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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

When flowers say nothin` at all....

So I was at a regional airport, somewhere in the UK, about to be filmed for a soap. There`s a lot of waiting around when you`re an extra, but I never mind. You can chat to the rest of your group, read; hammer Twitter like it`s going out of fashion...or listen to music. Or just watch the people around you.

This setting was a strange fusion of `art` and life. Flights touched down. Slightly weary but tanned *real* people  walked through; past tanned *soap* people.Some were slightly dazzled and bewildered by the TV cameras; others just nodded and smiled at them, celeb-style.

Within my sights (in the *real life* area, not in the TV drama-zone...) was a middle aged man, his features partially obscured by a hefty bouquet of red roses and creamy white lilies. He stood back a bit from the flow of passengers through the concourse, watching and waiting; glancing up at the arrivals board; shifting feet a bit. It was about 20 minutes before the intended recipient appeared. Similar age, walking through with a woman. Friend? Lover? Carer? Fellow passenger? I started to smile; eyes darting from man to woman and back to the bouquet again--I was *in* on the floral secret, after all.

He walked towards her, and stood really close, saying a few words. I craned my neck. No kiss. Her neutral expression stayed that way. She made no move to take the bouquet. OK--maybe she was laden with luggage. But the flowers barely got acknowledged. In a nano-second, she was walking towards the exit .The man paused for a few seconds, then followed, still clutching; a little more awkwardly now, the bouquet.

My instinct was to mosey on after them...OK...sorry about this, but to, you know, eavesdrop a bit. Check out the bins, even. But I`d been told to wait in the bar with another extra. We were deep in the background of the shot being filmed, but I dared not move.

And so I don`t know what their story was, or how it ended--but it left me feeling really sad. The bloke appeared to have gone to some considerable expense to get the flowers made up. He`d been waiting a while. And--well--with flowers, you expect some kind of response, don`t you?

Things got busy then, so I put the flower man out of my mind. Hours later, driving home, I thought about him again and tried to challenge my own, automatic perceptions. My sympathy had automatically been with the man. The flowers could have been trying to say `welcome home`...or `happy birthday` or `happy anniversary`. Or even `bloody hell, I`ve just realised I love you`.

But...maybe..they were to say sorry. Maybe.... he was an absolute git and had really upset her before the holiday. Perhaps she`d jetted off to Barcelona or somewhere, to escape him. But then here he was, with the big (and so public) apology. Which she wasn`t going to buy. Or maybe...she said something really sweet to him, but couldn`t take the flowers, or smile, or kiss him.... because her hubby was in the car park. Who knows?

Curious though I was, and still am...I decided it`s probably safest never to make assumptions about people, or their situations.

Especially when you`re sitting, as I was, in an airport departure lounge with an overnight bag, and a tanned, handsome hairdresser half your age, from Nuneaton .

Funny places, airports......

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