The third time I detected a more hostile stare
I have just returned from two rather chilly but nevertheless satisfying weeks in the Mother Country.
The focus of my visit was to meet up with my five grandsons who I had not seen for some considerable time and with my daughter who, on reflection, should carry the married name of Fry.
This remark will only have significance for people of a certain vintage who remember a particular chocolate bar manufactured in Bristol.
Each of the boys has a different work schedule, so our get-togethers were spread over more than a week, but at least this meant that instead of one large gathering, we could take our time to catch up and generally enjoy each other’s company individually.
For convenience I had suggested that we meet up for lunch at a pub location on the outskirts of the town, where the food is reasonable and the atmosphere congenial.
Having arrived early on the first day, I noticed a rather dishevelled character of indeterminate age and gender, sporting lank shoulder-length dyed blonde hair, leaning against the pub wall.
He, for it turned out to be a man, was enjoying a smoke and a cough outside, before returning to the bar where he slouched behind a pint of lager and to my discomfort, stared at me intently for 30 minutes until my grandson thankfully arrived.
Two days later, the same gentleman was in attendance behind another glass of beer with the same unnerving stare levelled in my direction.
But again, on the arrival of my second grandson, he was soon forgotten amid much hugging and joyful acknowledgements of each other’s presence.
It was with a certain amount of reluctance that I entered the establishment another two days on, but there he was again with the same unsmiling and, I now detected, more hostile stare.
“He thinks you are a dirty old man,” my third grandson told me matter of factly. “And we are all rent boys.”
I spluttered on my beer.
Perhaps it was the mac I was wearing.