I first noticed years ago that being on my own, with my camera, made me seem approachable to people who wanted someone to talk to. I take it as a compliment and just listen.
Yesterday I went out hoping to capture some old buildings/autumn leaves/sparkly Irish raindrop type photographs. Instead, as is often the case, I got diverted and ended up with a memory card full of abstract close-ups of a pretty white goat.
And I also had a long conversation with a woman walking on her own around the same roads as me. She stopped to talk about the goat, but almost immediately told me that she used to walk her dog here every day. The dog died two weeks ago, and this was the first time she'd come here on her own. Such a sad and brave thing. I was glad we were able to talk about the much-loved dog and how much it always enjoyed being in this lovely rural area. I hope it helped, even a little bit, to soften the pain of what must have been a difficult outing.