Friday, 29 April 2016

Hiding In Waitrose


I'm in a rainy Chester today buying birthday pressies.
I hate shopping with a passion.
I've spruced myself up a bit, brushed my hair and have trolled around the Prof's favourite shops with a vacant stare on my face. and I have managed to buy a few items which I hope the Prof will like.
In way of a reward I have taken myself off to Waitrose and am presently hiding in a corner of the cafe drinking a coffee and eating a prawn sandwich.
I have also just had a companion for the past half hour or so.

The cafe is crowded, and so I found myself sharing a table with a rather well dressed and well spoken woman in her sixties. Over a period of just a few minutes I learnt that she was there buying food for a dinner party with inlaws, that her daughter was marrying their son on Tuesday at a "society wedding" and that the wedding was not her choice of "do" as it was more about money than about the ceremony itself.
My companion, as it turned out, was a retired senior Police Officer from Birmingham. She and her husband had moved to Cheshire last year and apparently  the husband was called Richard.
All this information was shared before her latte had lost it's froth, but she was incredibly friendly and charming and before my flat white had disappeared I had shared info on the Prof, our wedding and the pros and cons of South Yorkshire's police force, which seems much in the news at the moment.
Such is the nature of these " Strangers on a train" conversations.
The woman finally finished her coffee and said that that she had to fly. We told each other that it had been "nice chatting"
as she pulled on her coat and scarf she turned to me
"I see you have a dog" she said smiling and I suddenly blushed thinking that I was covered in dog hairs
" I have four" I told her "How did you know?"
The woman smiled  and pointed to the edge of my jacket
"The zip has been chewed off!" she noted

Once a copper...always a copper I thought!




69 comments:

  1. Wow, she was like Sherlock Holmes! Nice.

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    1. She lookd liked A warmer Helen Mirren

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  2. Nice to talk isn't it? I do it all the time.

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    1. I do on trains and planes mostly.

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  3. I love these once-in-a-lifetime conversations. They can be like tiny jewels.

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  4. Brilliant parting line :-)

    I do love these random conversations with people .... I seem to learn a lot about previously owned and now long dead pet dogs from elderly ladies when I'm walking any of our lot or all of them along the prom in Llandudno!!

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    1. I always get " you've got your hands full"

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  5. I think you might have responded, "Oh, my husband is just frisky."

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    1. She wouldnt have believed me

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  6. Those short conversations with strangers do have an invigorating boost to one's life, don't they?

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  7. I love that kind of thing. I go looking for them even, when I am out. But a lot of people in the US are so in their own little worlds that they don't even see you, let alone engage in "chatting". But it is fun when it happens - makes life a bit more interesting.
    Love the picture - all mug and a bit of your mug.

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  8. I used to chat to old ladies on the bus and frequently swapped phone numbers and invited them home for a cuppa ... My husband would come home and find a total stranger having a cup of tea with me... he never turned a hair.

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  9. Charming interlude and good sleuthing on her part.

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  10. Good job you didn't mention your 'habit' of going outside wearing your jimjams.

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  11. As a dog owner, she probably recognised at least six tell-tale signs that you were one also. The chewed zip was just the one she happened to mention.

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    1. She never said she had a dog..

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    2. I wonder how she guessed about the zip then?

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  12. It's these chance encounters that help glue society together and keep us from thinking everything is going to hell, no matter what the newspeople say.

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  13. Isn't it great that there are people prepared to stop and have a chat with someone they don't know at all. A bit like blogging really!!

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    1. You can run away from bloggers easier!

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    2. That is true! Actually it isn't bloggers for me, it is one of my commenters that I would like to run away from!!!

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  14. A chewed zip is a dead giveaway!

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  15. I love those chance encounters with chatty people. Imagine the character she could be developed into if you were writing a book!

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  16. I see dog hair as an extra layer of clothing. That's my excuse anyhoo!

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  17. What a lovely little moment in time. A cup of coffee and a chat.
    Adore your photo.

    cheers, parsnip and the hamish

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  18. I'm surprised she didn't say "Elementary, my dear Watson!"

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  19. Ah quite the Poirot. You can get quite some value from these ships in the night conversations. As if they were meant to be. I wonder if you learnt or gained something from the chat.

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    1. It amusd me so i did gain something

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  20. how wonderful to have a lovely conversation with a complete stranger!

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  21. I had a similarly delightful conversation in the parking lot of the local supermarket. A handsome older chap who had come home to sort out his mother's estate...He was down from Alaska where he's lived the last 30 years with his native Alaskan wife. Such a cheerful conversation we had, maybe all of three minutes long!

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    1. Sweet.....perhaps he fancied you too

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  22. Is it common for someone to just come share your table? That wouldn't happen in the US. Seems like a nice way to meet people.

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    1. Happens here in Canada, but it's more common in the UK.

      Just last week, I was treated to the views of a Cree elder on the " lunatic running this country". Turns out he eas talking national politics when I thought he as discussing provincial. We wound up sharing a plate of Danish because it worked cheaper to buy two.

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    2. It only happens in the UK when all tables are taken and then people start sharing in places like Waitrose, but not in restaurants. In Russia people come and sit next to you even if the whole restaurant is empty.

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    3. Thank you Rachel for the explaination

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  23. In no way could I have anticipated that ending to your lovely story. Nice encounter you had.

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  24. What a nice story.

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  25. I thought it was the zip on your flies John !

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  26. Fun post and fun photo.
    Talkative strangers often have a knack for revealing too much in a surprisingly short amount of time.

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  27. A Brief Encounter....but a new friend made!

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    1. I didnt even catch her name

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    2. Names don't usually come up at all in these encounters in my experience.

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    3. No brits dont need names Rach

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    4. It would be overstepping the mark to proffer a name.

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    5. Not the done thing

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  28. I would happily chit chat with strangers but nobody ever does. My daughters would probably prefer to listen to music and block out the world but they seem to be chatting to strangers all the time. Of course, they are 17 and it's usually men talking to them

    I'm so glad you told that story

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  29. Replies
    1. I like that there are people who will engage with a stranger, no suspicion, no agenda. I like that there are no walls up.
      I also like the mystery in the potential of an encounter like that.
      I suppose the bottom line is, I like to hear people's stories

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  30. I often have thes one off chats with strangers. They can be such a nice thing. It's like simple random acts of kindness. They are often joyful moments.

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  31. Something I like about Fireys is all the chance conversations you get to have when out fundraising or whatever. It helps you to remember that most people are genuine and good.

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  32. I must say that I say good morning to every one I meet while walking the dog daily, dogs are a great conversation starter, and it's not uncommon to share a table whilst having a coffee. My daughter who lives in Toronto says you don't make eye content mum when ever I visit.
    Sad that the younger generation is more leery of strangers.

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  33. It depends on the mood I'm in, but generally I don't start conversations with strangers. They, however, often see fit to begin them with me; go figure.

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  34. I love this type of short relationships. I always try to join someone, in a restaurant etc, who is alone. One never knows what will follow.

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  35. A couple of years ago I spent the night at a Gatwick hotel prior to an early morning flight to Peru the next day (now Im single all my spare cash goes on travel - bliss!) I was having dinner and a rather large glass of mine when the young man next to me asked me about the book I was reading. Sensing that he wanted to chat I got talking to him. He told me that he was staying at Gatwick for a couple of months doing construction work on the airport - came down every weekend from Newcastle. Now I'm a sucker for a Geordie accent and we ended up chatting for about an hour. He told me he had the opportunity to work in New Zealand but that his girlfriend wouldn't leave her mom. It was grey, cold and peeing down and he just looked miserable. As I got up to go I said, why don't you take up the NZ offer for a year and if you absolutely hate it you can always come back. I really hope you do it because otherwise you will never know. And you know what, you won't come back! He gave me the biggest grin and waved. Lovely.

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    1. It was glass of "wine" - not "mine" - but I digress!

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  36. She was very open for ex police; how refreshing.
    I love chatting to strangers & working in a charity shop is the ideal location ! We have a new volunteer -an ex policeman who pointed out several health & safety issues ! but he's incredibly friendly & uber chatty and offered to sort out the few things which need changing !

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  37. Dear John!
    What a treat this is! I took a quick stroll into your Trelawnydblog, enjoying greatly the pictures and stories you've brought to life.
    And reading this, I am glad to meat a kindred soul when it comes to meetings. I love my friends and my family, but those spontaneous meetings, they certainly add spice to my personal history. I can see that lady clearly, that was a nice post!
    It brings to mind the girl in a wellknown soapstore in London, no names, where we landed to buy presents for lovely neighbours 50th birthday. The store, however, was filled to the brim with odours and highpitched "music", and I had to take a break. The young girl on the landing between level one and two, forgot for a while that she was supposed to usher us on to buy more, and we began a somewhat loud conversation about the importance of peace and quiet and the serenity of our own homelands.
    The soapshop was overwhelming, but the meeting with that young girl is what I carry with me.
    Our two girls are slowly reaching the point where an unknown person can actually be spoken to, but they are still quite: "Oh mum, you are SO embarrassing!"

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    1. Hello there...i think you are my first Swedish commenter!

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  38. But I bet that ex-sleuth didn't realise she was talking to a very well-loved friend to many - a celebrity blogger.
    Maybe you should carry some business cards to proffer to interesting chatters so that they can continue to enjoy your company.
    It was good to hear of your impromptu chat, because quite often I can be surrounded by people yet still feel incredibly lonely.

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    1. Rambler with your lovely dog I would be chatting to you in an instant. I think there are the talkers in the world and those that find it more difficult but give it a shot - you never know. I was reading my cookery magazine on the bus to work last week when a lovely older Swiss lady commented on the cake recipe. Before she got off I knew her whole life story and thoroughly enjoyed it - as I'm sure she did. Anna

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  39. Is that your"American Coffee Mug"?.....IT'S HUGE!!

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  40. Is that your"American Coffee Mug"?.....IT'S HUGE!!

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  41. Interesting how much information can be shared with a stranger . . .

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