As often as I am able, I pop back to the Bay on a Friday lunchtime to catch up with workmates. The visiting-drought of the exam period being over, I was excited to get down to my home-turf today to see friends, and was already on a promise for coffee. Perfect.
They'd been holding a fundraising day for the RNLI, thanks to my good friend Abi, and I was amazed to see how much people had got on board (pardon the pun!) with it. As well as a quiz, and refreshments, a beautician was on hand providing various treatments. Having decided the only thing I could have afforded would have been an eyebrow wax (if I could have borne the idea!) I thought I might get away without looking too stupid today.
So I arrived to find Abi selling cakes and looking flustered. I'm not sure how it happened, but the next thing I knew I was taking half my clothes off in the photocopying room and putting on some very special yellow wellies!
You see Stormy Stan is a volunteer lifeboat man. His profile describes him as mid 40's, about 14 stone, and likes the ladies but isn't lecherous. He's a poster boy for the RNLI, and today he made a special appearance at work.
He'd had a refit since I'd last donned those oversized squashy wellies and giant head in the relative isolation of Barry Island. But it was lovely to hear the delighted reactions of supposed grown-ups in the office environment, and receive the spontaneous hugs that otherwise reserved people gave this apparently complete stranger! (Some were particularly fond of the beard!). I posed for photos with friends and visitors, in the office and the Senedd - all in blissful anonymity.
It wasn't quite the coffee and natter I was expecting, but it was both fun and memorable.
It's always good to be reacquainted with an old friend!