Wednesday, 21 May 2014

An unexpected encounter

For some months now, I've been struggling to confirm some disputed facts about an historic location that is to feature in my forthcoming walking guide book. After consulting various sources, the information all seemed to point in the right direction. However, always being conscious of wanting to be as accurate as possible with regards to the information I write, I decided that the best way to corroborate the information was to call on the person who owns the property. In most cases I would have no qualms about knocking at a strangers door. However, it didn't look like many people visited this property, and at first glance certainly didn't look all that welcoming.

Feeling a little nervous about calling at a strangers door to ask them prying questions about their home, I cautiously rang the door bell. "Dam, it works", I thought. "Now someone may answer the door". I glanced back up the driveway and made a quick time and distance assessment. If the person who answers the door turns out not to be friendly, I could make a quick getaway to the safety of the road, whilst making my apologies as I beat a hasty retreat. Through the glass in the door I made out the profile of a man moving down the corridor. "What's that in his hand. Is it a shot gun"?, I assessed. Shotgun pellets travel at around 427 metre per second. That's far quicker than I can reach the end of the driveway! Another quick look around and this time I'm looking for escape routes that will provide me with protective cover. There's a route to my right, that looks about my best option.

The man reaches the door, and I hear the lock turning from inside. He pushes the door but it sticks. He pushes again and it flies open. I immediately look down at his hands. They're empty! "Hello, sorry to bother you", I say and I make my introduction and explain that I am writing a book and why I have called at his door". That's very interesting", he exclaims. He offers his hand as he tells me his name. We shake hands, and I immediately feel at ease. Is hand is warm and the skin soft and supple. Now I concentrate on looking at his face and recognise that his eyes are friendly. All worries of him being unwelcoming evaporate into the warm evening air, as he enthusiastically begins to tell me the history of the property. We talk at length and he readily provides me with a wealth of information that will be of use for future local discovery projects. After about 20 minutes of chatting, I thank him for his help and, after warmly shaking hands again, I leave with the promise of returning in the near future to let him know when my book has been published.

Unlike for this gentleman, as I can't call at all of my readers doors, if you're interested in knowing when my book is about to be published (around July 2014), please email me at and I will keep you updated on the publication process and when it is ready to go on the shelves.

Furthermore, you can visit for more information.

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