Sunday, 2 November 2008

A Walk In The Countryside.

I recently met up with my sister in law, Gloria and we walked along an established cycle path that goes on for miles, but we stopped after an hour or so and walked back again. A round trip of about seven miles. It was a beautiful Friday, which happened to be my day off. It was a dry day with an autumnal feel about it. The scenery was lovely good old English countryside.

My sister in law has recently had a return of breast cancer, after twelve years. She is a very brave person and is often in pain but she is not one for complaining. She walks along this cycle path at every opportunity that she has and she holds down a part time job in a care home. She is married to my brother, the paramedic. (Remember that post I recently wrote about him?)
I don't normally swear, but this cancer really has begun to get me down and the way it affects not only the sufferer who has it, but also their families who are also drawn in to it. I know many others have to do battle to cancer too and statistically one in three will get it at sometime in their life. I sometimes imagine fate to be a large pointer somewhere or other out yonder, saying, "Eeny meeny miney mo,  You two escape but YOU must go!" I am sure that it has  nothing to do with God........... its just the way that the world is made and ****ing bad luck if it happens to you.
Get back to the subject, Maggie...... the cycle path.

We walked a good distance, stopping now and then for me to take photos, when we came to a bridge and a lot of gravel on the side of the path.
Gloria surprised me by saying, "This is where a man pushed me off my bike when I was young and he groped me and I fell on all this gravel. Here are the scars that I still have."
What an evil creep! He ran from the scene and cycled off. I supposed she considered herself lucky that he didn't do worse. There was no one else about.
I reacted by asking her if she felt vulnerable these days when she walks down this path by herself and she replied that she wasn't going to let some pervert stop her from enjoying herself. She also remarked that if he did it now he would be in for a shock as she'd had a mastectomy! She is a brave lady to be able to laugh at herself like that. We both laughed as we imagined the scene.

We noticed there were gaggles of school boys walking along the path in the same direction as us. At first I thought they must be playing truant but as there were so many of them I reckoned the whole school would have to be doing it. There were far too many of them. I risked asking three young lads what was happening? I was obviously eyed with suspicion at first. Was I a school inspector or a child molester? However, a blushing boy of about thirteen told me that the school was on an organized hike. Didn't see any adults in charge for a long time. Trust us to pick such a day to come here. Gloria told me there were usually lots of older people about and apart from the risk to life and limb from mad cyclists, racing very fast and not ringing a bell (if they had one) who think they own the place, it was usually quiet. In fact the cyclists are very quiet and sneak up behind in a dangerous manner. Isn't it illegal not to have a bell? Not that there is any one to bother if it is.

After a while some boys  stopped us, "Excuse me," said an angelic looking lad, "There's some rocks just along the path, mind you don't trip." We thanked the boys and Gloria muttered that she felt like slapping him round the face! Did he think we were so decrepit that we couldn't walk along the path in a straight line? The rocks were well off the path. Or maybe the school had asked them to help some old person and they had to report at the end of the day what they'd done.
Gloria and I suddenly fell about laughing at the thought that we were so old that we couldn't pass a few rocks without stumbling. We laughed so much that we both realized we needed the loo. Well it was all that laughing and our advanced years and apparently sagging bladders! There obviously wasn't one for miles around. Of course a bloke could just go behind a bush with no problem. My friend Hetty, was once out with me when she just had to go.......... so she went and squatted behind a bush without a care in the world. A gang of kids walked by laughing when they passed us and they had obviously seen her. I must write about Hetty one day. Another brave lady in a completely different way.
Back to the cycle path.
We walked gingerly after that, with mincing steps and tried hard not to laugh or think about our urgent need.

Eventually we came to the end of the walk and were within easy reach of some public loos. (A rare sight indeed, these days.) Too bad they were overflowing and out of order. Oh well....... we had waited this long, so we got to Gloria's car and drove to her house. She dashed to the downstairs loo and I raced upstairs!
We then had another good laugh and sat down to soup, crackers and cheese and a huge pot of tea.
Yes, an enjoyable day out, lovely scenery, good company and lots of laughter. A relief from the tensions of life! Did I say relief!!!!!


Lindsay said...

Sounded like a good day out and a lovely photo.

aims said...

Bless your sister-in-law.

What courage she has. What emotions she must deal with.

My dearest friend just had her first mastectomy. She goes in soon for her final reconstruction. She has done it alone with the support of her 84 yr. old mother.

So yes - who decided on this Maggie? What is fate? What is justice?

(apparently I'm still in the tumble of emotions including anger)

aims said...

btw - I would have peed behind a bush. I just don't care enough about others seeing me do that.

Had bladder cancer when I was 30. When I have to go - I have to go.

Suburbia said...

You really have had a big basin full of that disease Maggie haven't you. However days like those do so much to help dispel the beast, even for a while.

There's nothing so good as a day out with a good friend to lift our spirits.

Lovely Pic :)

The Dotterel said...

What a polite, well-mannered youth. You must let me know the name of the school. (And remember, everyone over twenty-one is ancient to a small child!)

CrazyCath said...

What a wonderful time the two of you had and I loved how you wrote about it, with your little detours from the cycle path and getting back to it.

What a great sister-in-law with great courage. Cancer is a terrible disease of this world and I agree that it has nothing to do with God. Take care of yourselves.

I am not blogging as frequently, but I am still here. (not that easy to get rid of... hehehe)

Maggie May said...

Lindsay...... yes it was a good day out.

Aims....... gloria didn't have a reconstruction. That's what started the laughing, thinking of the shocked groper.
You are brave to be able to pee behind a bush! Sorry you had to face cancer.

Suburbia......... yes, laughter is a great healer. Sometimes you have to laugh or else it would just be too depressing.

The dotterel......... polite young lad! I think it was a bit tongue in cheek!

Crazycath....... Hello!
Glad you walked the cycle path with us & found it enjoyable.
Miss your posts but you deserve a rest.

Mean Mom said...

Good photo!

Your sister-in-law sounds like good company and very brave, as you say.

We have a cycle path close by and I walk along it, with a friend, sometimes. It is quite hazardous, though, as the cyclists seem to think that the path is just for them. They spoil a good walk with their ignorance and bad manners.

My uncle died a couple of days ago after the most horrendous battle with cancer. He had been a smoker, and had lived with only one lung, for quite a few years. He had managed very well, up until a few months ago, when he suddenly became very ill.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Maggie!
Your Sister-in-law sounds like a very brave woman indeed! and such great fun too! In fact you and all of your family are so brave for going through all that you have had to go through!

And what a laugh I had reading the end of your text! I can just imagine the sight of the two of you walking along all twisted so as not to release any pee! haha
What a wonderful photo too! That looks like an absolutely beautiful natural area of the countryside! I hope those schoolkids are all respecting the laws of nature and everything is kept the way it should be!
Big Hug for you wonderful woman! and thank you for the very kind words you wrote to me on my Blog!!.... you inspire me to keep on writing!

dottie said...

True Grit, that's what comes to mind on reading this, Maggie. You did make me laugh about the Urgent Need - I never leave home without some tissues, just in case...

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

What a great post! I love the picture. You have such beautiful country. Your sister in law sounds wonderful. I pray she does well. I hate cancer. My daddy died from it when I was 11 and it devastated our little family. You have just gone through so much with your son in law and all that. I pray the Lord will strengthen you and give you peace. That was cute about the peeing behind the bush. I must say I agree with someone else that wrote. The older I get, I'm not as modest as I once was. I'm certainly not an exibitionist, but If you gotta go, you gotta go. :)

SandyCarlson said...

That sounds like a great day, Maggie May. How nice to share such an easy going time with Gloria.

God blses.

Sandi McBride said...

This is what I miss most about England...those lovely green fields and walking paths, the styles in the fence line to help me cross over the fences...just the sheer beauty of this country...yes, I miss it dearly.

Maggie May said...

mean mom....... Sorry to hear about your uncle. It is a terrible illness.

The Britt....... I think the school boys were treating the countryside very well from what I could see of it.Thanks for your kind words.

Dottie ........ not sure that tissues would have helped the situation very much! Maybe a bath towel! (NO, I didn't say that!)

Nana Trish...... Wish I had the nerve to squat behind a bush!

Sandy C...... it really was a very enjoyable day.

Sandi....... 2 Sandy's together! I think I would miss the countryside of England too if I was away from it. After all, we have access to countryside around most of our towns and inner cities have plenty of green spaces too. Very lucky.

cheshire wife said...

Wonderful photo. Lucky that you had good weather for you day off and were both able to enjoy yourselves.

Lulda Casadaga said...

What a wonderful day out with your sister-in-law. They say that laughter is the best medicine!
Sorry, I don't care how old I am or will be but, if I have to pee really bad, I'm going to do it! I just hope to have a tissue handy...don't like to drip dry!

On one of my visits to England I was stuck in the car with my friend and sister (who wouldn't stop the car) and I had to pee badly it hurt...we were on some highway with not even a shoulder to pull off; in broad daylight and no exits for miles. Now that was sheer torture and a painful memory!:D

Mean Mom said...

There's an award at my place and a tag, if you fancy it.

Lavinia said...

So enjoyable to read this. What an event-filled walk you had, and here I was thinking the English countryside was quiet as a tomb. I was especially interested to read this part:

"the risk to life and limb from mad cyclists, racing very fast and not ringing a bell (if they had one) who think they own the place, it was usually quiet. In fact the cyclists are very quiet and sneak up behind in a dangerous manner. Isn't it illegal not to have a bell? Not that there is any one to bother if it is."

Because that is *EXACTLY* the way cyclists are on this side of the pond too!~ Sneaking up behind, whizzing past you at a madman's speed, no bell, no warning.....its a terrible problem on city sidewalks.

david mcmahon said...

There's something very special about the English countryside, Maggie.

OvaGirl said...

That's a great post Maggie. and i know what you're saying about the randomness and injustice of this terrible disease. my mother fought breast cancer for many years, she left four daughters behind. I often think about myself and my three younger sisters. We are now aged 29 to 40.
And on my dark days I wonder... which one of us will it be?

Hadriana's Treasures said...

It's good to get out and have a laugh. Nice story Maggie.

Maggie May said...

Cheshire wife... yes wonderful weather we had.

Luida C...... that sounded really painful!

Mean mum...... thanks for that.

Lavinia ....... so you get the mad cyclists too!

David M ...... something very special, I think.

Ova girl....... best not to think of it as it might never happen. MY mum also had breast cancer.

Hadriana.......... thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

The Boisterous Butterfly-by said...

I have an award for you over at my place. Please come and get it.

Wendy said...

Oh my gawd - what fun! I've done the same thing. Been asked by a youngster if I needed help for some reason (can't think right now) and felt soooo old!! Then started laughing and nearly peed my pants!
Speaking of peeing in a bush - I did it oh, about a month ago. Down by the lake. Nobody was about and I just had to go. Didn't want to leave the peaceful lake with ducks just to find a loo (or washroom as we Canadians say).

So glad you had a lovely day for your walk. I take my hat off to your sister-in-law for her fortitude - such a long walk. And such a good sense of humour.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Great day Maggie - one you will long remember I'm sure. Thanks for sharing.

A x

Anonymous said...

I read you post, and I sigh, such courage!

Lovely pics,England never looks more lovely than in the autumn, or spring or summer, oh and the winter.

Should have gone behind a bush. And the young person who warned you of the rocks should have given you hope for the future rather than annoyed you. Good mannners and civility are the baserock of society...encourage it with grateful thanks when it happens.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi again Maggie!
I just came over to congratulate you on the nomination for post of the day!! Truly well-deserved!
I love your writing and your wonderful heart! x

Anonymous said...

Lovely post. Living in the countryside myself I have been caught short a few times and only had the sheep to see me.

Crystal Jigsaw xx

lmerie said...

What a wonderful walk! The time with your sister in law and what great chivalry in the young man! How kind!

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