Well I’m back after my sojourn in Cumbria. The weather was mild, the traffic light, the people friendly and the place much bigger and remote than anything you’re used to. That was driven home to me as I approached Carlisle yesterday morning and spotted from the road signs that I was nearer to Glasgow and Edinburgh than I was to home.
As are the Carlislanders of course. Or whatever it is they call themselves when not up to their necks in water.
But if I was still in the land of my birth (just) I felt like a foreigner come evening. I sat down for dinner at a table for one, Billy-no-mates, with just one other diner in the room who was about to leave, when the place filled up and apart from the staff, everyone else was American
Their average age was 70 I would guess, so I doubt that walking the fells was the attraction. However, my inherent British reserve kicked in and I completely failed to wander over to ask, “What brings you here?” Times like this I need Mrs P at my side who would have been in like Flynn.
It was the same this morning. There was me sipping tea and them quaffing jugs of coffee and declining black pudding, while questioning Cumberland sausage, yet still I couldn’t bring myself to ask what they were up to. I just rose and bade them, “Good morning,” tucked my newspaper under my arm and left.
And that’s the trouble with being a Brit — we spend most of our lives not knowing what other folk are up to because it’s bad manners to ask!