It’s a funny old thing, being recognised.
We probably all experience it to varying degrees. With me, it might be a quizzical look from a man in the queue, who asks: “Do I know you from somewhere?”
Or a lady behind the counter who wonders if your kids go to the same school as hers.
Increasingly, because so many viewers feel such a familiarity with Homes Under the Hammer, people are by-passing the hellos altogether.
Last week, I was in the security queue at Birmingham Airport when a man in front of me put his phone a few inches from my face.
“What do you think?,” he said.
“Are there two slates missing?
“The roofer says there are but I can’t see it. Go on, zoom in. You’ll know all about this.”
The day before, a lady stopped halfway up the milk aisle in the Kingsway Asda and said: “What about that couple, eh?
“You know,” she went on. “The one with the fringe and I think he was from Wales. Not a chance they’ll get it done in four weeks. Ridiculous.”
I must have interviewed 500 auction home buyers in my time on Homes Under the Hammer and had no idea which couple she meant.
If can’t afford the house you want, @MartelMaxwell gave us at #BBCMorningLive some tips on how to do up your existing house and garden to live in, or to increase its value to sell it on. Plus much more! Check it out on @BBCiPlayer 👇
— BBC Morning Live (@BBCMorningLive) April 19, 2022
Occasionally, people just shout from across the street: “Should have read the legal pack.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s one of the two golden rules – the other being to view the property.
You have no idea how many people spend vast amounts of cash on a house they’ve never seen.
I can never fathom it myself.
It’s good to talk, especially now
Far from minding when people stop to speak, I appreciate it. It’s nice.
I’d go as far as to say it’s been a good thing for my mental health.
You know those moments when you’re so far inside your own head and world, the walls can feel like they’re closing in?
With all the restrictions and uncertainty we’ve just lived through, I wonder if anyone has really come out the other side completely unaffected.
So just when I’m feeling a wee bit overwhelmed, there is nothing better than Davie asking how your back is.
I’ll always remember that stranger stopping me on the Perth Road to ask if I was still in pain.
Two minutes later it dawned on me – Davie had read about me putting my back out in this column so, in a way, we were already kind of pals.
It’s me, whatsername off the telly thing
Manners and kindness cost nothing and I’m awfully grateful for anyone who takes the time to chat.
I’m sure we all are. Life moves fast and sometimes it does us good to slow down and engage as meaningfully as we can.
The difference it can make to your day is huge.
And people are funny. I rarely walk away without enjoying a belly laugh at some quip or observation.
Back to the airport, I zoomed in on Avid’s picture and told him I couldn’t see any missing slates.
“Knew it, the roofer’s at it,” he said in a strong Brummy accent.
“I’ll be telling him Martine from Homes Under the Hammer said so. Thanks love.”
Ah well. What’s a correct first name between friends?
Clever, kind… he’s got to be Dundonian
Last week, I tweeted about my column, after the actor Mathew Horne gave me his House of Games darts board – weeks after the show had been filmed.
Many commented on his kindness. He’d played a cracking game and gave not one but two of his prizes away, presenting his luggage case, to comedian Chloe Pettes.
One lady replied to say his generosity was “because he’s a Nottingham lad”.
— Martel Maxwell (@MartelMaxwell) May 4, 2022
The I remembered a conversation I’d had with the actor – best known for playing Gavin in Gavin and Stacey.
He’d told me he would love to move to Scotland and indeed was part-Scottish.”
So I replied to the lady “and a bit Scottish too”.
Quick as a flash, Horne replied “53 per cent”.
So there you have it – he’s mainly Scottish and ever so proud of it.
I bet he’s a bit Dundonian too.
Get well soon pal
I’m so relieved my Homes Under the Hammer colleague Martin Roberts is out of hospital and taking it easy at home with his wife Kirsty and two children.
He’s always on the go.
With Homes Under the Hammer you can travel from Scotland to England then Wales within two days – so a rest is due after he was rushed to A&E with chest pains last month.
Sometimes an event happens which makes you reevaluate everything and as he says, he hasn’t taken enough time to smell the flowers.
I hope he’s dunking biscuits too – and watching oodles of telly and films.