In this together…
I had a date last week – Gillingham in Kent to talk to the Medway Stroke Club. I hadn’t been to Gillingham before but had a rough idea where to go. Last year I spoke in Rochester. The Sat Nav said it took an hour and a half so I set off early and was on the A2 in plenty of time. About three miles in I realised why there had been a message on the Sat Nav a month ago saying, ‘Please Update’: the road I was on did not appear on the screen and an increasingly Dalek voice was saying ‘recalculating, please take the next left, recalculating.’
Eventually the new A2 and the old Garmin were reconciled and I arrived in Gillingham. The talk was to be held in the Masonic Lodge in Franklin Road – a wonderful old building beautifully decorated and airy. The people were nice too – offered a welcoming cup of tea and plenty of encouraging smiles. The audience had a high percentage of men and I wondered how my opening gambit – an irreverent observation on male behaviour – would go down. Then salvation appeared. A lady who had heard me speak in Rochester all those months ago approached smiling and said,’ You won’t remember me but I heard you last year and straightaway recommended you to this group. I told them you were brillliant…’
What a sweetie – that was just the right thing to say and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. We were in this together.
Then the audience began to take their seats. They looked like a discerning bunch. She could see that too. She caught my elbow and looked deep into my eyes. She wasn’t smiling now. ‘So,’ she said, ‘you won’t let me down will you?’
LIke I said. We were in this together.