Conversations, smiles and warm hearts

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There I was doing the thing I can do really well and by really well I mean really well not just playing at it. I can talk. I can also listen. I’ve got a certificate to say I’ve passed a Spoken English ‘O’ Level* so that means I can do it in exam circumstances.

Anyway, there I was jabbering away to my friend on the meat counter and a gentle old lady said to us “you carry on, I’ve remembered something else I’ve forgotten”. She wandered off, we looked at each other. When she came back I said that we’d finished talking, well this lovely old girl tapped my arm and said “it’s lovely to hear people talking, it’s lovely to see friends smiling, it’s something I miss”. I wanted to scoop her up and take her out for the day.

She explained that she had moved to Wokingham from Trowbridge and where she lives she doesn’t see a soul, so her visit to Waitrose had lifted her spirits. Actually you lovey old girl YOU lifted MY spirits.

In an age of fast moving, never stopping, time hungry, busy lives there’s things you miss and wish you could make more time for. This old girl didn’t whinge about her advancing years or her declining health, she hankered after something so simple, something that I find so natural and I’d like to think that she got some kind of warm heart after speaking to me, like I did from speaking to her.

* For you young readers an O Level is 1985’s equivalent to your GCSEs.

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6 responses »

  1. Oh, this tugged at my heart-strings. In this world of technology sometimes we forget the art of speaking, what with email and texting and social media. And old people don’t use this stuff, so rely on speaking, and when you’re old and alone this sometimes just doesn’t happen. I think there should be some sort of group in each area that is just to allow people to speak to each other, especially for that little old lady.

    • Thank you for reading Alice. I was lucky as I knew 3 of my grandparents and my great grandmother so I do appreciate her generation, which quite probably is the same as my mother’s!! I made some suggestions for her to meet other people and said if I was still in uniform I’d make a point to pop in. I’m sure I’ll see her again.

  2. This is a wonderful anecdotal tale. ‘Chinwagging’ with friends is a very special thing. I can remember I used to spend entire evenings on the ‘phone just talking to friends about nothing in particular. I can also remember I had an auntie who could not possibly start her day without having a good ol’ chat with her best friend. It set the day up right. I think your lady at the meat counter might have been a bit like my auntie! Thank you so much for sharing this story. Loved it!

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