twas over 10 years ago now on a quiet day in the flower market. There were no ‘punters’ about, I seem to recall it was about 8am and we’d been at work for five hours. I was at the back of the stand with my two colleagues talking about nothing.
A man strolled along the front of the stand. Slightly bedraggled hair, looked about 60, looked rather tired. He wore a large coat, he had his hands in his pockets helping to keep the coat wrapped round him. He stopped and looked at the tulips, then he looked up, made eye contact and I stepped forward. Judging him to not be the wealthiest of people I made the decision to not go higher than normal on price. It’s how markets work, we’d do that from time to time.
“Tulips?” he asked
“yup” said I
“How many in a bunch?”
“50, and we don’t split the wraps” said I, correcting his esoterics
“how much?” he said
“from 12.50” I said, not overly engaged either I must admit
“that one?” he said pointing to a bundle of red Rococo parrot tulips
“17.50 for the parrots, that’s 20.57 with the VAT”
“Yes please” he said, I handed them to him and went to the back of the stand to get my salesbook.
As I wrote out the ticket a tall (she seemed) elegant,serene, stunningly beautiful woman came up to him;
“I’ve got these” he said
“lovely, where for?” she asked
with that he gave me £21 and I went to the back of the stand to get 43p change from the biscuit tin we laughingly called the till.
As I came back they walked off, I held up my hand with the change, he looked back and sort of waved me off in polite manner that said ‘keep the change’.
it was then that I realised. I understood in a small way how the two disciples Jesus met on the road to Emmaus felt when they recognised him. I just served
Tony – what a beautiful story and well told… wow.