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Monday, 27 August 2012

taking the air

this morning i woke to the sound of the wind in the trees. i have been cooped up in my house for the last two days. it has been self inflicted and necessary but this morning the urge to get out and into that fresh air was overwhelming. knowing that rain was forecast i got myself up and out. wrapping a scarf around still swollen glands i reasoned a walk in the fresh air would do me good. it did.  

i grew up two minutes walk away from a local park. not any old local park, a park with an old tudor hall in it. i haven't been to bramhall park for quite a while. some things have changed, others are exactly the same. taking the air this bank holiday morning memories came flooding back. the first boy i fell in love with lived the other side of this park. we used to meet in the park when he walked his dog, we sat at the same bench while his dog ran around. looking at it this morning i smiled at the memory long since resigned to the back reaches of my mind. walking in front of the hall i realised that hedges have been allowed to grow over tops of walls. walls that i remember balancing on as a child. walls i remember photographing my best friend standing on beneath a giant tree; the tree is even larger over twenty years on. walking through the flat open space in front of the hall i remembered christmases gone by where my family and family friends would meet on boxing day morning to play a huge game of football. this was the dads domain. the object of the game not just to win but to make sure you didn't kick the ball too much to the right where there was a steep hill leading down to a pond. it always happened, usually more than once and each time there would be a groan and whoever had kicked it was dispatched to go and fetch it. it was a great way of letting the kids run off steam and gave the mums a chance to catch up with themselves from the previous day. the most recent memories involve my mum. she got remarried in the hall ten years ago this year. wandering around it i stopped at the door we took the wedding photos in front of. i smiled at the memory and reflected on what has happened since; we are all in different places now. 

today i noticed that it is not just my memories that are around the park. yes, the house tells the story of hundreds of years. you can take the guided tour and discover the history. but today i noticed the park benches. the stories of the ordinary people. reading the names i knew only one, a local mp who died of breast cancer while in office, she was a heroic lady. it made me wonder who the other people were. how did pam light up their lives? what breed was jimmy, walter's dog? did bessie hughes walk around the park often? it was good to think and remember. it was good to walk and be outside. i am grateful for my health and my happiness. i am thankful for my friends and family. i am glad i made it home before the rain.


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