Oh happy band of pilgrims

Every year we meet up for a festive lunch with some of my old friends from 57 years ago. Alas, we are starting to diminish as some pass on and some are too infirm to travel. I write this because my dear old friend, Rosemary, still makes it with her husband. For many years she has been disabled by scoliosis and other problems. She now uses a roller to support herself as she walks,bent, double and her feet are starting to lack function. But she never lets this defeat her. She is bright, intelligent and full of fun.

We made an odd group walking into the hotel: two able and two not. She was bent right over and I had my stick. The point is that we made it!We were then joined by another old friend and had a lovely lunch. We put on the table a photo of our last old friend to pass and toasted her with water. Then we ate, joked, teased each other and generally behaved badly. Then we parted and most of us were off for an hour’s sleep....not together I hasten to add. Rosemary and I often lament our lost youthful vigour, but in an affectionate way.

Fellow survivors seize the day! We five happy pilgrims are still journeying on and,hopefully, will meet again next year.

PS There were a large group of conference delegates also in for lunch and we were curious as to who they were. We found out later their company specialises in orthopaedic beds and aids for the disabled. If we had known that earlier we could have harassed them for a free consultation!