More than what meets the eye

A few things have got me thinking recently, about the beauty of strangers and how we never truly know who we are walking past in the street and what their story is.

If I could have any super power in the world, it would be to read people's minds. This is mainly because I'm possibly the nosiest person you will ever meet, yet also because I feel like there's such depths to strangers which passers by never truly appreciate or think about.

I did a weeks work experience at Mancunian Matters, a digital newspaper based in Manchester, who on one day paired us up (I was paired with my lovely new friend Paul... who I know is reading this right now) and set us free to roam the streets of Manchester and talk to strangers ...

That sounds a lot weirder than I anticipated.

The guy running the course told us that he believes every person who we pass on the street has their own story to tell, and we were given the challenge of finding out the most interesting story we possibly could in an hour.

Due to the fact that we only had a short amount of time, and some people really DO like to talk - not that that's a bad thing ... unless you're under a strict time limit - we eventually settled for a young girl (who's name I have since forgotten, sorry!) who had met the Queen.

Although this wasn't the story I had in mind, I guess I must've been hoping for a Pride of Britain-esque tale, it was still amazing and definitely the most interesting of the day.

To the cute old married couple who told their story of the deer escaping from the National Park - yours was a close contender, please don't be disheartened.

Anyhow, I suppose what I'm trying to say is that on any other day, I would've just walked straight past this unfamiliar girl on the street with no idea that she had set foot in Buckingham Palace and met HRH. There's a popular belief that you are only five people away from anyone you want to get to. I guess this girl was my first step ... I'm coming for you Queenie!

Going back to what spurred this ramble on, Louise Dougherty is completely to blame. Apple Tree Yard was a book I read recently which had me gripped right through to the end, the mystery of the characters and uncertainty of the ending was definitely responsible for that.

The novel embarks on a tale of a married woman having an affair with a man who radiates more enigma than Sherlock Holmes himself. Now, this blog post focuses on simply walking past strangers we know absolutely nothing about, yet the main character in this novel (Yvonne Carmichael), goes one step further and hops into bed with them.

It was destined to end disastrously, yet not quite in the manner that we automatically assume. Without giving too much away in case anyone wants to read it (I definitely recommend that you do) Yvonne and her 'bit on the side' end up on trial for murder.

Another thought provoking event happened in the airport. There's always been something about airports that I find so interesting, I think it's mainly to do with the fact that they encompass so many different emotions, whilst remaining all under one roof.

Coming back from Rhodes was heartbreaking enough, yet on top of that we had to endure an 8 hour delay. Although this wasn't the best end to our holiday, I'm glad it happened as it allowed us to meet the sweetest old man.

Sporting a Rhodes baseball hat and tired eyes, he just looked like your typical British tourist coming back from the mandatory summer holiday. Yet, after we got chatting to him, he told us about how his wife and daughter both passed away in the same year, to the same awful disease. 

Here was a man who had suffered through so much heartache, yet there was absolutely at all that was bitter about him. Anyone else who had been through what he had may have crumbled and looked at life as though it was poisonous, yet this was the complete opposite to his attitude. I remember him leaning across and saying "live long and take it easy", which I've come to realise was a saying that had kept him going for the past 18 years.

I think I've pretty much written a novel here, so thank you so much if you've managed to read to the end without getting bored! 

My reasoning for this post is to send a message that you shouldn't be so quick to dismiss and judge strangers, as you never know what is going on in their lives - or what amazing stories they have to share with you. 

Finally, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who was so lovely about my last post, it honestly meant the world to me and was definitely a motivation to write more!

Grace x 


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