Friday, 18 July 2008
A Chance Encounter
The above picture has nothing to do with post but is what I feel like doing now. A few nights of not sleeping well leaves me grumpy and knackered. But I digress.
It's been a busy week, what with sending my novel off to the agent in Ireland - my baby is well and truly on its way so think of me - or rather, it - and cross fingers, please. I feel sick with nerves at the thought of it, so I am trying to focus on Other Things. Like an interview with a cartoonist next week and a free zero balancing session courtesy of the very nice lady I interviewed last week.
One day last week I was walking Moll up near a farm where there is a camp site. Adjacent to this are two fields where I throw her ball so she can race through the stubble and have a good run, so knowing this she ran ahead and stood at the entrance to the field with her head on one side, waiting for me.
As I rounded the corner, I laughed and said, “look at YOU! Just LOOK at you!” (For non dog lovers, I’m afraid this is typical of the kind of conversation a lot of doglovers have. Sad but true.)
Mollie didn’t reply, but a rich, deep voice to my right said, “Who, me?”
I jumped and found myself looking into the widest, most open smile in the blackest face I’ve ever seen. He saw my amazed expression and flung his head back, revealing white teeth with a hint of gold. His face just rang with enjoyment of life. I laughed too – how could I not? And he asked if my dog would bite him if he shook my hand.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Let’s try.”
Mollie might be small but her teeth are very sharp and her jaw is made of steel. I don’t know if he knew that, but he did look rather apprehensive. We looked at Moll who looked up and wagged her tail.
“She’s a good judge of character,” I said.
My new friend exhaled loudly and with evident relief. I asked him where he was from – “Coventry,” he said. My wife and I come down and camp three times a year. We love Cornwall.”
I told him about the private view I’d been to at Morvah, last weekend. I told him how beautiful West Penwith is, and how he should get there.
“We’ll go tomorrow,” he said, with that wide easy smile and we talked some more. About where they’d been, about what I did. “Tell me,” he said, “what do you think makes a relationship work?”
I grinned. I like this kind of conversation. We shared our views and I found that he has remarkably similar tastes to Himself. Though to look at they are somewhat different. For one thing, Himself isn’t into camping.
We laughed and I threw the ball for Moll and he said, “Isn’t this great that we’ve only just met and we’re standing here getting on and having a good time?
“It is,” I said. “It’s a shame that more people don’t do this. Have respect for others and enjoy different company. Life would be much more enjoyable if we did.”
Again that lovely grin. He held out his hand to shake mine once more. “Gabriel Fry,” he said, and clasped my small hand in his comfortable large one. “Nothing to do with chocolate. I hope we meet again. I’ve so enjoyed this meeting.”
“So have I,” I said, and reluctantly said goodbye.
It’s amazing how a chance meeting can engender so much good will. I walked off feeling ten foot tall.