Z’s day goes well

It must be something about me. I bring out the polite in people. It’s obviously the worn and haggard looks, as well as the walking stick. Walking pole that is. I know London etiquette of course, don’t catch anyone’s eye and if you do gaze vacantly as your glance sweeps past so you don’t seem to have done it on purpose, and while it’s quite all right to hold a door open or say a word of thanks, that’s about the limit for normal purposes.

Not only have I had several people offer verbal assistance, one apologised for taking a seat ahead of me, not having noticed me (and there were two seats, he didn’t even pinch the one I wanted) and the assistant in Starbucks told me to sit down and he’d bring my coffee. Yes, really. And then, I was waiting at a bus stop, and there were quite a lot of people as it was rush hour, and a chap walked along in a suit jacket and, I thought in a bemused glance, black tights When he stopped and joined the cluster of people waiting for buses. I stole another look and it was leggings, with stirrups (is that what they’re called, the little straps going under your feet, my mind is a bit blank), which was almost as bad. He was older than I am, with skinny legs and it was so not a good thing to see, Anyway, the young man next to me murmured “remarkable” and grinned at me. “I shouldn’t have looked, really” I murmured back. He must have seen the sweep of my eye and the twitch of my lip, but all the same, quite unexpected.

Mind you, on the bus the person behind me got up (I wasn’t able to get a seat at first, then did) to let an elderly man sit down, so it’s not just me people are kind to.

The day went well, I did the measuring up etc that I needed to – I do love those flats, it’s such a lovely situation where they are. I called in the pub to say hello and beetled off to the British Museum. During the afternoon, I realised I’d left my phone behind and had to trail back again which was a bit stupid, but ho hum. As a result, I didn’t go to a second exhibition, but mooched around a bookshop for a bit until closing time, then went for coffee before going back to Liverpool Street.

The Sage had good news during the day, of someone who is interested in selling part of his collection of china next year via us, so he phoned me to tell me about it. I dripped Polyfilla gently over the floor while we enthused together and had to clean up. I was highly gratified to see how clean and cared-for both flats are, I’m really lucky with the present tenants and hope they will stay for a long time.

I bought a smoked salmon salad, fruit salad and red wine at M&S to eat for supper on the train and Dilly was waiting for me at the station.

10 comments on “Z’s day goes well

  1. martina

    Sounds like you had a lovely day trip. You are very lucky to have such nice tenants. Sure alleviates a lot of worry, doesn’t it?

  2. Dandelion

    I was just going to ask, went the day well?

    Of course, you also have to say sorry if someone treads on your toe or bumps you, but I’m glad that didn’t happen.

    I think I’ve know the skinny leggings man you mean.

  3. Z

    Oh it does, Martina. Mind you, if one of them left I could see if Ro would like to move to London.

    I’m more likely to accidentally put my stick on someone, Dand, I’m a bit clumsy. But I’ve always found people nice in London. I remember a time in the 70s when things got a bit surly, but sunny good-nature soon reasserted itself.

    I do hope so, otherwise it means there are two of them.

    Diss, Dave. She was indeed good, and got a lovely cuddle for it.

  4. The Dotterel

    Interesting! We, too, had a similar experience in London when taking Charlie to St Thomas’s. People chatted to us on the bus, helped us with the pushchair and couldn’t have been more friendly. I thought the North had a monopoly on that sort of thing…

  5. Z

    My daughter was rather anxious about getting about last Christmas on her first visit to London with the baby. I assured her she’d get loads of help, and she did. It’s not that they’re not friendly, they are wary of intruding unless there’s an apparent need.

    East Angularians are, of course, the shyest of all, 4D and need most encouragement.

  6. Completely Alienne

    I think age has something to do with it. Apart from the fact that I am more likely to pass a comment to someone at a bus stop or in the street now anyway as I am so much less self conscious that I used to be (or just shameless according to the teenagers), I find it happens to me more too. I think being a (relatively) respectable middle aged woman makes you seem safe to other people too.

  7. Z

    I’m sure that’s true, and I probably look quite friendly – I’m often stopped in the street and asked for directions. Little do tourists know that they’d be much better off asking a local (ie, someone who doesn’t catch their glance).


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