During my trip to north Devon I met up with two other bloggers, an old acquaintance and a new. I've been reading Pat's blog for ages and I knew she lived somewhere around there, so I emailed her to suggest a meet. It turned out that the most practical plan was to meet for lunch on the day I travelled down. Pat is rather more beautiful in the flesh than she is in her photos. She's great company, very chatty, and enjoys good food and wine (just a glass, nothing outrageous - anyway, I was driving). It was a hot day, so we both chose cold homity pie and a range of salads followed by strawberries and cream - yum! The conversation flowed, much of it about books and writing, also travel, voluntary work, tennis, music, footwear, gardening, families, and probably several other topics too. I felt very comfortable in Pat's company; she seems to have a knack for accepting people just as they come. She also has a slightly wicked sense of humour! It was a great way to break my journey, and I hope we can do it again sometime.
The other blogger was Martin of Combe Martin, who has an even more wicked sense of humour than Pat. I only found his blog when I was researching the area, I read most of the archives and his evident love of the village persuaded me to go there. I dithered about whether or not to email him, but as we weren't online friends already, it felt a bit cheeky. There are pictures of Martin and his distinctive dog Bandit on his blog, so I decided I'd say 'hello' if I saw him in the village and leave it at that.
I saw him the minute I got out of my car. I'd parked in front of the flat and he was on the beach with Bandit and some friends. I was tired and hot, with lots of unpacking to do, and I'd already met one blogger that day. Also I thought if I accosted him straight away I might look like a stalker. I didn't even watch him from the flat window - it felt wrong, somehow, like a voyeur. I figured I was bound to see him again, so introducing myself could wait for the next time.
For the next few days I concentrated on writing, with a quick foray into the village each morning for provisions. The weather wasn't great and I was happy to hole up, work, and rest. By midweek I was feeling the need of company, so I went to one of the local pubs for a drink and a meal. While I was there, I was adopted by a couple of friendly locals, had a great chat with them, and ended up weaving my way back to the flat, several glasses of wine inside me.
As I passed the beach I saw Martin and Bandit watching the sun set. Suddenly it seemed like a great idea to introduce myself, so I wobbled over and said something along the lines of 'hello, you're Martin, and you must be Bandit, what a lovely dog, I've read your blog and I'm a blogger too and I'm staying here mostly because of your blog and I'm not a stalker honestly and I've just been up the pub and I saw you and it seemed like a good idea to come and say hello, and I did think about emailing you but it seemed a bit cheesy and I bet you get this all the time don't you?'
'No,' Martin said.
Luckily he didn't seem fazed by being accosted by a rambling drunken blogging woman, and we had a good chat. Later in my visit he kindly invited me to drink wine with him on his gorgeous veranda overlooking the sea. We drank rather a lot of wine, in fact we reached Dwarf 4 of the Seven Dwarfs of Drunkenness (Thirsty, Drinky, Tipsy, Giggly, Maudlin, Fighty and Pukey, in case you haven't come across them before) (which you probably haven't because we invented them that night). It was a great evening and, as with Pat, I hope we can do it again one day.
And you know what else both these lovely bloggers did? They both worked out, from my blog, that it was my birthday while I was away, and they each gave me a present - Pat gave me a great big box of chocs and Martin gave me a framed original picture of a black-and-white cat very like my own Sock Boy.
Bloggers are ace!