Well finally, after quite a few years of chatting online, I get to meet Arky. He gets his act together and by 4.00pm on Thursday 1st February, we have a plan. A colleague will drop him at my house at 6:30 ish and we'll meet for the first time, have a few drinks and see if it's worth maintaining contact then whack him in a cab back to his hotel.
So why was I so nervous? Do I greet with a handshake, go the full hug or the polite European cheek kiss? The bastard was late and I was stewing for 40 minutes about the greeting . . . nothing else - just how would I react. I needn't have worried, he felt the same but he's lovely. Went the hug, took the wine (which I should have given back to you when you left by the way but forgot) and had a lovely evening. He's just as I expected, shortish, cute, quiet, arrogant, educated, knowledgeable, pedantic, honest, probing (in a questioning kind of way) but utterly comfortable to be with. We covered everything from colloquial names for glasses of beer to drug use, being at school, photography, relationships and the quality of the oysters. And I was worried there would be silent gaps - I needn't have. Nice one Arky, it was exceptional to meet you. And thanks ClareBear for cleaning up, you're a gem. Next time come for a little longer, bring the same weather with you (it's raining), bring the girlf and all the nerves will have gawn.
Now, do I have the courage to meet Oirsh?