Once in a while I just want to be alone with my thoughts, to enjoy a quiet walk and to mind my own business. Alas, my face seems to be giving another message to people. They seek me out of a crowd, they smile with me, nod at me and then they have the audacity to engage me in conversation.
Wait a minute, that means that I also talk to them, doesn’t it? OK. So maybe I really do want to spend time with all these random people I meet in my daily journeys, it’s just that I didn’t know it.
Anyway, it appears that one of my morning contacts thinks I’m quite a good laugh and a bright and happy person (no idea where he got that misconception from) because he spied me from a long way off and headed directly for me with a purposeful stride. Then he planted his feet with the air of someone who was making himself comfortable for the duration.
I smiled and settled in to a comfortable stance myself as he told me the stories that had peppered his life since we last met. Phil had been on holiday with his wife, his dog has been in the kennels – but without any ill-effects this time, and he has been flirting his 69 year old self around the hotels of the Devon coast. His cheeky grin accompanied the sparkle in his eyes as he told me of his exploits with a Polish employee and the extra profiteroles he gained just from sharing a smile and a few nice words with her each day.
As a parting salvo he mentioned that most people on the coach tour were a pleasure to be around, but there was this one woman who never had a smile or a nice word to say to anyone.
“Some people,” he said, “they’re just like snow at harvest!”