I Tweeted last week that I'd had a good nostalgia fix week.
I arranged to meet up with former Chief Super of Police Eddie Walsh & former Telegraph Editor Peter Butterfield, at wonderful Huntleys at Salmesbury, of course.
They're both a lot older than me, of course...but talk about getting a word in end ways?
On both occaisions, the designated hour easily & imperceptibly stretched into two.
These guys have been around & can tell a story...could have done with something like a chess clock to allocate time?
You have to talk about your aches & pains for a bit, how the family is, how much older than you'd believe any grand children had got, it goes with the territory.
They are both still pretty active guys, giving back to different communities in different ways. The encounters had some differences but a lot of similarities.
The most striking coincidence in both conversations was about the skill of interviewing (Police & journalism, got it?).
Of course now, penny dropped for me, obvious necessary skills in their chosen & celebrated professions.
But so, in my profession, youth work, you had to get young people to trust you, talk to you, confide in you.
Running a pub, all forms of selling, teaching, nursing, being a doctor, all business dealings, first dates, chatting on the bus, parent/child, just having a natter...don't we all enjoy it?
Speaking to & being spoken to by someone else.
I did an hour long "gig" some years ago in front of 250 (what I'd call) V formers, about how councils "touch" them nearly every moment of their lives.
A guy came up from Radio 4 to record the session & interview the youngsters & me.
When he came to me, he began with the "compliment", you were "extraordinarily eloquent".
"Oh Thanks" I said, "I'm not sure now whether to blush or curtsy"! I could see the headline: "Man in North strings sentence together".
So, so much revolves around good verbal communication sometimes framed as an interview, why do we seem to leave it to chance?
I love nattering with people, finding out what makes them tick, making them feel valued, getting them to articulate their fears, hopes, values & experiences.
Why don't we all undertake to have 3 good natters with someone we know or don't, every day?
Go on, try it...report back.