Friday 14 September 2007

Z drove to Norwich and met Dave!

I drove through Boringland. That is almost its name, and periodically the road sign is changed with spray paint to show its real nature - obviously, it's probably lovely to live in but it is frightfully tedious to drive through. Just past the first roundabout there were road works and traffic lights. I waited behind several cars until the lights turned green and we slowly moved. The car two ahead stopped and the young man waiting at the bus stop (oh yes, that's a good idea in the middle of single-lane traffic, no question of moving it for a week or two?) moved towards the beckoning finger. He took an envelope and put it dutifully into the pillar box. The car moved off. I laughed (out loud, yes indeed).

I had Errands to do in Bonds - or, as it's now called, John Lewis. As ever, the assistant was charming and carried my purchase to the till, although it was well within my capabilities. Having spent some time there already, I decided to repark, because I was likely to stay long enough into the time when the car parking charge went from 'ooh, how reasonable' to 'fuck me, how much?' by the time I left. I had to get into the car through the passenger door, as the Bonds multi-storey is incredibly badly designed and gives very little space between the Meccano-like metal structure to actually park the car. I can park well enough, but I do not always allow room for opening the door on my side, because that's the side I go by when I'm judging distance. As I slid into place, I got a dusty streak on my white top. I did indeed get out of the car and head towards the shop to buy a new one before I came to my senses and simply brushed it off. I might still have looked a little grubby. This is good for humility and I accepted the probability.

As I drove around the new car park, I received a text message from Dilly

'Hello, are you ok? are you there yet? bit worried about you...'

I returned a calming message.

'Take care and enjoy lunch x' she texted back.

Look, Dave's okay. He may come across as a miserable bugger, but he's much nicer than that. And he brought me jamjars. What a sweetie. He did all the talking, except when the waitress came mid-anecdote (mine) and I lost the thread and had to interject several other vaguely relevant stories until I remembered what the hell I'd been talking about. But after I'd told my story, I shut up and deboned my sardines. I started with aubergines and he had gravadlax, and then he had lamb. I finished with crème brûlée and he with raspberry (? I think?) pavlova.

Later, back in the car, I texted Dilly again.

'Safely alone again in my own car! x'

'Thanks for letting me know - hope all went well -sorry to be all protective - I know what weird people you can meet online! x'

'Indeed. Like husbands for instance' I replied.

'Exactly! x' she replied.

Which is not to scare Dave, but Dilly and Al did, indeed, meet online.

The Sage didn't fuss, of course. Sound, the Sage.

And I'm early, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVE!!(!)


Dave said...

Many thanks. Having parked my car in the space you had probably vacated, I found I couldn't get either door open enough to get out! I had to jiggle the car back and forth until the passenger door was just touching the iron work, and then I could squeeze out of my side. I didn't realise my car was so wide.

Thank you for a lovely lunch.

badgerdaddy said...

I delighted SLF in a multi-storey once. No, not like that. She had parked and my side was close to a hulking 16 (4x4), so I creatively leaned against her car and pushed until I'd moved it enough to get out. With her in it. She was well impressed...! Luckily I didn't have to move it much, I just had to push it on its suspension.

Sounds like a rockin' day to me, Z. Nice work, meeting those internet weirdys.

martin said...

O I agree with Dilly,you can meet the strangest people on the interweb...there's one in my bed as I type,reading a book.

You do have a way of making the mundane seem so interesting Z,I want to go to Kingston today just to park in the car park !.

Z said...

Dave, I really enjoyed your company and thank you. I'd like to make it very clear I had no qualms at all about coming and had been looking forward to meeting you!

You probably parked the car right in the middle of the space. I went very close on the near side, but there still wasn't much gap the other way.

Badgerdaddy, you rock! Cars, that is...

Martin, only try parking in John Lewis in Norwich if you are lithe, slender and something of a contortionist. And mundane is my life, but I hoped that if I talked about it in enough wonderment, you might not notice.

I, Like The View said...

I have spent many a happy hour in the John Lewis car park in Kingston

and, sadly, only a very brief half hour once having a coffee with a strange man I'd met over the internet

I enjoyed his company too

maybe we could write him a reference, kind of like a reverse police check, so that future blogmeet relatives can be reassured of his decency!

Z said...

I've never been to Kingston, but when I go there I will make a point of parking at John Lewis.

Yes, we could write an excellent reference. Not only about his probity but the quality of his company too.

And you've done a fine job, ILTV.

mike said...

Oh! I didn't spot this post earlier. Meeting up with online buddies is ace. I've done it so often now that it has ceased to feel even slightly weird.

I'd chat for longer, but K is hovering outside with a ladder and an impatient expression, and that wisteria does need pruning...

Z said...

It has been one of the unexpected bonuses of blogging, actually making real friends.

I expect our wisteria needs pruning too. It tends to obscure the front door if left - of course, in true Norfolk fashion, we don't use the front door.