ONE FINGER EXERCISE
In Duns as in Hutton there is no problem with exchanging greetings with complete strangers-except after time in Hutton it was impossible to find one 'Good Mornin' they say in the Merse, 'g' swallowed and the 'in' on a rising intonation. Eyes meet, smiles exchanged, move on.
Lunnon is different. I have made a point of greeting one person in Devonshire Road, Palmers Green N13 every morning en route from the Newsagent, thus tackling the dense mob of commuters heading for the station. Anybody over 50 and not commuting will return the greeting; younger and invariably scowling at the pavement will ignore you, or at the best elevate scowl from pavement to somewhere over your left shoulder
Today my primary source material was an attractive young woman, beaming, smiling and chuckling; Ah! a cheery friendly person in a hostile world Level with her I said' What a beautiful morning' Too late I realised that the beams, smiles and chuckles were destined for an invisible contact a mobile call away-not a doddering personal space invader with a crumpled Guardian and an ingratiating smile. But at least she acknowledged my greeting once she had realised that it had come from me and not a passing mongrel, leg cocked against a lamppost-not, it must be said, with a 'good morning' or an 'Isn't it!'; nothing verbal in fact:
a turned back and a jabbing middle finger in my general direction.
What ever could she mean?
Labels: . Duns, Greeting strangers, Hutton, Palmers Green Lunnon