August 14th, 2008

Wanaka tree

The stupendously wonderful Babs

Last week I had a really happy, inspiring and delightful twenty-four hours. Early on Thursday evening I picked up my friend Babs from Bristol Airport. She had flown in from Amsterdam, where she lives at the moment and has recently qualified as a physiotherapist, to spend a few weeks here in the UK. 

I first met Babs together with her friend Mariella, in my favourite place, Wanaka in New Zealand's south island about three and a half years ago. They were two young German women travelling together and, by pure luck, we happened to be in the same place at the same time. All the more special because it is my favourite place. We just got on so well from the very first meeting and they were both inspirational company for the few evenings we had together. They moved on but we stayed in touch. Since then I have met up with Mariella in Konstanz in Germany and Babs a couple of times in Amsterdam. Recently, Babs decided that she wanted to come to the UK for a bit. As is my way, I offered to help in any way I could. The upshot of that was me seeing Babs arrive through the sliding doors coming out of the baggage retrieval area, throwing off one of her rucksacks and enveloping me in a great big hug. 

We drove from the airport to Bridgwater, where we stopped off to get a take-away Indian meal, and then continued on to my home to eat it. The meal was washed down with a couple of bottles of wine and accompanied by a constant conversation. It was wonderful to see her again and get to spend some time with her. Sadly, that time would be all too brief. The next day she had planned a reunion with her boyfriend, Leigh, at Brecon in Wales. I drove her across. But first we went to Glastonbury for the morning, climbed the Tor and had lunch in Rainbow's End cafe.

Babs will be back to stay for a couple of days before she returns to Amsterdam. And I'm looking forward to getting the chance to show her around a little. In the meantime, here are a few photos I took, of Babs and lots of other people, on top of Glastonbury Tor.