Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I'm a conservation convert. I eventually arrived at my destination (it looks so different in the dark with owls swooping scarily across the windscreen) to meet my fellow weekenders - they couldn't have been better-selected if they were chosen by Central Casting for a Julie Walters film.

Tall, dark, handsome man with an exotic name and a shorter, funnier friend; widowed Pensioner from deepest Yorkshire with a stealthlike wit which came from nowhere and floored you every time; quiet balding thirty-something Land Registrar who sensibly slept in after 6.30am on the first morning and wondered what he'd done wrong for the rest of the weekend; skinny, unassuming chap who arrived later than me (hurrah!) and turned out to be a lawyer despite having a chin; and a middle-aged chap who initially reminded me of my step-father but turned out to be rather nice.

There was an equal number of women - sprightly Course Leader who mothered everyone and made me feel right at home; verging on the anorexic, pale, pretty red-head who didn't say much but farted quite a bit; beautiful, bohemian, 40-something music teacher with nose-studs and even more eye-liner than me; jolly, northern Nursery Nurse who was also broad of the beam and made me feel better in jeans; and a quiet medical secretary who was much chattier on a direct basis than in a group.

We bonded, walked, chatted and did damage to a few unsuspecting rhododendrons. My co-ordinating hat, scarf, top (and had they known it, knickers) ensemble was appreciated as was the fabulous Spring sunshine and lack of rain. I promptly came home and booked 2 more weekends for later in the year.

Since then I've enjoyed a Round Table Annual Dinner ( the Little Chap looked lovely in his tux) and watched my boys get beat at the Semi-Finals - it didn't matter too much 'cos our local rivals lost too.

I managed to stay awake, just, last night to witness a Peter Pan of Pop parade proudly in front of an appreciative crowd - I realised that I will finally have conquered my self-esteem issues when I can appear on stage in bright green sequinned hot pants and still hope to get laid - Andy Bell, who's your tailor?

NB to Little Lou - no matter how hard I beg, fetch me salad without the dressing for lunch for the foreseeable future! I will thank you eventually.

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