The three plastic chairs

During our weekly trip to Sainsburys I rested my legs by sitting on one of three plastic chairs located by the check-outs. This is not what I used to do in the past. After a while a man called Michael sat down. We talked for ten minutes. In his eighties he has multiple sclerosis, he told me about witnessing the firestorm in WWII London from Abbots Langley, how there was no running water in his parent’s house and he told me about working in the old Sellotape factory in Kings Langley. He told me about his views on immigration (we’ve got enough), and he told me about the challenge of remembering birthdays of his twelve grandchildren. He enjoyed the chat, and I learned a lot.

My wife, Jane, spent an afternoon with my mum this week, and learned about how she made a great career at the Norwegian Tourism Office in London, starting from making dresses in a factory at 15.

I certainly know that in the past I didn’t take the time to do things like this. It’s amazing how my enforced slowdown is giving me the great chance to meet people like Michael. I guess the challenge is to do this when you don’t have to slow down.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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