Sunday, 9 August 2015

Close and too close

A while back Scrobs wrote a post on the issue of personal space and those who intrude on it, seemingly unaware of this particular social convention. We came across two examples today where personal space is really public space but often feels personal.

The first was on the bus to Cromer. There were only a few people on the bus with plenty of spare seats. An elderly chap occupied the seat in front of ours. The bus stopped about half way between Sheringham and Cromer, a grey-haired lady climbed aboard and without appearing to take any notice of spare seats just parked herself next to the chap in front.

There was no reason why she shouldn’t do this, but the chap in front looked vaguely startled and inched away in one of those making room gestures. He glanced furtively around the bus as if trying to work out why he’d suddenly acquired an unexpected companion. They didn’t know each other because there wasn’t the slightest hint of recognition.

The second occasion was in Cromer. My wife and I sat on a bench overlooking in the sea, reading our Kindles. Suddenly another elderly and rather large chap flopped down on the bench next to Mrs H. She only just had time to avoid losing her handbag as the chap’s vast behind descended.

I think the guy was just knackered, the heat and his weight being too much for him, a small patch of spare bench too inviting. We were about to leave in search of lunch anyway, so we did. We had crab salad.


Macheath said...

The seaside seems to bring out this sort of thing in people; I have lost count of the times that we have trekked along the sand to a nice empty area and established ourselves in happy seclusion only to have another family turn up and start hammering in their windbreaks a few feet away.

Michael said...

This is by Scrobs, as you know, Mr H...

It happened to us once on Putsborough Beach, which is miles long!

There we were, windbreaks aloft, and a family came and plonked their pitch right next to us, within feet!

There were several acres between us and the next pitch!

It's worse when someone parks right next to you as well...

Crab salad seems an ideal antidote!

wiggiatlarge said...

I have been a "victim" of the parking phenomenawhilst in Aus years ago we parked in multi story and were the only car on that floor, on return the only other car on that floor had parked next to us, maybe they feel they should fill all the spaces in sequence, a tidy mind perhaps ?

A K Haart said...

Mac - while camping, friends of ours had people pitch a small tent under their guy ropes.

Scrobs - is this primitive instinct why we have cities I wonder?

Wiggia - yes, a common parking problem. Maybe a battered old Landrover would not have the same issues.

James Higham said...

Exactly as I would have done.

A K Haart said...

James - gone for a crab salad?