Friday morning started in a strange way which some how became an uplifting experience.
We were up early as Agnes (my Wife) was planning a cycle ride with her friend. As the early dawn light started to shine, it was clear that a fine day was beginning to emerge. Agnes set off at around 7:45am, as I began playing Mum, sorting out the kids breakfast and feeding the dog.
Around 8:30 am I set out with the dog, for the bit of the day I really enjoy. I generally walk the dog twice in a day, around & about a couple of miles each time. Our position in the village is ideal for getting out into the country with huge green fields and woodlands easily accessed in minutes. Having had the second wettest year since records began the clothing required is warm winter wear and the vital pair of Wellington boots.
I plugged in the headphones for my iPhone and the turned the audio book on. The view of a clear blue sky lifted my spirits on this mid winter morning. I am rarely bothered by the cold days of winter, it is generally the darkness that gets me down. On an average mid-winter’s day it does not get fully light much before 8 am, and then it will be getting dark again from around 3pm. You really do appreciate a sunny bright sky when you see it.
Striding off toward Flordon the dog was straining at the leash, thrilled to be out and about.
And then the Phone began to ring…
It was Agnes.
Her voice was slightly concerned and I knew that something was wrong. It turned out her bike had sustained a puncture and as chance had it, they were at the furthest point of their ride from home. I suggested that she walked back (partially joking.) and suffice to say her response was short and forthright. I looked at the dog who seemed to realise what was going on as she turned and headed for home. The look on her face was less than happy!
Retuning to the house I picked up the car. Fortunately we have big enough car to fit in the now non- functioning bicycle. The phone message had suggested that Agnes and friend were out in the middle of the boon docks. I understand at this point that the good residents of Ketteringham (hearing their village described as the boondocks), may have something to say about that.
After about 10 minutes of driving, I was nearing the location.
The phone went again.
The message was slightly confused, but Agnes was suggesting that things we sorting themselves out. I was about 500m away, and could not help feeling somewhat frustrated that I had been called away from a perfectly good walk, for apparently no good reason whatsoever!
It turned out that Agnes and friend had been rescued by a passing gentleman, who was happy to help.
They had met Arthur!
Arthur lives in Hethersett and has for many years been delivering papers around the local villages to the south of Norwich. On average cycling 17 miles a day, Arthur was well equipped with a good quality bike and a trailer attached to carry his papers. Most likely from the years of experience under his belt, Arthur carried a comprehensive puncture repair kit too.
I asked Arthur how long he had been doing the paper round . He responded that he had been at it for 40 years and that in fact that he was 80 years old. He quietly went about his business and really was the Good Samaritan of the day for Agnes and Irina.
It was a real bit of luck that Arthur came by and we were all grateful for his kind act. He would not accept a tip and said that he didn’t drink a beer when offered. In the light of that situation, I thought it only reasonable course of action was to recognise Arthurs credentials in this blog.
So here is a toast to Arthur. Possibly the oldest paper delivery operative in Norfolk and an all round good bloke!!
I set off home, Arthur packed his trailer and the girls set off in the opposite direction. I had a smile on my face, having had the honour of meeting Arthur and started to think about writing this piece.
And then the phone began to ring!
I was just about half way back home and Agnes reported that the bike had gone down again. Three point turn, further 10 minute drive, pick up bike, pick up wife, go home, get on with your life…..
Funny the little things that can raise your spirits at this dark time of the year
Have a great week!..