Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Mr TCP and the Star Inn, Waldron ...


Down a leafy lane on the way to a hidden gem of a pub, passed roots of ancient trees hanging precariously onto the roadside, for a last meeting and parting of the ways.



N the last of three couples still alive had helped enormously looking after my uncle and they often went out for lunch.  I became one of the dwindling ‘crowd’… originally the three couples had met in Nairobi, Kenya – so the Africa connection was there.




The Star Inn at Waldron


The Star was the local pub for my uncle, who towards the end was dissuaded from driving, and relied on volunteers to help, or N and I doing some of the other driving.




Last year I was going to meet up with N… as life was happening around us all … but he was ill and we didn’t make it – then January comes around … and all is well: but I have a hip to be sorted out … so we had to wait til May.


 
The 12th century All Saints Parish Church
Then he announced we’d better make it quick … as he was off to Suffolk – two of his daughters sweeping him up to be nearer grandchildren etc.  Within a few days we had lunch booked and within a week – he’d gone!  His move had been facilitated by one of his sons-in-law – hence the acceleration.


We met as we’d often done before outside the pub and went in together … to be greeted by ‘oh gosh – we were talking about you all the other day and wondering what had happened’.



So we had a good laugh at being welcomed so happily and explained that wives and my uncle had sadly passed on … to which Dee said she thought that had been the case, and then saying we were here for a farewell visit.



Dee asked N if he’d like his usual table – yes please … and then she said she was so fond of Mr TCP – they had called him that … because obviously he’d smelt of TCP.  I could vouch for that … as the bathroom cabinets were full of bottles – half used, unopened, forgotten about etc!


'My book' is there - but Clive Cussler, the
author, has his name in large print!

So N and I had a happy nostalgic lunch, thinking about D and D, and A, at their usual table next to the ‘book-shelf’ where for a donation to the local church – please take a book and enjoy the read



What should I see but the novel “Skeleton Coast” by Clive Cussler, in association with Jack du Brul.  Another memory stirred – a visit with my mother to that particular Skeleton Coast in Namibia, southern Africa: just my sort of book: donation duly made.  Book review will follow.



We had pub fare … Ham, Egg and Chips for N, while I craved and had the Antipasto Grazing Board: cured meats, liver parfait, hot chorizo, sun dried tomatoes, houmous with fresh breads and a separate salad.




The ‘old boys’ always had to have a dessert … so I had to accompany N … he had a selection of ice-creams, while I had the Crème Brulé.




We nattered and remembered old times – reminiscing, which wasn’t good for N – as he’s a sentimental chap … so in the end we hurried out before the tears started to fall.  I said my farewells – and he ‘piled’ into his car and disappeared.  So sad for him … still he is having a new life with the grandchildren and two of his four daughters … the others will and do visit.  I too will get up to Suffolk anon ... 

Typical British signpost at the village of Waldron


So that was one of my days out … the pub is wonderful, in a delightful village tucked into the Sussex countryside … easy to get lost in wandering those lanes.




Ancient roots of one of the many trees
along the local Waldron track ways
The end of an era … difficult to believe … and because of the illnesses … it ended up being rather short and sweet as a final conclusion … perhaps for the best: sometimes it is easier. 


However we had that wonderful story to remember this day by … none of us realised that my uncle was known as Mr TCP … and that is now embedded into my psyche …

Goodbye Mr and Mrs TCP ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

41 comments:

Rhonda Albom said...

End of an era is always hard, but is sounds like you had a really enjoyable afternoon, good company and good food. It's nice to go somewhere so familiar. I don't know TCP, what does it smell like?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rhonda - I should have put that in I guess ... it's a disinfectant .. lemony, cleansing, clearing the nostrils sort of smell - not very strong at all .. but one you'd like or you wouldn't. It doesn't smell like dettol ... not sure what else to say really. We never used it at our home - depends on the household and usage from family members ... I've never used it.

Cheers and hope this helps - Hilary

Murees Dupé said...

Saying goodbye is always hard. But it sounds like the two of you had a wonderful lunch and visit. I'm a coward, I always avoid goodbyes. I'm a crier.
Wishing you the well, Hilary.

Elephant's Child said...

My partner's family were TCPers. My mama used dettol. TCP is a much less invasive smell isn't it? Distinctive, but not as cloying...

I too would have had sweaty eyes at that goodbye...

This was such a moving story. Thank you.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a grand time was had and it's good to revisit places to remember. I have to admit, I was getting a little teary by the end myself. A touching post, Hilary.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One last meal with N.. Glad you were able to make it happen, even if it did nearly bring you to tears. Seasons change. Just sometimes hard to live with that fact.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I know it's not possible for good things to remain always the same, but sometimes I wish it were so. At least you and Mr. N will have a great memory of lunch at the pub which by the way looked like SO MUCH FUN.

Love the new look of your blog.

Out on the prairie said...

What a charming story. I love to be greeted when I go out. On e place I used to go to always said certain people may meet their maker while in there, they spent so much time there.

My Life in the Charente said...

Goodbyes are always difficult but it sounds like you had a good lunch together. Hope all is well Diane

Karen Walker said...

oh, ending eras are so sad, but this is a lovely tribute to this particular one. Might I ask what is TCP?

Karen Walker said...

never mind, I just saw your response to Rhonda. Duh!

Karen Lange said...

Sounds like a delightful adventure! I always enjoy the descriptive and savory details you provide. :) It's great to see you back. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Memories to treasure for sure. Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Murees - I'm a crier too ... but was surprised to find N crying before me! But we'd always got on well ... and so it was necessary we'd had a farewell lunch at 'their pub' ...

@ EC - yes I'd agree about the invasiveness of dettol .. but that's what we used. Having not had kids .. it's not the kind of thing I keep around.

The end was tearful, but the lunch and remembrances had been cheerful .. so pleased you enjoy the story ... a happy-sad ending!

@ Mason - it's sad isn't ... and more of these times keep happening. But I'm happy to read you could relate our lunch and farewells ...

@ Alex - yes it was a close run thing ... but it was a lovely memory and as you say 'seasons change' ...

@ Teresa - yes I'd have like to go back a couple of decades and join in their weekly lunches - they sound fun ... and it was a good pub - which the the staff made so much fun for us ... Mr TCP - who'd have thought! Thanks re the look - not really what I wanted ... but I'll get there one day!

@ Steve - it was so much fun ... when they said we'd been wondering about us all and Mr TCP. I'm certain some will meet their maker at the pub, they spend so much time there ... a good story line though. Mr TCP - he will now be til the end of my days ...

@ Diane - goodbyes, fond farewells are always very difficult - at least we got one. We had a good time .. and yes, all well thank you.

@ Karen - I'm glad you enjoyed the tribute and posting ... and yes solved your TCP problem too!

@ Karen - thanks so much ... I enjoy writing the posts up. Memories to treasure and others revived .. thank you so much for your welcome back.

Thanks so much everyone - you too all have wonderful rest of the weeks - cheers Hilary

Christine Rains said...

It's always hard to say goodbye, but what a wonderful day. You always make me feel as if we're there with you. :)

Crystal Collier said...

Good memories, but it's so hard to lose the ones we love. I remember we used to visit Great Grandma Bea every Christmas, and she'd have homemade chocolates that were amazing, and little gifts for each of us, and we'd play Christmas songs on her player piano... It was strange when she passed on and that tradition ended, but the memories are epic. It will make that eventual reunion all the more amazing, eh?

Suzanne Furness said...

The ebb and flow of life, yet it sounds like happy memories were revisited and some new ones made. So pleased you had a nice day out. TCP is a very distinctive smell!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a touching story. Those long friendships are so important to keep intact. I'm having lunch with my oldest friend today and doing so catching up. I'm sure I'll think of you during it.

Susan Says

Janet Johnson said...

I felt like I went on that pub visit with you. You paint such a delightful picture. And what a beautiful memory.

We just faced our own passing of an era, and it really is hard to believe. Love and all my best!

Patsy said...

I like the smell of TCP - I suspect it's connected with half remembered things from my childhood.

I'm glad you were able to meet up with your friend and enjoy each other's company, especially as you won't be seeing him for a while.

David P. King said...

All great places I wouldn't mind visiting. Especially the pub! :)

Nick Wilford said...

Glad you could have a nice day out reminiscing. It sounds like your uncle will be remembered for a long time to come.

Anabel Marsh said...

What a lovely story! The end of an era, yes, but it sounds as though you have good memories.
Anabel's Travel Blog
Adventures of a retired librarian

Paula Kaye said...

Richard was a Clive Cussler fan and I can remember Skelton Coast spending quite a bit of time on the night stand next to our bed!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christine - many thanks ... I'm delighted you felt you were with us ... goodbyes are hard ...

@ Crystal - good memories but I'd love N to still be around here .. still we had some fun times when everyone was alive. Your Great Grandma Bea sounds amazing ... how lovely: homemade choccies ... and you were able to play Christmas songs ... a beautiful memory for you all ... but sad when the tradition has to end, as she passes on ... and yes that reunion ahead.

@ Suzanne - ebb and flow of life - good description ... but we had some very happy memories and great remembrances. TCP is very distinctive isn't it .. I guess it was always part of my uncle's life - for his scrapes, colds, snake bite! etc - after my aunt had died ... that I didn't really realise TCP ruled quite so strongly! This story is a good one though ...

@ Susan - thanks so much ... N and A were extraordinarily kind to my uncle - helping him a great deal through those early days. They'd known each other for over 50 years.

I hope your lunch was a happy combination of catch up and many remembrances of happy times of yore ... and we do think of our blogging friends don't we ...

@ Janet - that's wonderful to know you feel like you came with us ... it is in a glorious setting. We all face these losses don't we - and I'm sorry about yours ... with thoughts to the family.

@ Patsy - I don't mind TCP smell ... and yes aromas from our childhood do ring true don't they. Yes N was such a help and so cheerful and happy - we were always laughing.

@ David - well we'd love to see you here ... anytime!

@ Nick - thanks ... it was a lovely time - talking about family, friends, their homes and then Africa ... with good food! D and D will be remembered for many things.

@ Annabel - yes the era has gone - yet those memories are just wonderful. Glad you enjoyed the story - thank you.

@ Paula - how great to read that Richard was also reading Clive Cussler ... the plot was quite involved ... and knowing Africa and that coastline certainly helped me dash along with the story! I hope he enjoyed the book: Skeleton Coast.

Cheers to you - so glad you all want to come to the pub with me! One day let's hope we meet up ... all the best - Hilary

Betsy Brock said...

What a lovely visit, although bittersweet. Looks like the food was wonderful....I loved your choices! creme brulee? yes, please!

A Cuban In London said...

You just reminded me of my favourite activities whenever I visit another part of the UK: paying a visit to my local. A pub lunch or dinner is usually one of the highlights of holidays spent in the countryside. Thanks, that was a nice post, although tinged with sadness somewhat.

Greetings from London.

Silvia Villalobos said...

I'm glad for all the memories you were able to make, Hilary. Some people pass through our lives and make a huge impression, leave us nostalgic for those moments and meals we shared, the conversation, the laughs. We are better for it and emotionally richer, even if a part of us will miss those moments.
A beautiful story, Hilary.

dolorah said...

Love the new blog. I missed you while you were out. So glad you had such a fine adventure out of the house.

Jo said...

I had forgotten about TCP. How odd. Not something I have seen over here. What a lovely final get together for lunch. Sad memories though. Hailsham is familiar, I lived in Crawley for a few years. Love pub lunches, this sounds like one that had particularly good food. Makes me a tad nostalgic.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Betsy - yes as you say it was bitter sweet ... but lovely to have had the chance for a final lunch together. The food is good and I do love creme brulee ... so once in a while a dessert is fine.

@ ACIL - I miss London, yet you remind me we have good places out here too .. the countryside and the pub. I'm glad you enjoyed the post ... the sadness is just one of those things we acquire with age as family and friends pass on ... a part of life isn't it.

@ Silvia - we had lots of memories together ... and I'd only really known the other members of my uncle's six, since I'd spent a lot more time with him after my aunt died. I'd have loved to have known them all for longer ... but it's the way of life isn't it.

You're right we are better for these times in our life and we are emotionally richer from them - just sad we get old too! I'm so pleased you enjoyed the story .. thank you.

@ Donna - thanks re the blog. It seems I was missed in the blogging world ... which is enormously humbling to read about - thank you. Oh yes I do like getting out and about.

@ Jo - it's interesting what we forget if we don't come across something for donkey years - glad I reminded you! It was a happy occasion ... though for N a big change in his life ... moving away from Sussex and from where his wife had died.

Hailsham is about 9 miles form here .. but the sea used to ingress that far back in the days of William the Conqueror ... and many times in neolithic periods. Crawley is huge now .. sprawling and just north of Gatwick.

Pub lunches and walks are just wonderful pleasures of the countryside ... you do pretty well with going out I'm pleased to read.

Thanks so much for coming by and commenting - cheers Hilary

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

What a bittersweet experience. I'm so glad you were able to get together again before he moved away. One more day to add to your bag of memories. :)

Joanne said...

I got a tad teary reading this lovely post. Glad you could "natter" on (I love that term) and have such a great visit with an old friend. Time marches on....but ah, memories. Hope you can get up to Suffolk someday soon, and continue the conversation. All the best to you

Ana coelho said...

Your description Is so vivid I felt that I was right by your side....

Vallypee said...

I almost had tears myself, Hilary. Very touching. Still, there's hope you will see each other again. I love the TCP bits. TCP are my sister's initials too!

Friko said...

What a lovely tale.

These occasions when old friends meet, when some of them have already passed on, are bittersweet and apt to bring on a little tear. It’s good that you had this lunch together to remember each other by.

I love these pubs where they know you and greet you by name, even if it’s a nickname.

Sai Charan said...

Hilary, this post is very heart touching, farewells are hard but reminiscing the good old times bring back all the happy times spent together. I love the way you have explained your meeting - very well presented with pictures and the story flows so nicely, you have taken every reader on that trip with you and through your memory lanes :)

Your Antipasto Grazing Board Italian meal looks delicious, I'm sure you enjoyed it and the dessert :)

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!!

Take care my friend,
Sai :)

DMS said...

I am so glad you were able to meet your uncle's friend and that you had such a nice visit. It definitely sounds like a memorable visit and I am sure the people at the pub were happy to see you and find out what had been going on too. I feel like I was right there with you. Thanks for sharing!
~Jess

Milo James Fowler said...

A fond farewell, and a nice new look on your blog. Have a great week, Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - yes ... a bittersweet experience and as you say another memory to add to my bag of them.

@ Joanne - it was lovely meeting up with N - he was and is always so cheerful. I'm sure I'll get to Suffolk sometime soonish ... it'll be fun to spend some time up there ...

@ Ana - lovely to see you .. and good to know you felt you were with us.

@ Val - it was a touching day ... made special by the pub and their remembrances of those early days when they used to meet regularly. The TCP bit I thought would make a great story line ... and I see it has resonated with one and all. My uncle's initials weren't TCP ... but they certainly could be ... while your sister will retain hers!

@ Friko - good to see you ... and yes N and I had an excellent farewell lunch ... we'd have been sad if we hadn't fitted it in ...

I was bemused when they said they'd been wondering about Mr TCP - totally endearing ...

@ Sai - I'm just delighted you felt you were with me as I wrote the post and told the story ... it was a tale that needed to be told and blogging gives one that opportunity.

The food is good out there ... and the creme brulee wasn't bad either!

Thanks to you all ... I'm so happy to read all your comments .. cheers Hilary

Deborah Barker said...

Ah, what a lovely tale Hilary. Mr TCP indeed! :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Debbie - yes I will remember Mr and Mrs TCP .. .though Mr TCP very much as I spent so much time with him, after my aunt died. So glad you enjoyed the tale ... cheers Hilary