Yesterday afternoon, on my way back from the village shop.

A car has drawn in by the side of the road, engine idling, the driver in the process of getting out. He spots me.

“Excuse me,” he asks, very politely. “Do you speak English?”

His accent is broad West Midlands. I am nonplussed. “Yes,” I reply.

“Great. Could you tell me the way to the windmill?”

“Just down here and turn left.”

“Thanks.” And he was in his car and away.