Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Civilities


The world was quiet this morning, peaceful in a way that only today and the Christ mass morning are quiet, for on other bank holidays all the DIY and ‘warehouse’ shops are still trading. Felicia and I saw perhaps three cars on our circular walk through the woods, through the park, through the cemetery* and back to the manor.

We did, however, see four people.

Isn’t it odd how common civility had altered over the years? When Harold was young, everyone you passed would nod and smile and say ‘hello’ – gentlemen would raise their hats to Ada – and would deem it a personal insult if at least a common greeting wasn’t given in return. Today we had:

Person #1 (Youngish man with two medium dogs) gave me an animated ‘Good morning’ in return.
Person #2 (Thirties, prematurely balding, carrying a bag of gifts (or possibly booze)) offered a gruff, unintelligible syllable.
Person #3 (Middle aged overweight woman) shook her head and looked the other way)
Person #4 (Youngish bloke, overweight) ignored me completely.

Well, they say actions speak louder than words. I suppose that was the proof.

Such a pity.


*St. Jude’s has only a tiny graveyard and St. Pity’s graveyard is reserved for those with pious souls and/or those with families able to make large donations to the Catholic church. This necessitates the use of an out-of-town cemetery, though Laverstone has no crematorium.


Illustration by Sharon

5 comments:

stephanie said...

Indeed they do and it is.

Stinking Billy said...

jasfoup, I always speak - when I am able to catch their eye, that is. I am talking about folks coming towards me, known or unknown, here on my Street, but not in other parts of the village or in any other village or town. Is that not the norm?

Leatherdykeuk said...

Perhaps you live in a slightly better part of England than I, dear sir.

Laura Jayne said...

Hubby and I held a contest once on a walk, taking turns with our greetings with passers-by keeping track of who gathered the most words in return.

He won, darn it... 4 people each and he scooped up 8 words.

Leatherdykeuk said...

That honestly surprises me, that a man would garner more responses!