Other not so old friends come to mind while reflecting on this post: Brian Burgess RIP with whom I was a boy at school and who was only 4 days younger than I Memory of Brian . My oldest friend from Beaumont who features elsewhere in this blog at -1970 Travels with John - informs me that his wife who is 15 years his junior is currently dangerously ill and most recently, local friend Jocelyn Merivale has just died age only 66.
Added to all this is was the fulfilling only last Sunday, of the request by my father who died in June 2014, to scatter his ashes and those of mum from the top of Box Hill in Surrey with most of their extended family including great grand children being present.
Yet the new generation's spirit very much influenced by the lives of the passing generations, shines through.
Maytrees min influenced by mum's decision to cycle to Berlin at the outbreak of WWII before accepting dad's proposal of marriage, then decided to cycle to Paris. As part of the training for that not easy feat she entered the London Duathlon, again in Richmond Park, last Sunday. Unfortunately she could not persuade any friend to cycle the 45 miles and run the 15k with her. However as an encouragement I accompanied her to the Park and stayed for a while drinking copious mugs of coffee with her before the start. Despite the nerves (and her father's coffee) she finished really well.
Thankfully a friend from Exeter university was as keen as maytrees min to try cycling to Paris for which they set out together from Wimbledon early on Thursday morning. That evening however disaster almost struck as she was knocked of her bike at a roundabout near Newhaven. Thankfully despite some scary looking photographs depicting many scrapes and much blood, no bones were broken and the damage to the bike was reportedly not too bad either. They then carried on but late on Friday night after Dieppe in France it was reported that maytrees min's bike had puncture. Still on Saturday she texted to say that they had successfully made Paris - quite an achievement.
As it happens the success of maytrees min was reported as we were enjoying lunch with her elder sister maytrees ma and Emma her baby daughter. (Husband and father of Emma was away that day with an old uni friend). The wide eyed laughter and concentration from Emma not yet 1 year old, provided a great reminder of the depth of the human spirit.
Life really does go on and despite the sadnesses following the deaths of so many loved ones I am more convinced than ever that Julian of Norwich that great English woman who lived as long ago as C14 got it right when she said:
"All manner of things will be well".