Tis true, and was proved last night. I’d been invited to attend a ‘special evening viewing’ of an exhibition on Cheshire’s literary heritage held at the Salt Museum in Northwich. I went last night, not really knowing what to expect (well, you wouldn’t really, would you?). After a brief and friendly chat with a couple of staff members I was ushered into the room where all the guests were being held. I accepted a glass of water and waited for things to commence.
I must have stood there for about five minutes before I realised that I was going to struggle to engage anyone in conversation. Some clearly weren’t all that keen on even returning smiles. But they don’t know me and I don’t know them and I suppose they might not have been there to talk to people – and in my motorcycle jacket I could have been anyone/trouble/lost.
And then a lady and her husband walked in and ended up heading my way. They nodded and smiled, as did I, and pretty soon we were having a great old chat. It turned out that, not only was the lady, Gee Williams, a fellow author (you can order her book, Salvage, – which sounds marvellous – here) but we also share a writer friend.
From then on the evening was great. The exhibition was fab. They had original typescripts of Robert Westall’s, The Machine Gunners, his typewriter, medieval writing implements (not his), stuff on Alan Garner, Lewis Carroll, Elizabeth Gaskell… all sorts. Well worth a look if you’re in the area.
And at some point, people started to smile at each other.