Up here in the Yorkshire Dales there are a lot of holiday cottages for hire. In fact we have several redundant farm buildings which we would convert into cottages if we were younger, but the hard work involved is now too much for us. (we should have done it many years ago but of course until Foot and Mouth disease put us out of milking, the buildings were not redundant).
Many of these holiday cottages take well-behaved dogs and, being a dog-lover I find it interesting to see the huge variety of dogs who appear up here in the school holiday periods.
I try to speak to them all - and their owners. In all the years I have been doing this I have never yet been rejected. I find pet-owners are only too pleased to chat about their dogs and the said dogs are only to pleased to be made a fuss of. We have some lovely breeds and some really interesting cross-breeds (Bedlington terrier and Lurcher springs instantly to mind). They tend to congregate in our little town on damp days when walking in the countryside is not always an option.
This morning has been the monthly Farmers' Market in our little town. It was a really good one this morning and although there were not all that many stalls they were all good quality stuff - various meats, baking, home-made ginger wines, cheese, walking sticks, garden plants etc. I bought two Scotch eggs from a lovely,
chatty man. I looked at his stuffed pork roll, which looked so appetising but which was far too much for the two of us this week-end. When I suggested to friend, W, who was with me, that really this looked so good but that I needed someone to help us to eat it, the man on the stall suggested he come to dinner tonight at 7pm! And we all had a laugh.
Then W and I went into a local cafe for a cappucino (in fact we had two!). A young couple arrived at the next table. The girl had a diet coke, the young man had a coffee piled high with cream and a large (very) slice of cream and chocolate layer cake. We smiled in their direction and remarked that there really is no justice in the world - we are all watching our weight, he was eating as though he was starving, and would not gain an ounce. We were all agreed.
The point I am making in all this is that contact with others, communication, a pleasant attitude goes a long way to alleviate the feeling of loneliness which some people have. Obviously if you can't get out of the house it is a very different matter, but once out and about then my attitude is that very rarely do people react unfavourably it you speak to them. In other words - chatting makes the world go round a lot more merrily.