There I was, minding my own business in downtown Trelystan, pinning a poster to the 'village' noticeboard when I was hailed by an urgent looking and very lost lady.
Did I know where the pony-trekking centre was?
A quick think - and I swear that one could hear all the cogs whirring in my head - and erm, yes. I did.
Giving directions though was a different matter - this lady and the two excited girls giggling in the back of her car didn't seem up to taking extra information on board. They were late for a pony-trekking-party date. Late, late, late. It was all getting A Bit Too Much.
Would I take them there? Well I would but my car was seriously short of fuel and while I thought I might just about coast down the hill to Welshpool a 12 mile detour (and yes, these poor souls had gone round and round in so many circles that there were THAT far off target) wasn't possible.
Could I come with them - and she'd drive me back to my car?
So it was that I hopped into a car with three strangers and led them off down the lane which runs along the side of the Long Mountain - a lane so skinny, narrow and underused that one seems to be entering a lost world. We glide between long grass and wildflowers on the roadside and glimpse hidden bosky valleys through gaps in hedges hung with honeysuckle and roses. We agree the landscape is beautiful in these parts.
We found the pony trekking centre - which also had holiday cabins and an idyllic view over the Rea valley. The excited little girls rushed off to their pony-trekking-birthday-treat and their mother, good as her word dropped me back at my car. She was a lovely lady and I hope one day we'll meet again.
It was only afterwards when I started to think about the strangeness of this interlude that I wondered about the wisdom of disappearing to goodness-knows-where in a stranger's car. Not really from my point of view; she didn't fit the profile of the average axe murderer and I don't think I'm white slave material, but what about the two little girls and all those lectures about 'stranger danger'? What messages were given to them about caution and judicious behavior regarding strangers when mum whisks someone she has only met moments ago, off in her car? I hope she talks it through with them. Perhaps the message that not all strangers are potentially dangerous is a good one too.