18 December 2016

Fog

Ridge Farm and the old phone box in Ridge
Yesterday, Borehamwood was my oyster as Shirley attended the "Strictly Come Dancing" final. I had planned a country walk but had not anticipated fog. What the hell - I donned my boots anyway.

On this country walk, I found myself chatting with three people I met.There was a seventy something farmer at Summerswood Farm. We talked about country paths, dairy farming, horses. and the volume of traffic on the A1 which bisects his acres.

In the village of Ridge, in "The Old Guinea" I met a tattooed Serbian barman who supports Tottenham Hotspur. We talked about football and Serbia and the village of Ridge. The pub's current character is very different from how it must have been in the past. It has transmogrified into an Italian eating house, specialising in stone-baked pizzas. No longer farmers in mucky wellies and tradesmen propping up the bar and chewing the cud over a pint or two.
"The Old Guinea" in Ridge
The third person I met was a tall woman with blonde dreadlocks and a gold stud in her nose. She was called Debbie and she was dog walking for an elderly couple. It turns out that she was born within six weeks of my birth in 1953. In some respects we have seen the same world unfolding as we grew up and grew older. She said several things - amongst them - "Isn't Hertfordshire a brilliant county for walking in?"

Diplomatically, I retorted, "All English counties are great for walking in."

She had a sunny disposition in spite of arthritic joints. She summarised our parallel lives with this - "Don't you think we are damned lucky to  live in England? It's a bloody brilliant country." 

And of course I agreed before bidding her farewell and carrying on with my foggy Hertfordshire ramble. It may be a great county for rambling in - when you can actually see it!

22 comments:

  1. You sound just like Bill Bryson. Did Mrs Pudding get her magic ticket to see the final?

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    1. Yes she did Sue. She was near the front of the validation queue and secured ticket numbers 9 and 10. Both she and our daughter were wowed by the experience.

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  2. The love of one's own country is wonderful...it's how it should be. I know that is how I feel towards Australia...true blue! :)

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    1. I am sure that Australia is quite good if you like that kind of thing.

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  3. It was very foggy here yesterday but it did lift after a while. Did Mrs P enjoy the Final?

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    1. She absolutely loved it ADDY and secured seats on the front row having queued from 1.30am.

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  4. She's right about a great country for rambling. I know that and I've never been there. My son-in-law (American) rambles when he visits.

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    1. She said "county" not "country" Red but in any case it is a fine country for rambling on ancient paths that cross private land.

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    2. Hey, I better get more than new glasses when I make a slip like that. Got any suggestions?

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    3. Tie two magnifying glasses to your head.

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  5. More to the point, how did Shirley enjoy the Strictly final? It isn't my cup of tea as a rule, but I did watch it all on this occasion.

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    1. She loved it Mr P and so did our daughter Frances. They were so close to the action. A magical experience. Perhaps next year you will attend a show with Mrs Parrots. You will need to buy a glittery suit from Oxfam or Cancer Research UK. Advise Mrs Parrots to apply online via the BBC website - Go On a Show from August...

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  6. Such a pity it was so foggy YP, but that's always the risk in the winter months. Maybe you can go back again, next time Mrs YP has tickets for another popular show?

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    1. Yes. I would love to actually see Hertfordshire CG... but it was an atmospheric and unusual walk.

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  7. So glad Mrs YP got into Strictly. Kept thinking about her when I was watching it.

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    1. She was on the very front row facing the band - up the dance floor with camera points on both sides. She loved it.

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  8. i want to know how you have these conversations? do you start them or do the other people?

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    1. Many times when I walk I speak to no one but on this particular day... well it just happened. Me to the farmer: "Is this where the public footpath goes?"... Me to the barman, "So which team do you support?". Debbie the dog walker to me: "Is this the way to Ridge?"

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  9. All that fog might limit the view but it makes for photos with a different mood to those of brilliant sunshine.

    Alphie

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  10. Weirdly, we're having fog in Florida at the moment, too. So you're not alone! And this is the SUNSHINE STATE!

    Fog is always great for picture-taking, at least.

    An Italian restaurant called The Old Guinea?! Isn't that one of those jokes we're not supposed to laugh at anymore?

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    1. Err... I don't get that old joke Steve. You'll have to explain.

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