First snow of 2016 ( In memory of my walking friend Keith Fairhall)

Dear Reader,

The first snow of 2016 fell today at 9 30am Wednesday 13th Jan 11 hours after my dear friend Keith died of lymphatic Cancer and became a treasured memory.

Keith and I on one of our many  walks.

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 From age of seven I have had male platonic friends and I still have many male  platonic friends. Keith was a special friend of mine.

After I heard the news I decided to go for  a walk to my healing garden Gelligaer and Merthyr Common.  I took  my dear friend Keith with me capturing images of winter.

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I looked to the bare trees and hear the birds sing and see Pen Y Fan covered in snow and I think of you Keith. Only two people called me Jules My eldest brother Malcolm and you Keith. We were true walking  and cycling friends.

I first met Keith 2010 at TARAGGAN Educational Gardens project. Keith was part of a great team back then called Groundwork Hwyel, RT (RT’s real name is Rhianonn Trimm) and others helping to put a shed together and I brought a plate of sandwiches for the workers.

Keith and I often went to the theatre and cinema too.  We both walked the Caerphilly Boar challenge 24 miles, May 2015. On this walk I thought I was holding Keith back, because I only have little Welsh mountain goat legs and Keith’s stride was longer than mine. He said “Jules we start the walk together we end the walk together” We walked remainder of the walk with Hywel and his wife Nicole. We all stopped for food, well we did. Keith pulled out of his back pack a massive tray of flap jacks and then Keith joked and said “This is nothing I once brought out my shaving kit mistaking it for my sandwich box” Keith had a very sweet tooth.

A real gentleman but a terrible vegetarian he hated Brassica’s  and loved chips, chips cooked in vegetable oil of course. Night mare to cook for too so a cheese board would come out and a good bottle of red. Dan, John RT and myself would have great conversations.

We trained to walk the Camino together we cycled and walked for miles and then afterwards we would call in a pub and have pint of real ale and cycle back with the beer swirling through our veins. We once saw an owl sat on a wall we were mesmerised the owl just stared ahead and ignored us. Alas circumstances beyond my control I did the Camino alone.

We stayed with Keith and Chris in their wonderful holiday cottage in West Wales. While there John and Keith chopped up logs for the woodburner. Chris and Keith were amazed at John’s strength. Keith was a naturally intelligent man and great talker we often discussed philosophy and politics.

Keith, RT, Dan, myself, John, Hywel and Rob we were all part of the Tuesday walking group. The group would walk throughout  the year including winter, night walking is a great experience. We then would call in the pub afterwards for a pint and great conversation. Now sadly there is only four of us Rhianonn, Dan, John and me.

I visited you in hospital in December and I gave you a framed photo of the mist rising in Machan. You, RT, Dan and I watched the mist roll in.

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Keith as I look at the way frosts creates Arabic art on everything. In life’s gallery I rub my hands, stamp my feet and wipe my tears and smile. I look up and I see Venus and I know you and the Star man’s (Bowie’s) spirit is soaring where we cannot comprehend and are enjoying each others company.

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Toodle pip Keith

Nos da

Jules xx

 

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One thought on “First snow of 2016 ( In memory of my walking friend Keith Fairhall)

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