A few weeks ago I went to see Ron. A new customer and the father of one of my existing customers, Scott. Both are extremely nice people and both have been very successful in their working lives so have a number of items in their homes which might be described as being on the luxurious side.
Le pièce de résistance chez Ron was no less than a big bright red Bentley Continental that he kept in his lounge. He had bought it for his wife years ago when she had been ill, she had never recovered sufficiently to drive it and after her death he had been too overcome by grief to sell it.
A sad but lovely story, I thought, though I wasn’t sure that I would do the same in such circumstances. For starters there must have been well over £100,000 sitting doing nowt in his living room and which could have funded my life, let alone my obsessions, for a number of years. But also, it took up so much space in his front room that it was impossible to sit comfortably on the stool at his grand piano. And another thing, it was a car, and lovely and shiny and red as it was, and as proud of it as Ron was, it was still only a car so it wasn’t really the sort of thing that impressed me much.
So fearing that if I spoke I might sound like Shania Twain (I bet you’ve never seen she and I in the same room together), I thanked Ron for his custom, his cup of coffee, his myriad of amusing tales, his payment and his tip, I bade him a fond farewell and I departed to see what lay ahead at my next port of call.
Gwen, in a more simple abode a few hundred yards down the road from Ron, had recently bought some new slippers in British Home Stores that she was very pleased with. Although feeling a little reticent about the fact that a poor acrylic had had to die to enable their manufacture, with their attractive pink and blue floral design and the contrasting dark coloured mould of the vulcanised rubber sole, I could see why she was so eager to show them off. However, this was another Shania Twain moment for me.
Yesterday I went to see Scott to provide his regular six weekly pedal treatment and he, like his father, had something that he thought I might be very impressed with. He told me that he had acquired something Peruvian and suspected that I might be interested. The word ‘Peru’ always makes my ears prick up so I promptly requested him to spill the details.
Is it me or are Foot Health Care visits turning into Show & Tell sessions?
Anyhoo, Scott had recently acquired four alpacas that he had grazing in his paddock. This time I was impressed. They were beautiful creatures with big brown alpaca eyes and thick woolly alpaca coats and, although at his house we were located only on the outskirts of Melksham, my mind raced back to happy days in the High Andes. I’m not really an animal lover but if someone held a gun to my head and said that I had to choose an animal to keep as a pet I would probably opt for an alpaca.
I wouldn’t want to keep my alpaca in Melksham though. I’d want to keep it in Mollepata or Ollantaytambo.