Writing 101, Day Six: A Character-Building Experience and other things!

Writing 101, Day Six: A Character-Building Experience and other things!

Sometimes things are meant to be! Today’s writing task has fortuitously collided with my real world. For today I met up with the one of the most interesting women I have met not only here in Peterborough but anywhere! I noticed her when I was on a trip to the Peterborough Art Gallery, she was so full of life, vibrant and funny! We ended up like naughty schoolgirls at the back of the pack, chatting and not being as respectful to the guide who was showing us around as we should have been. We exchanged contact details, she giving me a business card “I live with a graphic designer” and me giving her a scrappy piece of paper!
We met again, a wine bar this time, and talked and talked. Her lean toned body told me she was far fitter than me. Cycling and cross-country ski-ing are her passions, reasons for moving to Peterborough. She menTioned, in passing, that she continued cycling after “coming off (as in from!) the Canadian road biking team. Ok, so I am never going cycling if she invites me! As it turned out we decided to meet today at the last minute in case we won’t have a chance to meet before I leave for my long holiday and she for her cycling holiday, when the weather is right. We walked to the Silver Bean café and talked as we savoured our ice creams. I don’t know how we got onto the subject of camping but we did (I didn’t admit that I have only ever spent one night of my life in a tent!). She told me of her recent camping trip, cycling and setting up camp each night through New England with friends and of cycling back alone, her friends going on further, of how terribly lonely it was being alone in a camp ground where no-one talked to her, no-one shared a beer and of how you can be so much more alone in that situation than one in which you are alone. I am full of admiration for this woman who drove her daughter to Arizona one winter, camping along the way, leaving her at a Youth Leadership camp and then driving home, camping alone in Provincial Parks. Her description of one of those nights was hilarious – oh crap, I’m alone and oh crap, I have to set up my tent, oh crap, I have to make a fire, oh crap, there are feral pigs all around, oh crap, here comes a truck, now I’m not alone! It turned out to be the park ranger coming to explain he was locking her into the park for the night! I could no more manage to set up a tent, build a campfire and be alone in the wilderness than fly to the moon. To my mind she is extraordinary and she sees this as perfectly ordinary, something anyone can do!
She’s opinionated and feisty, the personification of sassy, with a laugh that comes from deep within. warm and ready to share her great depth of knowledge and passion for politics and the environment – I am so glad to have found such a friend.
Other than sharing that lovely time my day involved a lot of cycling, easy cycling, back and forth to Arrowsmith with Simon and then a beautiful long walk at the end of our day, along the canal and up past the Lift Lock, finally enjoying a beer at the Ashburnham Ale House to make the most of these glorious summer evenings. Simon says he didn’t have a beer, he had a coke!
And here is one of those gorgeous irises I mentioned yesterday!

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