I was on a family holiday in Dubrovnik in the late eighties at a time when it was still part of old republic of Yugoslavia.
It was not the best holiday I've ever had in fact it was awful, caused by a combination of foul weather, the worst summer for four decades we were reliably informed, and the unfriendliness people it's ever been my misfortune to come into contact with.
In fact they made Parisians look friendly and Bavarians seem charming.
In retrospect there were obviously unseen tensions lurking beneath the surface, which finally erupted into the vicious civil war, which saw the break up of the old Yugoslav republic.
However on this particular morning the weather had picked up a little and the sun was shining and the restaurant waitresses seemed a little less surly than usual so we went for a walk after breakfast.
We headed towards the marina through a rather pleasant little park when we noticed something on the quayside and we went over to investigate.
We came upon a scene with cameras and lights and an arrangement of rails on the ground for the camera to run along and a lot of people milling around like a group of industrious ants and then there was another smaller group with two men dressed in east German uniforms and the unmistakable figure of the great Welsh actor Jonathan Rhys-Davies.
I know that some of you are asking "who the hell is Jonathan Rhys-Davies” well you may not recognize the name but you would certainly recognize the face and some of the many characters he's played such as Prof. Maximilian Arturo in the sci-fi series Sliders, Sallah the jovial north African friend of Indiana Jones in the adventure movies and Gimli in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
So now we all know who he is, I will continue.
We stopped to watch the filming and surprisingly there were very few people who did pause to view the proceedings and most of those who did quickly moved on.
Which I found quite strange as it wasn't as if there was anything more interesting to do in Dubrovnik during the wettest summer for forty years.
There were several takes of the shot they were filming and between takes Mr Rhys-Davies kept looking over in our direction and when the director was finally satisfied with what he had he signaled for them to pack up for the day.
On this signal Mr Rhys-Davies made a beeline to where we were standing and greeted us like we were long lost friends and kissed my mum, which thrilled her to bits.
We exchanged introductions and he proceeded to explain that they were in Yugoslavia to film a pilot for a proposed TV show for one of the American networks entitled "THE COMPANY” in which he played a CIA man. He then wanted to know where we were from, where we were staying, how long we were staying, were we enjoying it.
All of course totally irrelevant to him but he took the time to find out about us rather than do the usual luvvie thing of talking about themselves and listing their credits.
There was no me me me with him at all.
He spent over half an hour chatting with us then he posed for photos but not in self grandstanding way like stars do for the benefit of the paparazzi then he kissed my mum again.
He had to be called three times by his production people to get in the car and even then he apologized profusely that he had to leave.
Whenever we watch an Indian Jones movie or an episode of Sliders before I can even speak my wife says "I know its Jonathan Rhys-Davies, you met him in Dubrovnik and he's a very nice man” before I can say a word, how sad is that.