Saturday, 9 January 2016

How do you do?


I was going to do a series of posts imagining the conversation between us bloggers meeting each other in person for the first time, but I need to have at least a little spark of inspiration to do that, and today is not the day.

I think that I have met two of you so far in reality - Britta and Shawn. I know Shawn a lot better than Britta, because I have never lived with Britta, and have left it a little late to move in now.

I wouldn't want you to meet me in person, because heros are so disappointing in real life. Ask Shawn. There is no point in asking Britta, because I was on my best behaviour when in her company for an hour or two, and H.I. and her daughter outshone me in any case. Britta knows a well-dressed woman when she sees one.

John did invite me to his wedding, but I think the Prof put him off the idea. I know that Rachel was looking forward to going, but I don't know if she did. If she did, she must have been sworn to the same sort of confidentiality agreement that my clients force me to sign, which is why you haven't had any photos for a couple of posts.

Heron has threatened to come and find me in May, but I hope he will not pursue the notion. I would hate to be disappointed as well. The trouble with pubs is that they let anyone in at least once, otherwise they would be called 'clubs'.

For all you others who live thousands of miles away, as much as I would like to call in on you during my next visit to your gaff, countries like Australia, the USA and Canada are very large places, and we don't always fly into the same airports. I would probably have to take an internal flight to where you live, and that would take the spontaneity out of it.

I don't know about you, but I hate the way people think they can just turn up on your doorstep without warning and expect a warm and hospitable greeting. This is probably why nobody ever does at our house these days. The ones that used to, all left with the strong impression that I am a permanently  hostile and grumpy old git, but they never stopped to consider the part that they played in my mental state by arriving unannounced. If they had given me a week's warning so I could put on a pair of trousers before opening the door, they would see me in a completely different light.

Half of the Christmas cards we get these days are addressed to H.I. only, and if there were cards that said, "I hope your New Year is shit!", they would probably be addressed to me only. There is an opening in the market for these sort of cards which Rachel could exploit.

I used to make friends with people on trains and also in cars when I hitch-hiked as a young man. The beauty of these relationships is that they have a very distinct, built-in end, so nobody has to worry about opening-up too much.

Then there are the 'Brief Encounter' potential relationships which are so doomed from the start that we just take pleasure in imagining what could have been. I had one of these very recently, and it was the most perplexing and tantalisingly impossible, briefest of moments that it has supplied me with food for thought ever since.

There is a Spanish cleaning-lady I know who is about 45 years old with an almost grown-up daughter and a somewhat blase, English husband. I find her very attractive, but not in the way that men simply lust after women. I think it is the reality which I like.

She was sitting in the pub the other night waiting to be picked up by him and taken the ten or so miles home in the car. She told me that in all the years they had been married, he had never arrived on time once, but always, always, kept her waiting.

"I wouldn't keep you waiting," I said.

"Well, you're twenty years too late as it is," she said with a smile.

You can read so much into that one sentence, with so many different interpretations. Wonderful.


35 comments:

  1. I think if we ever met each other we'd hate one another. I'm too scared to actually put it to the test.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd watch.. But from a safe distance!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Some people age graciously, then there are the rest of us. I'm probably down to the last ten people for whom I have a spark of love and genuine interest. It's because we miss all the old easy friendships and adventures we keep up at all with people and society. There could be an understanding spark and the new person could become one of the loved.
    You portray H.I. as one with that easy grace that welcomes everyone. They are the ones who keep society social.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS-I like your mention of the intimacy of meeting in England, vs. other countries. My state, Ohio, is about the size of England; I can drive top to bottom in three hours and diagonally in five, and have done so many times to spend a day with a friend.

      Delete
    2. It takes me 12 hours to do the same here, if you include Scotland.

      Delete
  4. I met you at your pub, not at your doorstep :-). And was thrilled with your best version, and with H.I. and her daughter later - so beautiful!
    I met a blogger from New York - at her home at the Hudson River. Marvelous!
    I have the maxim not to revisit old flames - that would be almost ever a disappointment. But till noe bloggers are wonderful surprises - so: dare and jump!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should be "now" and not NOE (nuclear Overhauser effect - Freudian slip?)

      Delete
    2. I love seeing old flames! It invariably makes me feel better about having been dumped.

      Delete
    3. I started middle age as distinguished, now I am extinguished.

      Delete
  5. Oh dear Tom. A bit of a put-down do you think? Fits in nicely with my post today

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll re-read your post and get back, Weave.

      Delete
  6. Do they do the double air kisses in GB?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes 3…that really catches you out!

      Delete
    2. If they go for three, I stick my tongue out and go for a full throat job.

      Delete
  7. I had to look up the word "gaff" and am glad to know it, so thanks for that.
    I didn't manage to run into you when I was in Bath a few summers ago, but then I didn't know about your pub. Next time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why the hell aren't you following my blog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You sound like me Shawn.

      Delete
    2. Give me a chance to answer please, Rachel.

      I cannot find a way to follow your blog is the reason. Where's the 'follow' button? I am NOT signing up for Google+, so you can forget that.

      Delete
    3. Just like yours, my blog has the "Join this Site with Google Friends Connect" widget. I see this same button on everyone else's blog, too. What do you see?

      Delete
    4. I've just gone back and joined up. The option wasn't there the first time. I am now aboard.

      Delete
  9. Dear Tom/Steve,
    It was just a wind up !
    I have no intention of ever visiting the UK any time soon, so you can now rest easy matey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melvyn/Heron. Thank you. I can now sleep easy-ish.

      Delete
  10. When I was in Bath recently I did wonder where your pub was and what you would look like if our paths crossed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a wonderful line from the coversation, that you were 20 years late.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I feel quite moved by this post with its raw emotional honesty. But then I had a horrible dream last night that has left its tendrils of disquiet in me. So I am going to watch Jonathan Creek and sew sequins. And try not to think about trousers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best not to think about trousers if you can avoid it.

      Delete
  13. I look forward to meeting you Tom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops! Sorry, I forgot about you. I suppose I just took you for granted.

      Delete
  14. I had a similar conversation to your spanish lady one a few weeks ago……it kept me smiling for days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish it happened more often, but the older I get, the less opportunities for flirtation there are.

      Delete