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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Seeing old Buddies in St Ives, Sydney (Day 138)

Sometimes it takes coming all the way to meet up with people from 13 years ago. The funny thing is that they live near St Ives, Cambridgeshire and we meet in St Ives, Sydney

It was well over 4 months since Tim had seen his best buddy. He used to see him at least 3 times a week, usually straight from work on a Monday Tuesday and Thursday. If it was up to him it would have been at least 5 days. So in the morning Tim went to see his buddy and I decided to join him. I haven’t visited for donkeys’ years so a slight shock for me. And it turned out it was quite a shock for Tim as well. Over the 4 months we have been travelling we have changed.

Yes, Tim’s buddy is Gym or Jim as I like to call this place. We managed to get a 7 day free membership starting today and hopefully 7 days free for Yoga soon; much more my scene.

Tim got one of those exercise machines working for me, so I pumped some iron, well, the smallest iron to lift some weights. Ten repetitions, that will do, now for legs – another 10 – ok let’s push it and so I did a few more. Tim went off to find some free weights and attempt to do his old Gym routine. He was a bit shocked that he could only do half the weights he used to.

I got a bit bored as I couldn’t work out how to use most of these contraptions. After walking around a bit I found the rowing machine. Ah – that’s more like it. I hopped on, ok – plonked on and got into a rhythm. My muscles seemed to be telling me – “I remember this”. I imagined I was back on the Nene River, rowing with my buddies. It felt ok, I even relaxed into it, my mind wandering. I was thinking how we are all different. Our bodies are different builds, some slight, some stocky, some with long limbs and some with short limbs, some are naturally nimble and some not so. And with fitness, certain regimes will suit different people. Tim seems to thrive going to the gym, whereas I prefer the couch. Ok – I do love dancing and am enjoy long tramps, especially if the terrain is not too steep. My mind then rambled, thinking that we wouldn’t expect St Bernard dogs and little chihuahua to do the same thing. I looked up and Britain’s Got Talent was on one of the screens. I watched, imagining what the sound was like. Why don’t Gyms provide their clients with blue tooth headphones so that they can hear the TV programmes? Perhaps some do?

I then went on one of the bikes and pedalled for 15 minutes and got bored. Time was ticking on, we needed to get shopping and then drive back to where we went yesterday to see Tim’s old work buddy Paul (on the right day!). Tim wasn’t ready – he hadn’t finished his routine. I suggested that I’d do the shopping and he could then meet me. Shopping done, back for a quick bite and then the return drive to St Ives where Tim’s friend Paul greeted us warmly.

It was 13 years ago that they last saw one another when working at Thomas Cook! Tim also knew Fay, Paul’s wife, she was also an ex Thomas Cook employee. They were over here for a 2 week holiday and staying with Fay’s second cousins in their lovely house with a heated swimming pool! Their daughter Eirlys was so excited, had her turquoise swimming costume on with her pink float and couldn’t wait to get in the pool. We were amazed that she wasn’t yet 4, so tall and chatty. Sian, their 13 year old glided out. Beautiful and serene at that stage of being in between childhood and adulthood.

Fay and I sat chatting whilst the rest of them played in the pool. She had spent some time in her 20s in Australia including being in the Outback near Alice Springs on a cattle ranch. Even though it was long hours and hard work she loved it. I was curious, it seemed so different to her job now. She loved the variety, the outdoors, and when she reflected on it, the simplicity. For example, as it took 1.5 hours just to get off the ranch and then a few hours to Alice Springs, going shopping was a once a week job for half a day, whereas now, she juggles with so many tasks, and will pop down to the shop in the car most days. Probably if she added up the time, it’s longer than that half day. We chatted how complex we can make life in the western world. I have definitely learnt that we don’t need to have loads of stuff and run around like headless chickens like I used to.

It was such a lovely afternoon, relaxing, watching the kids play (that’s including Tim), playing with Eirlys and watching her make a delightfully revolting potion – well, that’s the whole point of potions – to be disgusting. Sian played Squiggle with Tim – her squiggles are a lot more complex than our usual curve or zig-zag.

It was time for us to go, the sky turned dark and there was a big thunderstorm in the distance. Fascinating to watch the flash of lightening and hear the crack of the energy from a distance. Paul, Fay and the family are flying back to the UK on Wednesday and we wish them a relaxing and smooth flight back. Let’s hope it’s not another 13 years to see Tim’s buddy.

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