Time was… I was a miserable old soul. Grumpy, cynical and unsociable. A heart of gold; but a ‘crusty’ carapace. But the onset of children, middle years – and life in generally good shape – means I surprise myself sometimes.
Of course no leopard entirely changes its spots. I have finite (and quite small) reserves of geniality – just ask the missus and our friends. But in short bursts, and in the right circumstances, I can now be a jolly old soul.
And this morning was a good example. Having bought a nice purple potted plant with my son (who loves a natter and hugging complete strangers). We bumped into someone I’ve only ever spoken to once, a woman from work, painting her new house wall.
Time was I’d have smiled wanly and hurried on by. But today I popped the boy in the car – and jogged back for two minutes of spontaneous sociability with her and her other half. A flower, the son and sociability – the recipe for a blooming good morning.