Monday, 24 June 2013

Good Deed

So today I left work and suddenly found myself turning left at the end of the road the school is on, rather than going straight on as per usual. My normal route home is: straight over the crossroads, down the hill, across a dodgy junction with no pedestrian safety facilities, under the subway, past the County Courts and Leisure Complex, over the bridge, up the steep hill by the church and Archbishop's Palace (puff, puff, puff), across another road, carry straight on, across another road, straight on past Sainsbugs, straight on, across a mini-roundabout, straight on, round a sharp right hand bend, walk alongside the park, then past the leisure centre, and straight on and I am home, avoiding various waves of school children who have no road sense on the way.

But today, I turned left at the crossroads. This meant I was heading straight to the centre of town rather than skirt around it. And this is an unusual route for me because I try to avoid town as much as possible because you all know how annoying I find people ergo I try to avoid them as much as possible. I had half a mind to do a spot of window shopping as I was passing. Many sales on at the moment. And I had almost completely forgotten how much we have just spent on the back garden regeneration.

On the railway bridge, a man stopped me for directions. I get this a lot, being asked for directions. Lord knows why, because if these people knew me then they would know that I have no sense of direction whatsoever and am more than likely to send them completely the wrong way.  Not on purpose, mind you. Not unless I am feeling particularly evil. I can only guess I have an approachable face and march forward with the kind of purpose that suggests I am a person who knows where she is going.

It turned out this chap was heading in the wrong direction. He couldn't have been further from where he wanted to be if he'd tried. Well, okay, if he had been looking for Aberdeen, for example, then yes, he would be much further away, but for the purpose of illustration, he was on the opposite side of town to where he wanted to be and was marching steadfastly further and further away.

I started off trying to direct him. And then I thought, I am heading right past where he wants to go, so this I said and suggested he walked with me, providing he didn't think I was an axe wielding murderer, ahahahahaha, thereby giving him the opportunity to say, 'You might not be, madam, but I am,' and thereby also giving me the chance to leg it.

As it turned out, we were both perfectly safe human beings, no concealed weapons, and we had a little chat whilst we walked the ten minutes across town. He was newly moved down from London, and he was marvelling at how nice the town was, and I resisted the urge to laugh and say, 'You must be joking, it's dreadful,' because it always pays to see old experiences through new eyes. And then I deposited him safely at his destination. 

He held out his hand and shook mine. And he said, 'Thank you so much for your kindness and grace.' Which seemed odd, but I think I knew what he meant.

And I said, 'You are welcome. And thank you for stopping me from going into the Clarks Shoe Sale and buying unnecessary shoes.'

It was a mutually beneficial encounter, and one that would not have happened if I hadn't turned left. 


Countryside Tales said...

Ahh, what a touching tale. But the shoes will still be there tomorrow, calling all the more loudly because you ignored them today....

Denise said...

Yes, damn those shoes. Don't know why I bother really. I don't like shoes that much. Bare toeses for me!

Eileen said...

Good deed indeed! But isn't it a shame that even in broad daylight there is a tiny bit of fear of helping a stranger? Unfortunately it is the world we live in these days.

I love shoes and purses! No matter how fat I get, they still fit.

Denise said...

Eileen, you speak many words of wisdom! I must say I felt a little anxious when this guy stopped me, because he was fairly young and had shaved head and tattoes, and he stopped me on a secluded railway bridge , but yes, it is a sign of the times that we are wary of strangers. Sad, but true.

And I agree wholeheartedly about the hat and purse theory. Goes for hats, too, except I don't wear hats!

Denise said...

And when I said 'hats and purses' what I really meant was shoes and purses. I was already thinking about hats, you see. Good grief!