Monday, 20 October 2008

Uphill

Yesterday I found myself striding over a grassy ridge with the wind in my hair and the sweat trickling down my back. I was finding it all a bit hard going as every time I paused for breath I was overtaken by corduroy clad pensioners. It was slightly disturbing.
‘You’re a bit red,’ said a woman speeding past whose hair retained shape even as the wind gusted past scattering crows and low flying squirrels. She was perfectly cool, her dentures and mascara flawless.
‘What vitamins have this lot been taking?’ I puffed irritably to my aunt. This was after all her regular hiking group and she should be privy to their secret stash. She just smiled sagely and swinging her specialised bag of super nuts and raisins, deftly leapt over the next stile and disappeared into the woods beyond.

We did over 11 miles all in all up what she called ‘gentle slopes’ and what I called ‘bloody hills’ over Royston Heath. The landscape changed mile by mile from empty farm land with golden stubble fields and chalky mud to thick woods opening up to quaint villages followed by golf courses and heath land. The sun shone, then flagged then shone again and the wind blew keenly.

At the lunch break I surreptitiously massaged my knees and put blister packs on whilst the oldies caroused, clinking pints and talking loudly about whose funeral they had last attended. I tried to feign fresh youth by flicking my hair nonchalantly and cricked my neck. By the time we got to the tea and cake bit I was walking like Frankenstein. The rest of ‘em could have gone on till supper. Bloody pensioners. .

Actually it was lovely to get out and just stride out for miles. I have been worrying so much about things lately and I needed to clear my head and get perspective and it seemed to have worked. I did not get the job but I can now tell you that I was a strong candidate (it was a producer position for BBC Africa Service) but they were looking for an anchor and the bloke who got it had 17 years experience. Not a lot I can do about it


At midnight last night I lit candles for Teelo (and the cat)..already gone a year. I toasted all of his friends and family and mine and gave Teelo a shot of gin for the journey as I didn’t have a stone to lay on his grave. Then I slept and dreamt that I had a story that I needed to give as a gift. It was written in ink on yellow parchment. I know it is here somewhere.

12 comments:

Janelle said...

ah gorgeous post tanvi! BEAUTIFUL and as always dead pan hilarious burst my heart real. thanks.
love always xxx janelle

Chimera said...

THANK YOU Janelle.
T xxxxx

family affairs said...

I'm sorry to hear about the job - shame that sounded like a great one....but there will be others - what will be will be...Lx

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh! I'm so sorry you didn't get the job though I truly believe that when you don't get a job, you didn't really want it. (Not just you, I mean everyone.)

Funny about the hiking. Here on Capitol Hill, all of us middle aged ladies ride our bikes everywhere. We are hale and hearty, mostly (I think) because we aren't forced to sit at desks in corporate jobs like most 30-somethings. It gives us a leg up in terms of physical activity. Well. Sometimes.

Nao Sims said...

Your writing is really fun, you had me laughing my head off over here. Great blog! I coming back for sure. Will link you up to mine.

Val said...

sorry about the job man - I think it means there is a better one around the corner and thenyou will be glad you didnt get this one.
Love the hiking story and cartoon :-) fabulous post :-)

Miranda said...

Geez, I know how you feel. When I go walking with my parents-in-law they have to virtually tie a string around me and pull me up the hill (and one is a stroke survivor one a cancer survivor, geez!)

I'm sorry you didn't get the job but this means we can get cracking on a collaboration, no? Encouraging that you were up there, though.

And can't believe it's a year (seems so soon yet also so far) since Teelo died. Thinking of you. xxx

Oh and LOVE LOVE LOVE your writing

Suzie said...

I cant belive its been a year. I love hiking I should try some too to clear my head

herhimnbryn said...

Here via Nao's place ( isn't the blog world amazing?).

I know older people like that, my Pa makes me look like a snail when we walk together!

Love your writing, will be back.

Chris Stobart said...

Specialised bag of super nuts and raisins?

Ye Gods, that sounds like the packed lunches St Chris gave us on school trips. I never thought my waistline would yearn for those disciplines...

tam said...

Lovely post. giggle. My mom and I once went on a longer than intended walk with Norman. (landy ran out of petrol) ended up walking for hours in october heat. By lunchtime i was pale and heatstroke vomiting, Norman striding out, unphased. Must have been in his 70s then. Me - a healthy teenager!

Chimera said...

Ta for all the comments dear ones and lovely to meet new readers too! Welcome nao and herhimbryn.
Gawd Chris..I remember all those packed lunches... I feel sad I didn't appreciate them at the time!
Hey Tam, Bushmen like Norman..so fit. I remember Guida Bellcross and my Mum walking us out of danger in the bush once after we had all got lost. They made us suck on stones to keep from freaking out with thirst! It worked.
T x