When I was at university a waggish friend of mine wrote on the blotting paper in the Campus bank "Boo Carter welcomes lonely hearts". Obviously I scribbled over it but sometimes I think it has remained indelibly on my forehead. I have lived in the South East of the UK for most of my life and I think I behave with the general unfriendliness of our neck of the woods but it doesn't seem to put people off.
This weekend we went down to Southampton to see Kieran and Alice. We had a lovely time and learned that the Captain of the Titanic lived in the very street that they live in. Anyway on Saturday morning Trev and I went for a stroll around Southampton Common and stopped to look at a duck pond. We were actually watching in horror as a tern picked up a duckling in it's beak and then dropped it in the water again when a local man walking his dog came to stand next to us and said "Beautiful, aren't they?" I looked at him in surprise and realised that he was talking about the swans. I told him about the duckling's near death experience and he said. "Well, there used to be a lot more ducks on the lake. They used to have those pretty ones - what are they called?"
"Mandarin ducks?" I suggested.
"Yes, them! But the immigrants keep eating them" (Good grief) "So they put them in a sanctuary and they took away the boards around the lake that tell you which birds where which!"
"Goodness!" I muttered "Well, must get on now"
Walking away hastily and pondering on the thought that these immigrants clearly had a taste for mandarin ducks but they didn't actually know what they looked like!
Anyway later that day we all went to Chichester to see 6 Characters in Search of an Author. It was brilliant although the ending was rather unsatisfying. The end of the first act was rather harrowing and involved a violation and I noticed with relief that the child in the cast was not on stage for this scene. An elderly lady was sitting behind us and engaged me in conversation while Trev was buying the ice creams at the interval. "That little boy will never be the same again!" She said. I laughed and said that I noticed he hadn't been on stage. However she carried on regardless. When Trev came back she said to him: That little boy, he'll never be the same again". Then when her companions came back she said it again. Then when everyone in the row came back she said it to all of them!
Anyway we came home and away from the weirdness of the South when we got a phone call. Somebody in a broad Scottish accent said to me: "I've lost my cat, man!" I was silent and he said again" I've lost my cat, man" Then when I still didn't say anything he said "Is that Jessie?" I told him no and he apologised profusely and hung up.
All very strange and a good reason for me to never go on a cruise where I couldn't run away from these people