Every so often I decide to do something crazy. Before you start wondering if you should read any further I feel I should point out that – in this case – my definition of “crazy” is something which other Humans would probably try to talk me out of because of possible risks to my safety.
Yesterday was one such occasion. Although I had done something similar last year under slightly different circumstances I still wondered how it was going to play out. (At least this time I was going to be speaking in my first language. It also turned out that – if it had turned into my worst nightmare situation – I could not have been in a better place. Let’s just say the place was packed with both Emergency Service vehicles and their personnel. I even saw a Liferaft or dinghy.)
My reason for going to the “Emergency Services Show” at the NEC was a kind of “fact-finding” mission. Or rather – find out if someone was as kind in person (face to face) as they were on the other forms of communication we had shared.
There is one downside to not being able to drive (actually – there are several). You need to rely on public transport to travel long distances and this can be very expensive as well as time consuming.
Luckily I live approximately 50 miles away from the NEC – and I had found a way to get between Leicester and Birmingham by bus (meaning I could use my Disabled bus pass to get there for free).
So – off to the NEC I went.
I must admit to wondering if I was actually doing the right thing even up to the point when I set foot inside the Show. After all, I was not on my “home turf” (it really makes a difference if your surroundings make you feel safe when you decide to surprise someone – the last time I did that I was in a strange area of Rotterdam but I felt as safe as houses).
I trust my instincts when it comes to people – whether I meet them face to face or via Social Media. My instincts had told me the man I was trying to find yesterday was a good person. OK – so I did have another big clue. The Police don’t tend to employ Serial Killers or other humans who have a violent nature – and I was looking for a retired Police Inspector.
If I tell you I was pleasantly surprised it would be an understatement. On finally meeting Roger Nield he actually matched the image I had developed of him through our contact via phone and Social Media. The biggest surprise for me was that he was one of those unusual people who when they talk to you face to face they sound exactly like they do on the phone. The best thing though was finding out he is “real”. What I mean is – I had been wondering what sort of reception I would get from both him and Lucy (who was also there). I had honestly prepared myself to be humoured and my presence to be tolerated but not exactly welcomed. I needn’t have worried. They were both very welcoming and both gave me a hug (thus ensuring they stayed on my “Friends” list for life – I love giving and receiving hugs).
When I left them I was sad that we couldn’t have had more time together – they were so nice.
Maybe one day they will come back to the Midlands and we can meet up again. Until then I will continue in my newfound enjoyment of working with two people who I can now honestly say I genuinely like, respect, and admire.