It’s been a long time since my last post. I let it slip. I let it slide. I let it slip and slide for so long that I pondered whether I would ever blog again . . . for a fleeting moment.
But it wasn’t until I received a comment from an old friend, whom I hadn’t seen since I was 12, that I realized the true value of blogging.
When I was 12, I went to Wales with my good friend Isabel (necessary on a bicycle?) on a horseback-riding PGL tour. Even though we camped in tents, the view from our flap was a breathtaking panoramic view of rolling hills and lush countryside.
We spent most of the week riding horses across the Wales wilderness, across endless acres of unkempt farm fields with Medieval stone walls, knotty sheep and dilapidated stone buildings. We trekked up mountains and let the horses rip across Table Top Mountain, so called for its smooth top, and gingerly made our way down again at the end of the day.
One day was dedicated to diversification, where we took to the water in kayaks and sail boats. It was here that I met Conor from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. A true northern lad — I couldn’t understand a word he said. Imagine Brad Pitt in Snatch and you get the idea. I was mesmerized by his lilting, Gaelic accent and didn’t really care what he was saying; how he said it was all that mattered.
After dinner at night, all the campers would gather in the common hall and play games, listen to music and chill, before heading off to other activities. There were camp fires and singing and movies and friendships forged along the way. I remember getting up early one morning and heading over to the hall for refreshment. One of the vending machines had gone all Mother Theresa and was dispensing its guts free of charge, impromptu. Needless to say, like birds to a fresh-filled bird feeder, word got out and the vending machine was greedily purged of its contents. Quite the highlight for a 12 year old.
Conor and I corresponded with each other for a while after that holiday. It was the first time that I understood everything he was saying. But it was before email, when writing was a chore and involved many steps. It could take weeks before the person on the other end received the billets-doux. And over time, letters dwindled and eventually disappeared. So, imagine my surprise when, after all this time, Conor found my blog.
Conor is now married with six children and still lives in County Tyrone. His kids enjoy camping through the PGL adventure holidays. It was good to catch up on old times and it seems like life has come full circle.
A blog’s worth. It’s a great way to stay connected. If I haven’t heard from my friends for a while (because they’re too busy to reply to my emails — you know who you are), I’ll read their blog to get a sense of how they’re feeling and what’s on their minds.
If you have never been to Wales (it’s only an hour away from England), make sure to stop by Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.