A week or so ago I was walking back from the post office when I saw that an elderly man walking a few meters in front of me needed to stop and rest. He sat on a low wall and looked very out of breath, so I stopped and asked him If he needed help. He assured me that he would be fine after a brief rest and that he’d had two operations on his heart which wasn’t working too well. I decided to leave him as I didn’t want to agitate him by making a fuss.
This morning I saw him again, this time sitting on a bench in the park to rest on the way home. He was very pleased to see me and we walked slowly together for a while. He explained that he would be having new tests and that they would change his medication as his heart was beating very slowly. He joked about visiting Lourdes. In fact he had visited Lourdes when he was a young man - not that he needed help then. He remembered having a great time. He also told me about visiting London – he saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, which he enjoyed. Our village is full of newcomers, but he is a real villager and remembers the war, when he worked at La Pallice (Wow! Some of Indiana Jones II was shot there ) and then after the war was over he joined the army and made a career of that. I think that during our conversation he forgot about his health for a moment. I really enjoyed our little talk. Next time I see him I’ve got some questions about the history of the village.