That done, I am in no rush to move from my sun drenched spot on the busy corner where main road, park and shops meet. Traffic lights flank the nearby crossing, and the bleeping 'safe to cross now' noise punctuates the day, as groups of people spill onto the pavement in front of me.
A crocodile of nursery school children straggles by, about twenty to thirty tiny tots in the charge of four uniformed carers, whose bright red T-shirts and black trousers make them stand out against the green grass of the park. They bring the line to a halt as they bend low to issue instructions before they unclip the two smallest children's reins, and send the whole group running, or in some cases, toddling unsteadily, towards the playground at the far side of the park. (And I have found a picture!)
|Havant Playpark photo thanks to Google Images|
He was born in Southampton, but has lived in the Havant area all his life. Now he has a basement flat near Hayling seafront, and he tells me "Some days are better than others." About this point, he suddenly holds out his hand and says "Let me introduce myself. I'm Kevin Butler"and too surprised not to, I shake it and say "Hello", but realise now I didn't give him my name in return. His grip is firm, and his hand and nails clean. He is a natural platinum blond with thick, pale eyebrows and eyelashes that stand out against his skin tone. I remember a teacher at school who was a true Albino, and I'm reminded of her colourless hair, but his is definitely the palest of yellows. He has an air of detachment about him, of not quite being part of life, although he greets by name many of the people walking past us.
Out of the blue, he asks "Are you a spiritual person?" and the conversation takes a different, unexpected turn as he tells of his friend Jenny and her interest in astrology and tarot. The rather surprising outcome of this chance encounter, is that one afternoon this week he'll be coming to me to do a tarot reading for him....