It was like a spring day so I had an excursion to Poulton – such is semi-retirement! However, the outing also echoed a lesson from youth.
My bus was pulling out, so I put on a sprint and waved. The driver obligingly stopped. He was courteous and passengers thanked him cheerily when alighting. He deserved to finish his shift satisfied with a worthwhile day.
Upon arrival, the new Poulton Elk pub was busy with diners. I stood, beer in hand, until a chap rose from a stool saying: “Want a seat, mate? I’m just off!”
Next I tried the quiet snug of the Thatched House, where a fire glowed. Two ladies occupied one table, while a fellow had The Gazette spread out at another. Fortunately, a wide bench seat in the bay had only one occupant.
He was elderly and smart but had covered the remaining seat with his overcoat.
“Room for a little one?” I gently inquired.
“No! Someone’s sitting here!” he insisted, turning away to look out the window.
“Where do you suggest I sit, then?” I asked politely.
“There!” he said, pointing to the women in their corner.
Thankfully, the other man to my side made room. He even shared his newspaper, saying: “Help yourself, pal.”
“Where is she?” grumbled the old chap, staring out the window.
He was nursing a last drop of ale, swearing under his breath. Eventually he put on his coat in a huff and stomped out.
Shortly afterwards, a well-dressed lady of similar age entered, looked around uncertainly then sat where he’d been. She checked her watch a few times, then left.
“Looks like he missed his date,” said the sociable bloke beside me.
“But she didn’t miss anything!” commented a woman across the room.
It just proved, I reflected in the snug’s comfort, my old school motto was true: ‘Manners Maketh Man.’
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