In case you were wondering: last week, I was away in Wales. I was staying in the small, snowy town of Penrhyndeudraeth, Meirionydd, doing some volunteer work.* Of course, I came back from my holiday needing another one to recover from it.
I managed to come across as a bit of a mad English tourist, whilst I was there, whilst I was in the local post office. The post office’s Lottery machine, you see, had a cardboard advertising hoarding on top of it. “Do you have a spare one?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” said the shopkeeper. She started to hunt around. “I’m sure we have one somewhere.”
“I don’t mean to be any trouble,” I said, “but if you had one handy – I’ve been looking for one of those.”
“I’m sure we did have another,” she said, wondering what the hell this mad English tourist wanted with a cardboard Lottery advert. “I’ll have a look for it and put it to one side for you.”
“Oh no no I don’t want to be a nuisance,” I said, feeling slightly embarrassed. “I just wanted one because that” – I pointed at the picture on the advert – “is my friend W, and it would be nice to have one. Well, um, thank you anyway. I really don’t want to put you to any bother.” And I left the shop, leaving me feeling embarrassed for causing a fuss, and her baffled at these strange tourists with friends off the adverts.
* “…with the mentally ill,” as one of the other people there said. I think it was The Goon, who may well be reading.