Monday, July 30, 2012

Meeting a fellow-blogger

On Saturday I posted about our reunion with friends and old colleagues from the goldmines of Guinea, West Africa. After a wonderful weekend of reminiscing and visiting, Grant and I traveled to London by train. One thing in favour of the UK, is its transport system. Nowhere in Africa, including South Africa do we have buses, trains, taxis and tour buses as efficient as those in England.

 Mid-morning on a Monday, the train was empty!

Within fifty minutes, we'd arrived at King's Cross station in London, walked out of the station and caught a taxi to our accommodation near Paddington station! It was Grant's first visit to London and also the first time he'd ridden in a London taxi. Being a blogger, I had to take a photo of the interior, didn't I?

Inside our London Taxi

Here I must just interject about luggage. It took me about thirty years and dozens of domestic matrimonial arguments to learn to travel light. On this trip, Grant and I each had a small carry-on case which we'd bought in Eldoret, Kenya last year. However, while on the Isle of Man, it was Grant who bought souvenir tee-shirts, jackets, caps, beanies and other memorabilia, as well as two new helmets for touring on our bike back in SA. In order to get this home, first to East Africa and ultimately to SA, he bought a large tog bag on wheels at Marks and Spencer. I stood by calmly and watched while he organized the packing as in the past I'd often been in trouble for buying gifts and curios and overloading the cases!
The small gold cases were compact and easy to maneuver compared to the large blue bag containing most of Grant's stuff bought on the Isle of Man! 

Arriving in London brought us one day nearer to meeting a fellow blogger of mine. Gattina of Writer Cramps lives in Belgium and she  and I have been blogger friends since  the beginning of 2009. She is also a cat-lover so you can imagine the connection! As it's quite impossible for us South Africans while living in East Africa,  to obtain a Schengen Visa, necessary to visit Europe, Gattina decided  to come to London and see me! She and a friend booked to see a musical which included hotel accommodation. (we didn't , unfortunately!) Ironically their hotel was in the street behind ours in Sussex Gardens. We arranged to meet in a pub the next day.

Of course, I knew what Gattina looked like and as she and her friend, Dominique (whom I also "knew" from Gattina's blog) entered the pub, I recognized her instantly. Originally Grant had been a bit apprehensive about meeting one of "my" friends and originally said he thought he should wait at our hotel while I met with her. He needn't have worried!   As we met,  we all hugged and within minutes of sitting down,  were chatting away like old friends - including my normally quiet husband! 
Gattina, Jo and Dominique meet in London

The hour-and-a-half flew by and soon it was time to say goodbye but not before we'd invited Gattina and Dominique to visit us in South Africa. 

Don't you all just LOVE blogging! 

A wonderful week to everyone out there in Blogland!


  1. Ha, ha, I just love that it was Grant buying all the souvenirs.

    You, Gattina and Dominique look like you've known each other for years.

  2. I have so many blogging friends I would love to meet. Lucky you!

  3. Hard to believe Grant had to buy, and lug around, a second suitcase.

    I love that you met more bloggers. It is very fun to be face to with virtual friends. I feel we too will meet one day.

  4. Hee hee, Grant had to buy a new bag. It must have been fun meeting Gattina. I saw her post about the meeting too. I have been blogging with her for some time as well When I met blogger friends in USA it was the same. It is as if you have 'known' them for ages and I guess that is true.

  5. Oh that was a nice meeting ! and Grant didn't have to be afraid with two more women, lol ! Next time you should also apply for a Schengen visa !
    That's really extraordinary that a man bought another suitcase to carry home stuff he bought ! He will enter the Guiness book of records, lol !

  6. How nice to meet friend in a wonderful place, Jo.
    Looks like you all had a great time.

  7. Funny - but sad - that Grant had to buy the extra case to bring home those special extra items! I could sense that you were chastizing him with a slight smile and nod of the head. hahahah. I usually traveled with too many un-necessary things in my bags. I took things like a door stop for security in the hotel, WD40 for quieting down noisy hinges, jack-knife, needle and thread, band-aids, folding cup for drinking, aqua-pills for purifying water, etc and etcf andalmost never used them.

    BTW - I'vc had my last CT Scan and will see my Oncologist tomorrow for the final report on the healing of my cancer. Then I'm planning a 100 mile hike on the famous Appalachian Trail. ☺

  8. That sounds like so much fun, meeting another blogger! I loved the story about Grant being the big-time shopper this time as you stood by and watched. I'm sure, being the sweet person you are, that you didn't chide him for all his purchases.

  9. Isn't Gattina a fun person to meet? We had a great time with her in Brussels, and she has promised to invite us to her home in Waterloo next time we're in Belgium, so we can meet all her cats!
    I laughed about Grant and the suitcase situation, especially as he had taught you to travel light.
    Luv, K


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