the place to ourselves; the birdsong was chirpy and the gorse was a gleaming yellow against the blue sky.

It was quite a surprise to round a bend and see five men strolling along. They were probably in their late sixties and there was an obvious camaraderie between them. They were full of the joys of Spring and before I knew it we were locked in conversation about the new angling club that’s being set up at the Anne Valley and how Trail had coped so well with the recent floods.

Just as we were parting, one of the men put his hand in his coat pocket and pulled out two toffee sweets wrapped in see-through crinkly paper. He thrust them into my hand and said to be sure not to share them with Stan who looked even tinier than he actually is!

The toffees were warm from being in the man’s hand and as I took off chewing them, I felt all the unsettledness settle and a deep sense of gratitude at the generosity of spirit of these quick-witted men.

Now this was a connection I wasn’t expecting and I never, ever thought I’d take a sweet from a strange man after all those warnings in my youth!

The Anne Valley Trail
The Anne Valley Trail

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

14 thoughts on “Taking a Toffee from a Stranger”

  1. That was kind! You can get a nice bond between older blokes, especially if there’s a shared interest. The one-upmanship of youth has gone, each is listened to in turn, stories and jokes told and repeated, a cool pint never far away. Nice pics of the Anne Valley Jean.

    1. Roy, interesting perspective on ‘older blokes.; I must say I tend to love them individually or in groups. I wonder is it that the one-upmanship of youth has passed or that they have more life experience and wisdom. I hope I meet that gang again as I’d love to know each of their life stories. There;s a lovely pub nearby so that could be a starting point for ‘deeper’ conversations or we could sit on one of the seats on the trail when the weather warms up a bit!

  2. Oh I love this! Goes with your “Connections” post of the day before, don’t you think? When I take my walks with Zeke, there is nothing I like more than when I run into someone and we strike up a conversation, then each go on our merry way. I haven’t had the chance of being offered a toffee yet but, like you, I would have taken it!

    I guess the warnings of our youth exist because we are too young to be able to judge if a person is friend or foe…

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