Running into Kenneth Thomas

As views from your home, this is hard to beat.

Yesterday, I met more than just one fisherman. Earlier on my route I encountered an elderly old soul, happy to sit by the water under a big fishing umbrella by day, and at night to retire to a small WWII Anderson shelter, neatly tucked away beneath oak and ash trees, in a secluded dug out scrape just a short distance from the bank of the Bridgewater Canal.

His home now is wrecked, the roof has fallen in and only dead leaves and sticks exist where he once would have laid down.

The boats that used to moor up, with kind souls stopping to give him a meal and more importantly take time to chat to Kenneth, have long since chugged slowly around the bend.

Villagers who paused to get to know him, who heard of his skills as a painter and decorator, his war service in the desert, the malaria he caught, the lady he married, the family he made - they have all moved on, aged or died now.

But I met him. I stopped to notice the little plaque on the wall, beside his 'spot' where he used to fish. I thought about this man as I jogged quietly along beneath a sweep of beech leaves. I passed his home and wondered. 

And then wished Kenneth Thomas rest and peace.

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