Exotic travel and really wild things; learn all sorts of strange stuff. Like the fact that the people in Crewe and Sandbach are really nice people.
Strange that isn’t it.
But in Sandbach and Crewe, bus drivers, taxi drivers, the hotel staff, people you bumped into on the street or in Costa, were just nice people, friendly and helpful.
Someone wondered if we’d inadvertently walked into some sort of Canadian overseas province.
But there you are. Last weekend I went to Sandbach. That’s the joy of attending meetings where the organisers book church halls and parish rooms rather than conference centres; you go to the most intriguing places. Sandbach, Barnsley, Chesterfield, Peterborough, live long enough and you get to see them all.
And you discover all sorts of things, like Sandbach has a brilliant Armenian Bistro, Barnsley has a fabulous collection of charity shops; I tell you all human life is here.
The other thing about going to meetings in church halls is you see what’s going on. I was just amazed they managed to fit us in, what with the toddler group, the coffee shop and the after school club the building was always cheerfully busy. Mind you the advertised event I liked was the ‘dads and kids club’ where for £1.50 you could take your children, let them play; you get a cup of coffee whilst you read your paper, and bacon butties were only £0.50.
I’m tempted already. I’m just not sure my three daughters would be all that keen.
Then you get home from strange foreign parts and discover that the hot tap doesn’t work in the bath.
So out to the workshop, get a couple of spanners.
Problem one, a twelve inch adjustable doesn’t open wide enough to get a grip on the shell. Back out into the workshop and back into the bathroom with a 35mm spanner. Fits perfectly, the shell comes off easily. But just who designed a shell that big! Out there are bathrooms where there isn’t room to use a 35mm spanner!
Anyway the gland nut is just ¾ so that’s OK. And one of the three ¾ spanners I took to it fitted so that’s even better. Unscrew it and discover it’s just the washer is knackered. Replace washer.
Reassemble, turn hot water back on and Świetna robota!
Then it was pointed out the cold tap in the sink was getting a bit dodgy so ‘while you’re at it’…
And I was at it so it seemed a sensible idea. Except that this one had an entirely different sized washer so I had to nip out and get one, and of course the staff all asked me why I didn’t speak Polish or at least have a moustache.
At my age growing a moustache is probably faster than learning a foreign language.
But back with the new washer and job done, spanners put away, and time for a spot of lunch. The Polish contribution was very much in the background.
Oh yes, and I did get to do something sneaky. When you’ve written a book there are always people who’d fancy a free copy. But I’ve one good friend who wouldn’t ever dream of asking. You know the sort of person who is a real friend and is always there when people need her.
Well when her back was turned I slipped an autographed copy of Justice 4.1 into her bag and she never noticed until she got home.
It’s good to be sneaky at times.