She was tall, attractive, slim and perfectly proportioned (in the way that conventional taste would universally recognise), with long, shapely legs and long, honey blonde hair. She walked with the sort of elegant ease which one might associate with someone used to walking elegantly for a living, and at any distance beyond twenty feet it would be natural to speculate that she might have been a thirty-something ex-, or even current, fashion model. Today the distance between us was less than twenty feet, and when she turned and smiled at me (heaven knows why) I could see the lines encroaching on the space around her eyes and beginning to radiate from the corners of her mouth and the edges of her lips. She looked nearer fifty, but still carried an air of fading, major league chic.
And today she was not alone. Today she had a man with her. He looked to be in his forties and projected a more vernacular impression, being dressed in workaday clothes and possessed of the kind of body language which one might associate with a smallhold farmer. He wore a baseball cap and ate with his mouth open.
Between the two sat a little boy of around three. He was active but quietly behaved, and both his looks and hair colour left little doubt that he was the woman’s son. Whether he was their son was impossible to assess.
In short, they didn’t match. Contented they might have been – and that was the impression I took from their general demeanour – but they didn’t fit the conventional family picture at all. And that’s why I was greatly intrigued and wanted to go over and ask them:
‘Excuse me, but would you mind telling me your story from the beginning so I can write it up on my blog and satisfy my curiosity at the same time.’
And one day, when I’ve graduated as a fully qualified English eccentric, I just might.