Sunday, 12 July 2009

A short walk in the New Forest

The mother and the grandmother came to visit. One interpretation might be that they came to see whether I'm surviving, another is that I'm their excuse for exploring the castles and gardens of England in summer. Either way, it was comforting to have people from a previous life around.

My greatest fear was for the endurance of the grandmother - she is at an age where only one company will provide travel insurance. Luckily this corporation recently received a $170 billion bailout package, so they must have some cash for emergencies. And you need insurance when you're 87, or at least your family does. But she surprised us all with her tenacity and agility, and was (almost) always keen for more. Generally a very good tourist.

On the first day they were here we went to the New Forest. Saw the ponies with fresh fillies, the manor house at Beaulieu, bought fish and chips in Lymington. And stopped for a brief walk in the summer woods. 200 meters in we found a pretty pink flower. "What is this?" asked the mother, all of us keenly aware of the limits of only knowing plants from the southern hemisphere. The grandmother confidently reached out, caressed a leaf. "Foxglove of course. Digitalis."

That's when I realised we were going to be be just fine.

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