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Last evening, after work, I drove to my local pub and had a few pints with a friend. Later, my daughter drove me home in her car. My own car spent the night in the pub car park, a bit of a worry but it was fine when I collected it the morning.

To get to it, my wife gave me a lift, part of the way at least, on her way to work. The remainder of my journey was on foot, about half a mile or so. Me, walk, unheard of, but I quite enjoyed it, passing and actually seeing houses that I’ve been past a thousand times before but have never really noticed. I also went by two schools and observed just how many fathers take their kids to school these days; changed times, I was almost the only one when I did the school run when my kids were young.

I exchanged ‘good morning’ with the lollipop man at the zebra crossing near the school. He then shouted hello to a passing bread delivery van driver, who I’m guessing, he sees every day, a passing friendship. I noted interaction between many people, smiling and talking as they met each other; parents cajoling their children along as they did so.

I also wondered why there was no queuing traffic at the junction with the main road as there always is when I’m in the car or is that just my perception when driving, trying to get somewhere in a hurry?

The sauntered walk was no more than ten minutes or so but I saw so much more of life in that time than I normally do when driving. The thing is, until my journey was over, I hadn’t realised I had taken all of this in, but I now have more stored memories to draw upon whilst writing.

So, the moral of the story? More drive drinking I think; or, I could get a dog. Either way, I think that, as a writer, due to my unconscious observational skills, my writing will benefit, and I might lose the beer belly too, haha.

Ken Balneaves wrote, The Greatest Gift, available at http://amzn.to/QF7RLd (US), http://amzn.to/O12kgX (UK)

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