I just hugged a traffic warden. I KNOW! I hugged a box office manager too. I’m now far too overwhelmed to do the sensible stuff I had lined up for this morning: practising my new picture book text for a recording session over the phone (I KNOW x 2!) in anticipation of an important Acquisitions meeting tomorrow, and making lentil soup. Heck, no! I had to tell you all about Ticketgate instead. At once.
We’ve all done it. Reached the parking machine to find there’s no change in our purses. Rushed into the nearest shop / cafe / bus shelter and asked for cash-back / begged for 20p on bended knees from strangers. Glanced up amid all this desperate activity to see a neon-coloured traffic warden has materialised from nowhere and is writing your number plate down.
No! No, no, no! Handbag clanging at your side, hurdling talents heretofore undiscovered, you clear the railings in between the parking lanes and rush at the traffic warden wearing your most distraught face. Sorry, ma’am. Ticket’s written. Nothing you can do but appeal to the Parking Office.
I’m legendary in Kensington for once bursting into tears on a Terminator-like warden in aviator specs. He tore my ticket up on the spot. This NEVER happens in Kensington. But today’s traffic warden, though perfectly kind and patient, was showing no signs of melting in the face of my tragic disarray.
Cue the orchestral swell. Like a vision burned upon the clouds, the aforementioned box office manager appears. He has a parking permit for me. He hands it over on the understanding that I make a donation to the arts centre next time I’m passing. By jingo, I will! In fact I will go nowhere else, ever, for any form of entertainment or general purchase, be it theatre, cinema, hand-knitted tea cosies, second hand books, Rock Choir auditions or speciality coffee. He has me for life.
In that moment, I actually loved the box office manager. Hence the hug. The traffic warden got the fallout from this upsurge of emotion. Not quite sure what he made of it, but there you go.
AND… relax. Oh, and wish me luck with my appeal.
It’s the small kindnesses that make all the difference to a person’s day. Remember this and pass it on, grasshoppers. Also buy ALL your Christmas presents from the Farnham Maltings this year. They have some sensational stuff.