The advantage of Salvation Army uniform is that it draws questions. Kate and I rushed out at lunch time to Sainsbury's to get some food for the house. I went for the bread and was aware of the Sainsbury member of staff bearing down on me.
As our trolleys pass in the bread aisle he fires a broadside! "Salvation Army?"
"Do you mind if I ask you a question?"
I pump myself up. He's an older guy - perhaps wanting to find out more about how faith can impact his life; perhaps searching for something that has been missing in his life; perhaps some deep regret eating away at his sense of peace. I - resplendent in my uniform - am in the right place and the right time for him.
"Sure" I look expectantly.
"Who is the General of The Salvation Army?"
Not the question I was expecting - nevertheless I am able to give him the answer to 11 across in the crossword puzzle he was doing.
He goes away happy! Whistling.