Two days ago I got an e-mail from a blogging friend to say she and her partner would be in the area and would I like to meet for coffee. My first reaction was slight panic – I had always been envious of bloggers who met up but – being off the beaten track, as we are, never imagined it would happen to me. I had grown fond of my friend and admired her work- she is a writer- so when it came to a decision between meeting her and preparing for visitors there was no contest.
MTL was encouraging, although couldn’t be persuaded to join us. Not knowing who I was meeting (I like to keep people guessing – you may have noticed) my eldest son said:
‘For God’s sake take MTL or at least make sure he knows where you are. Make sure it’s in a very public place.’
The French son said:
‘What! In the flesh!’
Visions of white slave traffic but when I tell you that my prospective visitor was Granny P – Penelope – and her partner, Beloved, you will no doubt see the funny side of it
I was early. I hadn’t had time to ‘suss the joint’ because the original venue, I discovered, was closed until September, The garden looked attractive, the weather was fair so I chose a table with an umbrella and ready access to the conservatory should it be preferred.
Although I had only seen a blog photo I recognised Penelope instantly but she didn’t see me and I followed her into the hotel.
She turned and looked at me.
‘Are you Pat?’
We embraced in the continental way and sat in the garden where we were joined by Beloved who had been parking the car. We talked and talked and talked. Beloved was the perfect third person – never looking impatient at our utter absorption, bringing us tea and coffee and taking a photograph of us. Occasionally he would join in the conversation and I thought I detected the faintest northern accent – only noticeable to another northerner- he was originally from
I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything. Penelope and I talked for almost two hours without once feeling the awkward silence that can happen between strangers, because of course we weren’t strangers. We talked about our lives – past and present and found we had some shared experiences. It was quite personal and private so forgive me if I don’t elaborate. I also find it difficult to describe Penelope but if I tell you that I felt nostalgia for the old, close friends I used to have, you may understand. Penelope also was feeling nostalgic for the