Saturday, 9 January 2016

Third attempt.

Twice, half way through my post it has disappeared into thin air.   I expect I have suddenly hit the wrong key, but it is irritating and I really didn't have time to start again before tea.   So here goes - and this time I will go a bit more slowly and watch what I am doing.

Today the farmer (and nineteen other eager walkers) has walked with his walking group.   The weather was abysmal - foggy, damp, cold and muddy - mostly walking along the banks of the River Ure.
He seems to have enjoyed it though.

Meawhile, friend W and I took the opportunity to go out for a pub lunch (lovely veggie soup for both, then sea bass (W) and leek, cheese and potato pie (me) - and finally coffee.   And all sitting by the fire in a nice warm pub.   I know which I prefer.

En route for the pub we met a cyclist struggling up the slope and W stopped to let him pass us, wound down the window and told him to take his time as we were in no hurry.   Just a kind word - he smiled and carried on.   And we got talking about speaking to folk we meet in the street.

As I get older I am afraid I do it more and more.   Never yet have I met with animosity.   There is something nice about exchanging a few words with strangers and perhaps making them smile.   I am a sucker for babies and always speak to new mums, asking to peep at the baby, asking the baby's name.   Mums are always eager to pass on this information and it makes us both smile - and surely that is a good thing.

But thinking about it afterwards I do wonder whether that is because of my sex.   W told me of a gentleman friend who saw a young lady approaching.   She had the most beautiful hair and he remarked on this as she got up to him.   Nothing wrong with that - I think I would be flattered.   She however answered, "Do I know You?"   He actually replied, "No but you will do next time!" 

Thinking about it since - maybe it is different for a man.   I often tell ladies I admire their dress, or their hair - or their perfume.   I have never met with anyone being cross about it  - they always seem to be flattered that someone has noticed (or perhaps they are humouring me and really thinking 'poor old dear'!)

Shall I think twice next time?   I doubt it.   Until the day when I really put my foot in it, I shall continue as I am doing.

25 comments:

donna baker said...

I am rather shy and hesitant and wait for the other to instigate conversation, but not always as my middle daughter has told me before to self-edit, meaning I am oversharing or something. Next time we got in a checkout line, I told the young man cashier, "I'd like to tell you a story about when I was young." My daughter just died and he looked at me like I was daft, but we did have a good laugh about it. Being alone most of the time on the farm, you can't take me anywhere.

Joanne Noragon said...

How interesting. I always smile and say good morning or hello to people I pass on common errands, like the post office. Men generally smile or nod, and occasionally comment on the weather.
I am very fond of the bold response of the gentleman who offended the young lady.

Rachel said...

I wonder about the journalist in Oz who could not take a compliment from the cricketer. We shouted very much at her on the news that night.

A Heron's View said...

The act being sociable to strangers can very often turn them into friends and it is one thing that I rapidly learnt to do when I moved to Ireland; otherwise life would have been very lonely.

Sue in Suffolk said...

I always try and say something to people I come into contact with, otherwise life would be even quieter than it is!!

Rachel said...

I talk to people all the time. I regret the dying out of my generation to be replaced by those in a world of their own with head phones and no interest. About anybody or anything around them.

Dawn McHugh said...

Lunch by the fire with good company sounds good, a hello and a smile costs nothing :-)

jinxxxygirl said...

Pat i'am a quiet , shy person.... painfully shy at times... and i'm almost 50 years old..sad really... I always worry too much what people will think of me... Anyway.. hubby is my complete, polar opposite... he can strike up a conversation with anyone and with in 5/10 minutes you would think they have been lifelong friends...:) The great reception he gets from most people and how he handles the few rebuffs he gets gives me courage to try to be more friendly and open myself... I generally have good results when i force myself to say something friendly to a stranger. Sometimes they ignore me and i try not to let it bother me... I think when we engage each other and be friendly it just makes the world a nicer place... Hugs! deb

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I try to have a smile for everyone but find it really hard sometimes. Some days, I'm just not at all into feeling social, others I'm ticcing so hard if people talk to me I jump out my skin.

Wilma said...

Back when I was a sweet young thing I was too shy to start a conversation but was happy enough to converse at someone else's initiation. Back then I was also too unworldly to think that there might be anything beyond friendliness behind conversation with a stranger, and I think most of the time it was just friendliness. (Although, in retrospect, one or two suspect conversations do come to mind.) Now that I am older and less shy, I enjoy being able to talk to anyone without feeling at personal risk or feeling that I might be scaring someone. I have had some very delightful exchanges with folks from all walks of life and from around the world. One of the pleasures of getting older.

A Heron's View said...

One of the best reasons for your blog troubles Pat is that the planet Mercury is in retrograde January 5 - January 25. Which can bring about problems in communication.

Polly said...

Many years ago I belonged to a gym, frequented mostly by people younger than myself. Back then I was quite shy and would never be the one to start a conversation, I wonder if they thought I was anti-social or stuck up!! Now that I’m older and more confident I often greet people with a smile or “good morning” and I too am a sucker for cute babies and admiring perfume, handbags, shoes etc. I also tell people if their handbags are open.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

I find that most people are friendly but occasionally even those who make eye contact wont return a smile. You are bound to get a smile if you compliment a person on their child or dog!
I think I would prefer your way of spending a cold and dismal day to that of the farmer. He is a devil for punishment, isn't he?

the veg artist said...

Perhaps being female does have something to do with it. A few years ago, going down a very long London tube escalator, I offered to help a young lady with her bags, as she was struggling with bags, child and a buggy. Perhaps she didn't hear me properly, or perhaps she'd just had about enough. She handed me her child! He was heavy!!! My husband, who was just in front of me, was astounded. As a Londoner and a man he is very wary of speaking to any female. Sad, isn't it.

Frances said...

Before launching myself back into my workplace tomorrow, I have been interested in this post and the prior comments. (Also quite interested in your previous post about the antiques and animal auctions, and certainly hope that the man who had a near escape from a great damage is recovering. Also hope that the bull is okay.)

I was raised in a part of the States where small talk can become an art. Those who master this art are not always sincere in their kind words, but generally the superficial sheen does keep encounters well oiled. The weather is always a good opening topic.

Up here in NYC, I have always found most folks quite friendly, if a bit cautious. Since we are often thrown together in many daily situations, it does make it all easier to be a bit kind; patience in a stressful situation also helps. My current employment creates daily workday opportunities to make contact with people from all over the world. (As does blogging.) I've found a kind word, or even an acknowledgement of a visitor's presence can open many doors of communication. I wish I knew more languages, but a friendly approach never causes offense. From watching similar contacts made with patrons by my male colleagues, I think that it's all in how the approach is made. My observations tell me that it is a bit easier for females to speak to strangers than it is for males.

Sort of depends on the parties involved. Some of my work colleagues are decades younger than I am, and seem to be a bit more involved with their smart phone contacts, and wary about actually speaking with a stranger. This is a generalization.

Back to weather...it's going to be raining here soon...so please be on the lookout for more water from above over on your side of the Pond. xo

Mac n' Janet said...

I don't know if it's age or location. When we moved to the South we discovered that everyone talks to everyone whether they know them or not. We find ourselves becoming more loquacious too.

Cro Magnon said...

When I first had my first ever dog, he was still almost a puppy. I was amazed by how many people (usually women) would stop, stroke him a bit, and pass the time of day. Later when our first-born arrived it was even better, and we could hardly wheel his pram more than a few yards without out someone saying cooo cooo. It totally changed my view about people's friendliness.

Derek Faulkner said...

Pat, your sentiments about greeting people, especially strangers, all sound very fine, coming from a small rural community and by-gone era as you do. But I know that I, as a 68 year old male, wouldn't dream of complimenting a younger female stranger on her looks these days, much as I'd like too. In my experience in recent years it is still perfectly acceptable for women to compliment men on their looks and get almost always, favourable and delighted reactions, but reverse that and far too many women will view the male and his intentions as suspect. You only have to read the newspapers these days to pick up on the fact that many females now view even innocent comments and god forbid, the slightest of physical contact, as some form of intended sexual harassment.

Countryside Tales said...

I always talk to strangers too. Had a lovely chat with a lady in a wheel chair in waitrose yesterday. She asked me to get some custard she couldn't reach and we had a laugh about working out which one she wanted and how it was the best to liven up old mince pies. Life is about connections- that's part of the reason we all blog x

thelma said...

Well I always smile or offer a good morning, and you know by now Pat that we have found the people in Yorkshire extremely friendly and ready to chat at the drop of a hat. I suspect though age has a lot to do with it, the older you get the less self conscious you become....

Frances said...

I will always try and start a conversation with someone next to me in a queue…it relieves the boredom of the wait! A quip in the lift at Waitrose, a chat with a fellow dog walker. Sometimes it falls on stony ground, but usually people are happy to chat, even in this small town that many say is a snobbish place! I have rarely found it to be so.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone for these comments - it seems that we are all more or less in agreement.
But then, we are all bloggers, which gives us a push in the right direction to begin with doesn't it?

Dartford Warbler said...

I`m another one who talks to strangers. Most people do in our village and the nearby small towns. Dogs are great ice breakers too!

meigan cameron said...

Great walk-through. I value this post.!!
Thanks for sharing your experience!!