In true British style, I find myself talking about the weather…again.
It really is lovely – I promise to every smiling person I meet, ‘I’ll never complain about the British weather again…’
Approaching Preston I receive a message from Kat – a friend of Ella’s who I hadn’t quite registered was following the ramble,
‘If you’re anywhere near the docks nip into ‘Preston Marina’…’
Her dad, Jack, works there – Kat suggested maybe he could get me a bag of chips or something…
Never to be one to turn down any manner of hospitality, I wandered in…
I mentioned Jack’s name – what I was up to and how Kat had directed me here…
Before you could say ‘kindness of strangers’ I was tucking into lunch provided free, gratis from these people I’d never met before.
At this point Jack was nowhere to be found. His colleague explained that sometimes he was difficult to catch up with…oh well, not to worry.
And then, as if by magic, a man appeared…vague puzzlement on his face turned into warmth and eager interest as my story tumbled out under his gentle prompting.
It really is hard to describe, but I found his gentle enthusiasm and curiosity absolutely thrilling.
We talked about his love for his home town, Preston, the market town that thinks it’s a city, cosmopolitan and friendly.
All too soon, he told me he had to go back to work…a little voice at the back of my head was saying, ‘Don’t go…don’t go…’
I really wanted to take him with me – stuff him into Hubert, taking him out for a psychological boost every few miles – he really is that lovely.
I finished my lunch and wandered back off into the day – feeling lighter and altogether happier with the world.
It was lovely to hear Kat’s delight at her Dad, even though she hadn’t managed to catch up with him before I stumbled in.
Proud dad – proud daughter.
As I walked along the dockside I suddenly heard someone shouting behind me – it was Bobby – he’d phoned earlier – I’d left my radio recharger at his house. He’d raced off on his bike without a phone – and somehow he’d managed to stumble across me.
There are several ways into Preston – how did he find me? I thought I was altogether more mysterious and devil may care…
Maybe I’m a bit predictable?
It was lovely to see him again.
I love the crazy spontaneity of this – the why don’t you…? the look who it is…the tell me more and the aren’t people delightful of it all.
Walk a mile