Wednesday, 29 January 2014 (Blog posting re-printed with permission by Sue Watson.
Recently, I agreed to meet an online friend. In the flesh. In their home.
Now this online friend may be Lynda Renham, a fellow author with many books and sales under her belt – but what’s to stop her also being an axe-wielding-serial-killing-best-selling-author? She might well be the literary ‘Queen of Comedy’ and has delighted us all with her best-selling books, ‘Croissants and Jam,’ ‘Coconuts and Wonderbras,’ ‘Pink Wellies and Flat Caps’ and the thoughtfully (and sensitively) retitled ‘The Dog’s Bollocks,’ but what does she do when she’s not writing best-selling novels? Does she lock people in her attic? Eat human livers with a fine chianti and fava beans a la Hannibal Lecter? Or is she simply as lovely and funny in the flesh as she is on social network?
Arriving in Oxfordshire, imagine our concern to find the house didn’t exist, no-one was around except a man waving frantically at cars in the middle of the road. Is this a local Oxfordshire custom we wondered, putting up the car windows and locking all doors.
A text and some directions later we were finally ushered into Lynda and her husband Andrew’s home. And after a lovely warm welcome, Lynda and I talked and didn’t stop. For hours. It’s amazing how similar we are and how we can laugh… and talk … and laugh and it all started online with a few clicks of the mouse. It was a wonderful afternoon, the first, I hope of many, with fine food, lovely wine, and delicious company… and not a fava bean or fine Chianti in sight!
Here’s Lynda’s version of events…..
So, there was Andrew and I waiting, panicking about the food. We’d checked lasagne would be okay but things have a tendency to go wrong don’t they? We usually do have lumpy sauce. But this time everything was going well. The house looked tidy, the food was cooking nicely. If only I could stop looking out of the window and relax.
Our house is not easy to find. There are no street signs. So, when I received a text telling me they were near both Andrew, I and Bendy (our cat) had our eyes fixed on the window. Then a car went by slowly and I saw the woman passenger looking closely at the house names.
‘That must be them,’ I said to Andrew.
He hurried out to direct them to our cottage and I felt the first stirrings of nerves. What if she dislikes me? What if my house is too small? I watched as the car turned around by the local pub and Andrew throwing himself in front of it. Good God, has he gone mad? He waved them down, chatted through the window and then walked back as they drove off. Oh no.
‘They didn’t like me so have decided to go home.’
We strolled back to the cottage and waited for another text. Then we get one and they are at the pub. The right one this time, not pub I don’t mean but the right person. All pubs are the right ones aren’t they? And then they were here, hugging me at my front door. Sue Watson and her husband Nick and their lovely daughter and what a fab day we had. It was like meeting myself.