Yesterday, the Saturday of Bank Holiday weekend was damp, cold and gloomy. Inside the house about 15 of us gathered, and all was warmth, cheerful sound, and much consumption of food and drink, - much of it brought to the feast by our guests. If you had calculated how long we had all known one another, it would have been between 52 and 64 years. Nine of those present had been to school with my wife, some from as young as five years old!
If there is one thing which is far more valuable than the richest of treasures, it is the bond one has with long standing friends. True, when you meet up again you have a lot of news to catch up on. But the bond between you is so strong and long lasting, and you have so much in common, that you click back together as though you have seen one another only last week. I met up with a friend I last saw properly in about 1960, - though I had glimpsed her at a funeral a dozen years or so in the past. We pretty well picked up where we had left off.
This privilege of keeping up with a circle of friends, near and far off, is going to be another priceless thing affected by the horrible hike in the cost of postage. This modest blog is one way of keeping in touch. I have resolved on another one. Each week I shall write a "newsy" email to a friend. When I mail it, I shall ask the recipient to print it out - preferably on re-cycled paper, put it in an old envelope, and then carry it to a favourite armchair, or even to bed, and read it imagining it is a real letter that has arrived through the post. This will be my small protest at the cost of stamps, and a lovely way of keeping in touch with long standing friends!
We had visualised the "Vintage Chums" reunion being held in the garden, with some plopping into the swimming pool to cool off! The swimming pool still has it's cover over it. I haven't even bothered to see what the temperature of the water is. I know it was a lot warmer in March. Today we were supposed to take the old Sunbeam Talbot Tourer on a rally. We sadly cancelled as it was too cold and wet to contemplate it.
Meanwhile, last week we had the usual annual dose of local elections. As always happens there were three results. First, the government took a drubbing, as always happens with mid-term elections. Second, the turn out was pitifully low, and so the result totally unrepresentative, - only the zealots bothered to vote. And third the media made a huge song and dance about it all, as though something of great significance had occurred which would affect the future of our country.
What was of much more significance was that the shareholders of Aviva followed the example of those at Barclays, and voted in large numbers against the directors who are allowing the culture of naked greed to continue in our large financial institutions. I trust this will be a pointer to the future, and that thousands of other shareholders will join in, and eject whole boards of directors who don't change their present habits in double quick time.
Our "Cancer Patient's Handbook" is spreading ever further afield, and cancer patients are apparently finding it helpful, and giving us most encouraging feedback. If you would like a copy, or copies, do please let us know. The whole venture is non-profit making, with any surplus money going to our Cancer Department here at Ipswich hospital.
Well, I think that's enough to burden you with for one more week. We do hope you are all keeping well and happy, and will drop in to see us if you are ever up in Suffolk. With all good wishes, T & T.