The second Thursday in May
It was a glorious evening here last night. I was in Avening, in the company of friends where in the space of a couple of hours, we chatted about food waste and the appropriate care in hospitals of people with dementia. Of course, we were glad to catch up with what’s going on in our families and learned that a friend’s daughter is expecting twins. Great news but oh my, will she have her hands full!
I accidentally missed my book group meeting the other night, so couldn’t really contribute to the conversation about the book I should have read: Patrick Gale’s A Place Called Winter and although I took down the details of our next read I soon realised that we will be on the other side of the Atlantic when they meet to discuss it. Never mind – I’m always happy to have suggestions for books I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.
I’d also missed a couple of local walks, each of which ended up in a pub, though one of the pubs sounded so good I think we need to visit it anyway. I’m not part of the skittles team, so couldn’t lay any claim to their recent victory but I was as thrilled as the rest to hear of their success. Go Avening! I won’t be out of the loop for long though, because a bunch of us decided to get together in our garden to make a few softpots.
Especially interesting was the letter from the organiser of the Vine Project, a charity many of us have supported by means of a friend and local volunteer. The stories from the students we’ve supported by sending school clothes and materials were encouraging and the first-hand reports from our friend motivate us to help her further.
Melissa from Woefuldane Dairy just up the road brought some of her cheese for us to taste which prompted conversations about all kinds of things ranging from paperwork and running a small business to dairy farming generally, milk quotas and the price of milk. I think the subject of animal welfare and the EU might have crept in there too, because somehow, the clock kept on ticking and it was getting on for 10pm.
Over coffee, we chatted about cruises, South America, personal shoppers in John Lewis, local healthcare and a recent visit from a former resident of the village but actually, someone I didn’t remember – a friend quickly worked out that she moved away in 1983, the year before we moved in, which prompted a general gasp. Where have the years gone? For this is a rather special bunch of friends: I’ve known some since we first arrived in Gloucestershire and gradually got to know the others since then. Some, I hardly know at all, but I soon will – when we next run the cake sale or cook for a tea party, we’ll pitch in together and chat, we’ll discover connections and shared interests. We might find ourselves walking together to the pub, or on the same quiz team.
Funny to think that women have been getting together like that on the second Thursday of every month in Avening since 1930, isn’t it? Since someone started a WI in the village, in fact.