It’s amazing what a person will do to find out something that isn’t their business – in this instance, that person being me!

Yesterday evening, I was sitting with my friend, Yvonne, in the Café Rouge, Henley, relaxing after an early evening meal.

Café Rouge, Henley-on-Thames

While I was idly staring out of the window, I was struck by the amazing number of people going into St. Mary the Virgin. I had a good view of the church from my seat, and for about thirty minutes I watched people pour into the church, including several vicars.

Looking towards St. Mary the Virgin, Henley, as the last few people made their way towards the church

Funny, I thought. It wasn’t a Sunday; it wasn’t a Feast Day, and it was a week or so too late for Whitsun. What was going on, I wondered. And more importantly, was it something I could use in a story?

My author’s curiosity got greater and greater.

Gradually, the number of people going into the church started to dwindle. And as I realised that whatever it was was about to begin, a vicar wandered past my window with a couple of his friends. It’s now or never, I thought. Forgetting all dignity (if ever I’d had any), I leapt up, ran out into the street and (white)collared the passing vicar.

Excuse me. What’s going on, I asked the startled man.

The swearing in of the churchwardens, with the Bishop officiating, he told me.

Curiosity satisfied, I went back into the restaurant – to be greeted by a sea of faces, all staring at me, open-mouthed. Only then did I realise how strange I must have looked.

That’s the thing about writing novels – you are always alert for the latest interesting/unusual/funny thing – both for its interest value per se, and also because you might be able to use it in a novel – and you go after it without any thought about the way you might look.

And what about you?  Was there a time when you threw caution to the winds in your desire to find out what was going on?