It’s ages since I met up with my cousin Russell, so it was great to find we were both free and up for a walk on Sunday. Russell suggested a route which was for both of us a real trip down memory lane, places close to Guildford centre yet ones which I haven’t been to in literally decades.
We made our way up to Pewley Down by a route new to me but which took in the flat Russell lived in with his father, Frank in his mid and later teens. Pewley Down, like elsewhere on this walk, is a place I have walked so many times with my immediate family, and of course that included the dogs. In my mind I can see my black Labrador Tessa hobnobbing with the dogs being walked there, rushing off for a mad game for several minutes, then returning to us, her tongue lolling and her face a happy grin. Our wire haired dachshund was more reserved, and would watch, enviously I sometimes thought. Pewley Down has always been a special place to me, and that was confirmed on Sunday.
We continued along the narrow path of the Pilgrims’ Way. There were more people, more dogs than I remembered. Then the gradual climb to St Martha’s Chapel, a place my parents both loved. If we ever had visitors from Ireland or Canada they would always be taken to St Martha’s. The horse service, where there was always a donkey, was an annual fixture of family life.
We stopped there for a while. Russell was telling me about his mother-in-law, now in a care home, her body needing that care, and her mind alive and active. I ate some of my lunch. Russell, for reasons unexplained, had left his in his car.Continue reading