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!