In common with most, I have enjoyed seeing pictures and reading about the adventures and interesting journeys and holidays of friends over the past couple of months. The pictures, video links and stories have poured in from all over the world. You know what I mean. While I celebrate and enjoy such tales I have enjoyed no such adventures and was beginning to feel a wee bit left out so I seized the moment over the Bank Holiday Weekend and declared it Crumble Time. I went then, without any hesitation or debate, all the way to Whitsbury in the New Forest and then Churt in Surrey.
Now, to some global travellers, Whitsbury and Churt may not seem very adventurous. They aren't. Here though is the thing.
My kind hosts in the New Forest threw just a fabulous evening party which had the magnetic appeal of being characterised with a guest list full of old Army chums and others, who I had not met before, but all of whom were interesting people doing interesting things. Equally, my very kind hosts the next day, in Churt, threw a super lunchtime party which was joyful in that it transcended the generations. While I met many old friends, I also met new folk both old and young. Chatting with some of the newly qualified doctors at the party confirmed a consistent theme in my experience and on this blog. Disregard everything you hear about this generation which is disparaging. They are smarter, more worldly and more interesting than ever we fossils were. I rejoice in that. We can celebrate that whatever else we mucked up we got one thing right. Obviously, they don't know everything.... as one old boss once said to me.... 'I taught you everything you know.... but not everything I know.'
The takeaway here, for me at least, was a reminder that it isn't what you do or where you do it; it's who you do it with which remains etched on the memory.
How special indeed are friends?