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.
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 ...
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