Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A joy to be alive

Had a male bonding moment this weekend. A good mate just turned 50. No riotous hedonistic party for him, no no no, we did a 15 mile walk of 5 local hill peaks! Just five of us, all long term married (not a divorce in the lot), all with kids. When I woke up Saturday morning, with dark skies and a dusting with snow I was a bit concerned, but frankly I was really looking forward to it.

It was marvelous. The weather cleared, so though there was a cold wind, the sky was gorgeous. The countryside couldn't have been better, and with the cold there was a distinct lack of other walkers out. I thought I knew out neck of the woods pretty well, but with wee kiddies, we don't get out rambling as much as we'd like. I saw parts of Surrey I'd never glimpsed before. Just perfect view after perfect view.

The company was good too, we were all in a good mood, and as with any good walk, we changed partners every so often so the conversation ebbed and drifted the way it should. A couple (well, maybe even a few) stops at your typical country pubs to nosh our sarnies and have a pint didn't hurt too.

I am firmly of the opinion that the vast majority of mankind is good. With the papers filled with the usual horror stories of relationships gone bad, child abuse and other monstrosities its a real pleasure to just talk to moral humans. Doing their best to raise their kids and love their wives, it did my soul good.

There was a party that night, with the women cracking the required jokes about frail men as all of us where creaking and groaning as we moved by that point. The food was good and the packs of kids of various ages roamed about the house around us. It was just a fine fine day.

Sunday broke with more clear blue skies and after the requisite taxi servicing to swimming lessons, birthday parties and visits to friends, we had the kids back home early afternoon. It was such a nice day we got out into the garden and bashed at the veg patch to plant the early onion and garlic sets, and get the broad beans out. Then the kids jumped on their bikes with the neighbours and dashed up and down the drive.

I was standing there at one point, watching the little Princess laughingly try to keep up with her brothers on her little stabalised bike. The sun was shining, the breeze light, and I was just content with the world. Truely happy.


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