Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is an area of outstanding beauty. The dense woods are a wonderful place to walk and relax. We did a short walk there in the limited time we had on Saturday before going to Stafford.
I noticed how much more friendly people were in Cannock Chase than on the Gorring walk last week. In the woods, I was slightly taken aback when someone came up to us and actually started chatting! My reaction was undoubtedly a result of the unfriendliness of walkers in Gorring where some people didn’t even respond to us saying “hello”! The one exception was a very chatty German, who’d settled in Gorring 30 years ago. The behaviours fitted the stereotype of the South and Midlands/North. You can have many good experiences (I find people generally friendly) and yet it’s the bad one that conditions you.
I’d never been to Stafford and was pleasantly surprised by some of the older parts of the town centre, Victoria Park (which has a variety of playgrounds for all ages), and the scenic walk along the River Sow.
Before walking along the River Sow, I strolled around the town centre. It was fairly busy and most people were wearing masks. At one point, I was queuing to use an ATM. When the man in front of me left, my card wouldn’t go in the cash machine. Then I noticed the ATM asking if I wanted to use another service. I tapped “No” and out popped the man’s debit card! I vaguely saw where he had gone and chased him. When I caught up with him and gave him his card, he casually thanked me. I was puzzled that he wasn’t more effusive or relieved given that someone could have withdrawn money from his account whilst the card was in the ATM or even used it for contactless payment.