Social skills come in useful
Saturday 14th March

It's 3pm and I'm walking along the main shopping street in Altrincham town centre. Two people are standing in the street looking at me as I walk past them. I go to WHSmith and go to where the A4 paper is in the store.

As I write a lot I use up to 50 sheets of paper a week. WHSmith used to have the best value with their standard pad of 200 sheets of wide ruled lined A4, however in the last few weeks the quality has dropped to the point where its not possible to write on it using an ink pen. Altrincham, compared to Manchester, sell less so there might be some of the older good quality paper in stock. Now I'm here and there isn't. Even the premium quality paper they're selling is more like recycled paper.

I leave Smiths and walk along the main street. The two people are looking at me again, it's a guy and a lady in their 20's standing talking in the street. I've become so streetwise by going out to the city and approaching random people, I walk straight up to them and say
Me: "Do I know you?"
Him: "Yes, we met in the pub years ago."
Me: "You know Ben."
Ben is someone I used to be friends with from school. It was before he bought a house with his girlfriend and had a baby. We still talk occasionally.
Then I recognise the lady who I know from when she used to work in Sainsbury's. She also knows Ben.
Me: "I remember, hi how's it going?"
Him: "We've just watched the football."
Her: "He's in a bad mood. United lost 4-1 to Liverpool."
We talk a while and I say.
Me: "We should meet up again, go out to the pub."
Him: "Ok."
We swap numbers. It's because of all the people I've spoken to over the past few months and asked to swap numbers with, it's become a routine now.
Her: "We'll text you when we're going out next week."
Me: "Ok, see you later."
Them: "Bye."
I walk off in the direction of the supermarkets to go food shopping, then the guy shouts after me.
Him: "Alex."
I stop and turn around, they're walking towards me.
Him: "Do you want to come to the pub now?"
Me: "Ok."
We go to the Vineyard and meet up with some of their friends. It's nice being here talking.
We go to the Station Hotel. By now there's 6 of us in the group and we're having a good time.
These people I'm out with are cool because they enjoy just being in each others' company. They're not searching for entertainment or want me to be someone I'm not. It reminds me of what I was saying on the 8th March to Marko about how many people nowadays can't enjoy the moment. These people sort of can. They understand the concept of being around people and taking time to get to know them.

It's nice here in the Station Hotel. There's 80's music playing. We all have a laugh at the coincidence when a guy walks in the place wearing shoes with no socks proper 80's style!

We go to the Slug and Lettuce. It's now 7:30pm.
We talk and have a good time here.

Jane and her boyfriend the two people I originally met in the street today invite everyone back to their place for pizza. I thank them for the offer but decline as I'm tired and didn't get to bed until 4:30am this morning.

It was a fun afternoon. If it wasn't for all the going out over the past few months I wouldn't have been so forward and able to approach the people, swap contact details, then be invited out and take this opportunity.

Summary and venue reviews: Saturday 14th March

Notes: A town south of Manchester.

Vineyard Altrincham
Medium busy. Clientele: locals. Decor: 7/10.
Vineyard Altrincham

Station Hotel Altrincham
Medium busy. Clientele: locals. Decor: 6/10. Music: 80's.
Notes: Polite bar staff and quick service. Station Hotel Altrincham

Slug and Lettuce Altrincham
Quiet. Clientele: smart casual. Decor: 7/10.
Slug and Lettuce Altrincham

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Alex Remizo