Sunday, December 23, 2007

Take five minutes...


The other day I went down town to take some books to the charity store. I had meant to do a car boot one day... but ... cold mornings and too much effort.

So I parked, bought a ticket (50p for one hour) and unloaded the boxes of books into the shop and they were appreciative.

As this only took me 10 minutes, I had a good few pence worth left on my parking ticket so I wandered round town briefly. No particular aim in mind, I went up our small market town high street and looked in a few shop windows. We have one shop, a tailor, owned by Colin Creevey. I do wonder if JK Rowling ever visited our little town.

I looked in the window of the jewellers, and then turned round to face the street. I just stood. Doing nothing, thinking nothing almost. No urge to move.

Then I heard my name called, and I turned and saw a friend I had not seen for nearly four years.

If I had left town, or gone into a shop, or done anything other than stood stock still for those few moments outside the jewellers, I'd have missed her.

We walked together to the bakers, then back to her car (in a hurry, off to a fancy dress works party in Stratford Upon Avon). We spent 12 or so minutes together very companionably.

The following week I went shopping in Milton Keynes. I followed signs to the 'Park and Ride', parked the car then crossed the road and got on the bus. Only one other passenger, a tall man with a big coat (it was mighty cold) and a violin case on the seat next to him.

The bus pulled off and he turned to me and said 'Good idea this, isn't it?'. Park and ride. I agreed. We then entered into a brief conversation but in that time we discovered we were both singers. He played violin for fun, but sang in a choir.

When he told me he was a 'lay clerk' at a cathedral, it kind of fit. He had - if such a thing is possible - 'that look' about him.

It was a lovely five minute ride to the shopping centre, talking with him, and when I left the bus I had a big grin on my face. There are nice people in the world, and sometimes we are lucky enough to meet them and share a few moments with them.

I met one man for five mintues, I met an old friend for 12; those were precious moments. Each one brought a smile to my life.
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