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Little Miracle On Stony Stratford High Street

Little Miracle on Stony Stratford High Street

The other day there was a little miracle on Stony Stratford High Street. Well, two actually. And they were both in the Post Office.

This week I bounced in the shop that houses our post office clutching the last batch of Christmas cards and to my amazement there was a queue. There’s almost always someone waiting to buy stamps, send parcels or what-have-you, but this was the busiest I’ve seen the place for some time Having a post office in town is a Good Thing and it’s great that it’s being well-used.

Miracle one. I joined the queue and looked round. People were chatting to each other. True, there were a few die-hards gazing deeply and silently into their smart phones but most of us were busy striking up conversations with the person next to us in the queue.

Here we are with an epidemic of loneliness and nobody talks to other real people. My nana was widowed when she was only 40 and lived alone for the rest of her life. She might have felt very isolated, but she enjoyed good mental and physical health and was very happy until she died at 96. She was a great natural chatter. That’s the key. She chatted in shops, in the garden, on the doorstep, in queues and on buses. She met some lovely people.

We need more enjoyable, aimless chatting with strangers in post office queues or on the bus in our lives. Stony Stratford is cutting edge in that way!

The health benefits of chatting with strangers is backed up by several lots of scientific research. One study showed that people tend to enjoy themselves during their commute a lot more when they chat with strangers. Those who spoke with a stranger had more positive experiences and tended to enjoy the commute more. Another study indicates we get similar benefits when we small talk with cashiers and other people we run into throughout the day. A little small talk goes a long way.

Of course, as with all these types of things, it’s always important to remember boundaries. Don’t spark up a conversation with someone who’s not interested and don’t push it if people don’t reciprocate. Be respectful and if you’re lucky, you might find someone else interested in sparking up a little chat as well.

My husband is another great chatter. When he meets a local service supplier or retailer who is a bit grumpy he turns on the charm and over time he builds up a relationship. “It makes the world go round better,” he say and he’s right. Plus – last week his chatting habit saved my bacon.

I had written out two envelopes to go to France and given them to Peter to take to the post office. Belatedly I realised I had forgotten to include the all-important town post code. Uttering a shriek that wouldn’t have disgraced a banshee I shot into the post office in search of him. But it was too late. He’d obviously sent them and gone on the next errand.

I found him further down the High Street (chatting of course). He came back with me, explained all to the post office clerk who obligingly went through all the mail bags and found the errant letters. I couldn’t believe it. I was profusely apologetic, but she couldn’t have been nicer. All because of Peter’s pleasant chats with her. Miracle two.

Come and have a chat at the Butterfly Loft! Booking accommodation in Milton Keynes couldn’t be easier. Just call on 01908 266602 to check availability and make your reservation.

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