A weekend of odd symmetries…yesterday in an arboretum in the New Forest, I had just sidled up to Darren on a wooden bench when we heard an angry disembodied voice shouting, “Hello? Hello, can you hear me?” At first I thought we were being told off for a PDA, like on the city walls of York in the early days of our relationship. But after that initial guilty start I realized it must be a walkie-talkie. Sure enough I found one half-buried in leaves on the ground and manged to communicate with the grumpy owner of its twin, who demanded we bring it to him at the entrance. It was a bit annoying to cut short our visit for such a surly request, but in the interests of karma we did unto others.
Today the weather turned brutal. Despite winds of gale force 9, we walked 2 miles along an exposed shingle spit to visit Hurst Castle, and 2 miles back. Part of the fun was laughing at what an absurdly unpleasant experience it was. Arriving back in the hotel room, I realized I had dropped my phone somewhere along the way. So we walked about 2/3 of the way back to the castle, and then home again, combing the pebbles for a plastic item the same shade of blue as a bottled water cap, of which there were many. The phone’s battery had been nearly dead, so after a couple times trying to ring it and being told the number was unavailable, we gave up. But back in the hotel we rang the castle and heard that someone had found it and turned it in. I couldn’t face the 4-mile round trip walk again, so I took the boat to the castle, soaking up quite a few facefuls of spray washing over the prow. The boatman very kindly didn’t charge me, even though I was the only passenger going out. But I gave him nearly the full fare as a tip anyway – knowing me, it won’t be long until I need some more good karma.