How to be paid a huge and unexpected compliment? This one floored me, took me utterly by surprise and to my delight.

I went down to my local shop (it’s a Tesco, but I’ve got over my aversion to the marketing work of Satan) to pick up a few bits and pieces. To be fair, the staff have always been very patient with me and my impaired speech.

‘Sorry, I can’t speak too well.’

‘Take your time. Hey, I’m here all day.’

Immensely patient and considerate and kind.

But today, one of the cashiers really made my day.

‘Sorry, I still don’t talk too well.’ I’m still embarrassed by this.

‘You’ve been coming in here a  good while now. You’ve always been understandable, though you were clearly having a struggle. You’ve kept at it though. You’ve kept at it, haven’t you? You were always understandable, but you’re so much better now. You have done so well, and it’s not been easy for you, has it? You just won’t give up, though, will you? You keep on keeping on when it’s hard work. And it’s worked. You’re so much better now.’

‘My speech therapists are pretty pleased.’

‘They should be. They’ve done a good job, but you have had to put in the sheer effort to make it work. You’ve done so well since you started to come in here.’

And I felt like a million dollars because a shop assistant paid me a compliment. I am actually tearing up just at the recollection.