All the house clearing, the car journeys, the phone calls, the documents, the time - it has been hard to get out for long walks in recent weeks. Consequently, I was happy to drive down Shorts Lane yesterday afternoon ready to tackle a very familiar walking route that I worked out thirty two years ago. I have written about it before in this blog.
For some reason, I was in the mood for that familiarity. I reckon that I have done that particular walk more than two hundred times. Every time it's a little bit different than the time before. I have seen many changes along the way.
One of the great benefits of walking is that it helps you to think. Bootsteps create a fundamental rhythm that tempts ideas and thoughts from their hiding places. I was thinking about Simon - far distant childhood memories and what I shall say at his funeral service. Bob Brague reminded me that a eulogy is meant to praise the departed and that is how I shall seek to say goodbye to Simon. Good things.
My very first memory is of being at the foot of the stairs in my childhood home. The grown ups were all upstairs including Dr Baker and I didn't understand for I was two and a half years old. Then a baby cried and soon after my father came downstairs . I think he said, "You have got a baby brother" but my memory may have added that detail during the long passage of years. The business of remembering can be so fickle. Of course the baby in question was Simon. He was born in the same bed where I came into the world three calendar years before.