Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Be Nice To Strangers

I caught two lady ramblers in the front garden this afternoon. Both were peeping through the cottage windows. And both looked incredibly shocked when I bellowed out a lusty
" Can I help You?" from the field.
The younger woman was bright red in the face and very apologetic and explained that she wanted to know if we had natural ceiling beams  or painted ones. She had been told that " proper Welsh Cottages " always had painted ceilings.
Both women were American, and both were on an organised walking holiday. I think the younger woman said they were from Columbus , Ohio.
Of course I invited both in to see the ceiling for themselves
and there was much 'oooohhhhing'and 'arrrhhhhhing' when the ceiling was presented



The older woman saw our collection of gaudy Welsh jugs that I have displayed between the ceiling beams and squealed excitedly that she would love to own one.
This tickled me , and I remembered that in the kitchen cupboard I had put a cracked and chipped jug that I had bought from ebay for just a few pounds some years ago. As the woman took a couple of photos of the beams ( I never asked them just why they thought the subject was so important)  I found the jug and offered it to the woman who thought all her Christmases had arrived at once.
It was no skin off my nose as the jug was more or less worthless, but it seemed to make the woman's day
The Happy Americans left when I got sidetracked with another visitor
( a woman who wanted me to take in her five hens..which included 
a lovely
black Orpington who I have now named Bunty 

Bunty ...the size of a bowling ball

When I returned to the cottage after sorting the hens out , I noticed a scrap of paper wedged in the letter box
Wrapped in it there was a Crisp £ 10 note
And written on the paper the words
Two nosey Americans say thank you






91 comments:

  1. You forget the power of beams!!

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  2. At first I cringed that they were Americans, but their note kind of made up for it. I didn't know that about Welsh painted beams (ours are unpainted).
    Bunty hen!! Next batch of hens I get, I want a Black Orp, too!

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    2. Okay I am now extremely embarrassed that they are from Ohio, too. Sigh.

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    3. Carol.. They couldn't have been any sweeter if they tried

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    4. :) that makes me happy! And you are just so cool.

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  3. Only in Trelawnyd!
    Jane x
    PS Bunty is beautiful

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  4. Of course they would be Americans. Sigh. I'm glad they left the note, at least. How gracious of you to welcome them in and give them a gift.

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    1. Jennifer..... I found them charming......apparently they were off to walk over to Skye on their next leg

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  5. That was very sweet of them and you were so kind to allow them in your home. Very nice.
    Bunty is quite bodacious!

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  6. Like Carol, I cringed when I read they were Americans. We don't need any more bad publicity. However, the visit turned out well, and the ladies were thrilled and they met a polite Welshman who was gracious enough to invite them inside and even give them a gift.

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  8. I have to laugh at my fellow American commenters. We do so worry how we are represented by our citizens when they travel. LOL

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    1. I sure do! ;)

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    2. Yup. Especially when they're as nice as John. :)

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    3. Having lived abroad where i saw many Americans rudely treated because people had had earlier encounters with "ugly Americans," i understand the cringing.

      I did tell one ugly American to cut it out didn't he realise he was perhaps the only American these people might ever meet, so like it as not, he was representing his country. He moved away from me, refused eye contact, and one older French gentleman who witnessed the exchange smiled and told me he didn't hate me quite as much as the ugly American because he thought i was English. Yes, he hated the English, too, but when i lived in France, Americans and Germans were held in a rancor all their own.

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    4. Good story Megan....cro will like this one

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  9. Well there you go...five hens and some money for chicken feed. Bunty is lovely. Now, a Canadian would have hidden behind a tree and used binoculars through your window lol.

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  10. You had powerful beams to play over those friendly ladies from the US. I love impromptu visits and you seem to have quite a few! Love Bunty and her sisters. Hope they're all safe. x

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    1. The cottage lieson the side of a lane..... We are not tucked away... That's what happens when you live on a thorough fare

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  11. Obviously you are a gem of a man. Glad at least the ladies left a note and Bunty, well.....what a looker!

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  12. Damn those intruding Americans! They make us all look so crass and well done to you for being so gracious. And by the way...you've got some fine looking beams there.

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    1. Donna, they were charming, and polite and funny and chatty
      Ok they were a tad excitable but that was all..
      Not crass at all.....

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  13. Oh my, from some of the comments I can see that we truly are unloved are we not? I have found that we Americans who prefer animals to people are often easier to take. Americans may be seen as crass to many, but they, for the most part have very large hearts easily given away. Love your blog, and have now for some time. Of course - its all those wonderful animals.

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    1. Liz..the only people that said oh dear were the American blog readers.......

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  14. They could, at least, have offered you an oil well or two!

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    1. No oil in Ohio, just natural gas wells, and you wouldn't want one of those, believe me. Could we interest you in a few hundred acres of soybeans?

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  15. Ah, Ohioans...blessed midwesterners not far removed from village life themselves. Their window-peering boldness shocks me a little, but at least they had the grace to be embarrassed. Imagine the story as it will be told to their amazed neighbors back in Columbus. Love Bunty, she's a beauty.

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    1. I thought they were mother and daughter
      But they were in fact cousins

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  16. This is too funny. Your beams must be quite exciting as well as close to the road. Ohio, eh? Columbus is just down the road from my village. I can imagine the questions; I work in a public building, the town hall, and often find myself trying to answer questions in languages of the world.

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    1. Don't you have painted beams in Ohio Joanne ?

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  17. It is moments like that that can really make people's holidays in foreign lands - connecting with the natives even when they ask questions in a "lusty" manner.
    "Oh gee Dolly, he was wearing gumboots and holding a pitchfork. He looked so buff and lusty as he came across the yard and his lil'ol Welsh cottage was so perdy and quaint. He reminded me of Harrison Ford in Witness! Want a waffle?"

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    1. " buff and lusty"
      You know me very well YP
      ( good blog reply..as usual)

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  18. Some us call those 'middle' states flyover country, meaning they look better from 30,000 feet. I've found that excepting Texas, the people are as you describe.
    Nice going, John.

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    1. Now how do texans differ?

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    2. 45 years ago in med school we did WBC/CBC counts by hand. An acronym from then was TNTC, too numerous to count. Same for texas.

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  19. John I would have expected you to be charming and welcoming. I love impromptu visits and have had many over the years, having a public nursery at the back of our property we get impromptu visitors all the time some of them very memorable. I love Black Orpington’s and Bunty is a gem.

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    1. She is isn't she?
      Like a galleon in full sail

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  20. Oh how lovely. Two strange ladies coming round to admire your jugs! hehe

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    1. Good job they didn't want to see my cockerel

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  21. I forgot what I was about to say after reading Julee's comment!

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  22. We don't get many tourists, being so remote. Those that do make the effort are treated like long lost relatives - islanders fight over 'em.
    If they get this far we reckon they've earned a cup of tea and a gypsy cream..... :-)

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    1. Gypsy cream... You giddy kipper

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  23. I am hoping they knocked first and then no answer decided to take a peek in the window.
    I find many American are quite lovely when traveling but then there are the ones that just make you cringe ! I think we have big hearts are are just so excited to see place we have only read about. That's me.
    And you know that till they die this visit will be shared and remembered. You Harrison Ford you ! as another commenter said !
    When I visit my extended family in Japan I am very careful not to hug ! At lest not right away.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I am sure they knocked
      They reminded me of when my sister and I were painting one of the rooms in the cottage before chris and I moved in
      I caught mrs jones and Olwena hughes peeping through the window to see what kind of people we were

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  24. Big, black, bowling ball, bellowing Bunty :)

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  25. you got them with you 'tractor beams'... bah bah boom ting... (drums) beams get it....! lol

    that hen is a looker. She looks like a Lady. I would have called her the Dowager Countess of Grantham (downton Abbey). And called her Countess for short. she is lovely

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  26. Well they went away misinformed. You don't have a ceiling - if you did, it would be nailed to the underside of those joists.

    What they saw was the joists and the underside of the floor upstairs.

    Send them their £10 back, you lying bastard.

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    1. This is how I make my living - by pretending to know about these details. Anyway, I have friends in Columbus, Ohio, and I want to protect them from you and your chickens.

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    2. John, being nosy seems to be universal, eh? But you handled it with your usual charm and grace!

      That phrase you used ... "no skin off my nose". I heard those words many times as a child in North Carolina. My family came from Wales to America in the late 1700's.

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    3. Ms du bios to you , sir

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    4. The du bios reply was for tom....Victoria.... I always thought it was from northern uk
      Apparantly some people think it originated with 18th century boxing
      Or
      Think it came from when the Vikings used to tax us. If you did not pay up they slit your nose and knew next time they came that you still owed them.
      Do you know where in Wales your family originated from?

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  27. Bunty is a stunner. And I love that the kindness of strangers was recognised - and reciprocated.

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  28. Bless - a lovely story all round. Bunty is a stunner!! xxx

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  29. That got me a little teary....Love Bunty

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    1. Pull yourself together darling xx

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  30. You will always be fondly remembered John for your hospitality to strangers!
    Here's my theory about brash people........the more people that are crammed into a small space and forced to live together, the more the chance of meeting up with 'those' that are not coping well with and in their environment. So when they travel abroad they bring that 'survival instinct from home with them.

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    1. Jimbo
      Are you entering the flower show this year?

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    2. You are so funny, John! In a good way of course.
      I was thinking the same thing when you first mentioned it a while back and got distracted with the shoppe this past month. So, I will take a look at that post again and see what I can do/send over. thyanks for nudge.

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    3. Please do.........I'll be chuffed if you won!
      Enter one of your photos at leastX

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  31. See your hens reminds me of Queen's song "Fat Bottomed Girls"!

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    1. Hello melinda....... She has an arse the size of texas

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    2. That is a mighty big ass then LOL

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  32. Who? Melinda or Countess Bunty? lol!
    Countess Bunty of Trelawnyd is rather gorgeous!
    How very kind of you to off-load an old jug, fancy getting a tenner for it too! You'll be the talk of the town when they get back home probably.

    I'm loving having my hens, had a cuddle with one of them tonight at cooping up time, she sits in the pop hole entrance so the last one can't get in. So I lift up the roof and pick her up for a cuddle and the last one hops in.
    I was supposed to be getting 4 pols the first week in August, don't know if I can cope with 7hens just yet!

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  33. You are such a sweetie, John.

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  34. Fleecing two naive women for ten quid for a worthless cracked jug while pretending to be all sweet and nice so they didn't even realise how you manipulated them into feeling obliged to pay up without you even asking? What a con man. What an operator... You should get into politics.

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  35. Funny. Both your post and readers' comments.

    Am divided on the subject of Americans. If nothing else they are generous. A dearly beloved of mine is American. My heart melts when he phones me. And he'd be the first to agree that a member of any nation is just a caricature of the sum of many parts. Which is why it pays to leave the motherland and travel (worse, move) abroad. That way you 'll learn all there is to know about prejudice. Theirs and yours.

    Welcome to John's zoo, Bunty. You'll be in good hands. Don't forget to lay eggs. Not sure of my facts but wasn't one of Bertie Wooster's friends called Bunty?

    U

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  36. It sounds like you all had a lovely experience. There isn't anything wrong with curiosity when it is done in a charming and inoffensive manner. How kind of you John to be so effusive and welcoming. It seems a shame that we more "touchy feely" Americans feel a need to apologize for the clods of our country when, as Ursula so aptly points out, they are common in all nationalities! Love Bunty; do you think her namesake will be flattered?

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  37. After reading the posts and all the comments, all I can say is Love the joists, and good on you, John. :-)

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  38. You did well, John. Loved this story and the comments. It would be nice if the two ladies knew about your blog so they could read about themselves.

    Orpingtons are splendid hens and the black ones are particularly special. Big, solid gorgeous girls!

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  39. That's hilarious! Do you have a place to stay in Columbus now?

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  40. You are so sweet and understanding, NICE birds,

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  41. Reminds me of a few months ago when I was having an outdoor sale at my house here in the South Carolina Lowcountry to sell things I no longer need or want to those who may need or want.

    I had several Steiff animals on one a table and a lovely German woman was gushing over them and bought one small one, wishing that she could buy them all. I told her to wait, went into my house and found a 50 year old Steiff soccer ball. I handed it her and she was like a child at Christmas. She did not tuck a $10 bill in my letter box.

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  42. P.S. Bunty is a beauty!

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  43. That's one big Bunty. I'm so relieved the Americans were nice. They're probably fascinated by all things Welsh. I think most people are fascinate by something. For me it's Sylvia Plath and some other poets and writers. For Willy Dunne Wooters it's cold cases, usually women who have disappeared.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Pardon me. "Fascinated" by something.

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  44. Ha! lovely story. We Americans may be nutty, but we're not so bad.

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    1. You all have big hearts generally lauren

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