29 June 2001 a tall and gentle man

19:43: picnic in brick shelter - in case of rain. A lowish cloud, pinkish blue, about 1000 feet up, is moving much faster than the wispy clouds high above it... the rest of the sky was obscured by trees...

Before I could write any more a tall and fit-looking man turned off the path and stood talking to me for about ten minutes. (Perhaps he meant to sit down but when he saw someone sitting there changed his mind and could not retreat without giving offence?)

After asking very politely how I am he asked me no other questions (not even about the computer in my hand) but told me that he'd once been a truck driver and that his doctor advised him to walk more, that he is a country boy from Donegal, that he's been walking on the heath for forty years... and other things I don't recall...

...oh yes, his doctor had suggested he walked round the block where he lived but he felt that would look strange to his neighbours so he took to walking on the heath. He certainly looked healthy.

I liked him - his upright posture, his gentle manner and his modesty, his long white hair, his blue eyes, his unwillingness to trespass onto a bench that someone else was sitting on... each of us can seem so wonderful to others... and so different.

Eventually I suggested that he sat down but he didn't accept the idea. He said it was time he walked on ... and soon he did so.