What a difference an hour makes

I had a very chatty day today. There was Andrew who I chatted to for over two hours then I met David from FATN in Waitrose and he told me some startling things. I also chatted with Pamela (meat and fish) then Rachel (cheese) before heading back home.

It’s days like today that I realise I do like talking to people. Lots of people.

Mind you, because I was meeting Andrew, I left almost an hour later than my usual time, which meant passing a lot of glum faced people and narry a good morning to be heard. It’s extraordinary the difference.

Okay, I realise people can be unhappy and I don’t expect everyone to smile all the time but, at my usual time, virtually everyone smiles and says hello. Surely they can’t all be unnaturally happy?

Andrew, on the other hand, is always happy. We chatted all about his grandfather, who was buried alive during WWI and survived. He also lived through WWII though not in a bomb crater. We talked about his dad who had his name spelled wrong on his casket (Michael spelled Micheal!!!) and how he used to paint all the signs. That was before he died, obviously.

I would have liked to have met Andrew’s dad. I bet he was just as sociable as his son.

In Waitrose, I was about to start ticking off things from my shopping list when a familiar face hove into view. It was David who greeted me with pleasure. Normally, we are just two ships that pass as he seems to always be in a hurry somewhere. I have often wondered whether it’s me but, today proved this not to be the case.

He told me he’d just watched Sir Ray Tindle’s funeral cortège go down West Street having stopped momentarily at the Herald office. I asked if he had the horses but, no, apparently it was the normal petrol driven hearse. Given Sir Ray’s love of cars, I guess it was only right.

David then told me about a certain councillor who used to be a gangster’s moll back in the day. I was astounded by this bit of intelligence. She certainly doesn’t look much like a gangster’s moll these days. I don’t know where he gets his information, so I’m not going to repeat any of the names.

At the fish counter, I waited for Pamela to be finished with a rather annoying South African who wanted beef. At one point, the customer asked Pamela what the difference was between rump and sirloin. Completely straight-faced, Pamela said that they came from different parts of the cow. I had to look away.

After the woman had gone, Pamela said she’s always like that; not sure what she wants, asking questions about the meat, generally being annoying. I told her I thought she handled her perfectly. I’m not sure I’d be so pleasant. But then, I said, I’ve never been customer facing which is a very good thing.

Shortly afterwards, at the cheese counter, Rachel told me how much she enjoyed the rain yesterday. She said she didn’t understand people who don’t like walking in the rain. She found it quite refreshing, she said. I agreed, saying how damp I managed to get yesterday walking across the park.

But, I said, I didn’t have to spend all day in wet clothes because I was on my way home. She agreed that that can make a difference.

There was no sign of rain today as I made my slow old way back home under blue sky and sunshine.

By the time I took the girls up to the park (Mirinda was in town today) the weather was positively summery.

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