One morning, I was on my way to some meeting and it was still earlyish, maybe 8.15, as I parked up in Chatteris and went into a newsagents to buy a packet of Hamlet. Chatteris is in the middle of the Cambridgeshire Fens. Two old women were nattering to the shop keeper and, after a while I began to fret. "Excuse me can I just have a packet of Hamlet? I have the right money." The Shopkeeper stared at me, the women turned slowly to stare. "It's not that busy - wait your turn," said one of the customers - not spiteful, not angry, just surprised. I remember that scene as though it were yesterday.
Yesterday, I went to buy my paper from the kiosk. There were five or six very lively, very noisy, only just, teenage girls in front of me each buying their 20 cents worth of the Spanish equivalent of fruit salads or penny arrows. I was holding the newspaper in one hand and the correct change in the other. One of the waiting girls looked at me, looked at the paper and asked if I wanted to go in front of her. I was tempted, I was fretting at having to wait and I was pleased for the girl - because she'd asked. A misty damp morning in the Fens sprang to mind - "No thanks, No rush."