Please look after this bear, thank you.
I’d walked to Rhyl in North Wales from a big rusty boat near Mostyn.
I’d started late in the day because it was tanking it down – yes, I know, I’m not made of sugar…
As I packed my stuff away, I met Liz and Arthur Allen – a couple from Fife who used to live near these here parts – had seen the big boat and thought, ‘Holy guacamole, we must take a look…’
They took a look, heard the story of the ramble and in no time we were getting on famously, talking about anything from Scottish independence to Arthur’s previous job as a press photographer and Liz’s past as a psychiatric nurse – all the time looking at the crazy big boat.
They shouted me brunch, and sent me off on my way.
Just a chance meeting for which I feel all the richer.
I looked at the map – I’d told Kyren – the person who was putting me up tonight and one of Ella’s ex students (from about 10 years ago) that I should be arriving around 6.
Hmmm. A bit optimistic.
It was dark o’clock when I got into Rhyl – more with a whimper than a bang. I phoned Kyren to say I was in town – she offered to pick me up and I was way past polite to say no. She described her car and said she’d be with me in a couple of minutes.
A few minutes later a car pulled up next to me and a young (er than me) woman jumped out shouting, ‘Hello sailor, d’you want a lift?’
I knew this was neither Kyren nor her car – but clearly my face said, ‘Please look after this bear, thank you…’
My willingness to get into any old car may be foolhardy – it turned out this was Joy, Kyren’s partner and in no time at all we were talking about anything and everything.
And I do mean everything.
Fed, watered, cleaned, clothes laundered, welcomed in like an old friend, understood…only just begins to touch on my time with them…
It was with a heavy heart that I wandered off into the day…
I got into town – a police officer approached me and said, ‘I hear you’re a hard man?’
I may have said, ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter…’ or I might have put on my padding ton bear face again….
No matter, we were soon talking about his sons at Uni and exchanging non- business cards. I can follow him on twitter!
I wonder if he’ll reciprocate?
This is Britain – accept no imitations.
We are fabulous.
Walk a mile