STRANGE ENCOUNTERS: The first happened when I was returning from a school athletics meeting and climbed aboard a branch line train which still used separate compartment carriages. Amazingly all the carriages were full and the compartment I entered was occupied by men carrying brown paper parcels. I noticed they were all very tanned. ‘Where have you been?’ One asked looking at my sports gear. ‘Running for my school’ I replied. ‘Did you win?’ Proudly, I answered ‘Yes, first in the 100 yards’. As they were friendly I said ‘You’re looking very brown. Have you been on holiday?’ With a big smile one replied ‘Yes, thanks to Her Majesty.’ It was then my time to get off so I never asked why she would have given them a holiday. It was only later that my mother told me that men carrying brown paper parcels were recently released prisoners, probably from the prison further up the track.
The second happened when I was at university, studying for my law degree. It was suggested that it was beneficial to have various vocational legal work experiences. One was called ‘Shadowing a Judge’. This entailed two weeks of accompanying a judge to various courts and listening to his judgements. Another student and myself were assigned to a very eccentric character. He drove us to the courts in a less than roadworthy car, and his decision in one case was unbelievable. A fellow came in who announced he was going to defend himself without a barrister. Not a popular stance where the legal profession are concerned. He was not wearing a suit, had on a navy blue shirt and sported a very bright yellow tie. The judge, whom we were sitting near said, in an aside to us, ‘I don’t like his tie’. The man was doomed. He didn’t stand a chance. He lost his case all because of a tie.
SMILE FOR THE DAY: What is round, evil and very angry? A vicious circle.
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