I stepped off the train into the balmy Northern Irish weather, let me say that again, balmy! Sunshine and warm weather just like the don’t have in the travel guides, but more about the weather later. Waiting at the platform is either the person who is going to tell me about tattooing, or the serial killer that has had me travel half way across the planet to stuff me in the boot and bury my dismembered corpse in a peat-bog. Let’s call him Sparkey. In fact he says “Call me Sparkey!” whenever I attempt to call him anything else. Hands are shaken, luggage is stowed in the boot (blood stain free, as far as I can see).
I always worry about first meetings, it is often hard to see which way things will go, but he is both relaxed and nervous as I am. Talk of trips, weather and all the normal ice-breakers are employed by both parties, but the the tipping point comes surprising early in the trip. Now a tipping point as the name implies can go either way, it can roll the situation back to uncomfortable silence, or as it did in this case it call hurtle off the other side with a nice long drop that breaks the ice. This tipping point was an ice-breaker….
SPARKEY – You see her!
ME – Who?
SPARKEY – The red haired girl, crossing the road!
ME – Yes.
SPARKEY – That’s Her!!!
ME – Who?
SPARKEY – That’s the Irish Red Haired Girl!!
Me – Sorry?
SPARKEY – The Irish Red Haired Girl!! There’s only one! She just travels around all of Ireland, for the tourists to see!!
Like I said, tipping points…you can’t make them happen….but when they tip the right way you suddenly know everthing is going to be fine…