Monday, August 24, 2009

Pub meets

I met up with several blog-and-slog friends in England, all of whom had to make a considerable effort to connect, which was awfully kind and much appreciated.

On the first Friday, I met Baz Carter and Penny at Oxford’s White Horse. I was looking for a single fit-looking chap, and paid little attention to the couple who walked in and sat nearby (in the White Horse, everybody sits nearby). Baz was probably looking for a single fit-looking chap, too, not a lumpy ancient sinking a pint and reading a book. The upshot was that we sat next to each other for 20 minutes before Baz turned to me and said, “Are you Mark?” The tip-off was that when I’d closed Water for Elephants, he’d seen the tag “New York Times Best Seller.” Aha, a Yank! We both felt silly, but we had a terrific, if all-to-brief conversation (kit, walks, gardening...) before they had to head back home. It was wonderful to meet them both, and I’m so glad the brilliant Penny came along. Dopily, I forgot to get a photo.

On the final Saturday, I walked up the Thames to the Trout (what a sweet stroll) to meet Phil Lambert, Darren Christie, and Alan Sloman.

Phil, me, Darren, and Alan

No mistaken identities here: we’d met during the 2008 TGO Challenge. A nice lunch, a few drinks, and talk covering all the vital areas: bears, tandem bicycles, html know—the usual when guys get together.

Thank you all for welcoming this American cousin . You added much joy to an already terrific trip, and I hope I’ll have the chance to return the favor someday. We’ll stay out of bear territory.


Alan Sloman said...

I think that's the longest distance travelled to join in a 'Bloggers Meet'

When you have finished your back yard can you pop over to tackle my lawn too?

Mark Alvarez said...

Absolutely, Alan. I'll tackle it, you mow it, and then we'll go to the pub.

Alan Sloman said...

Better plan - We'll get Darren and Phil to mow it and they can join us in the pub when they have finished?

Mark Alvarez said...

Brilliant! You're on.

baz carter said...

I guess it didnt help that I was wearing a suit either :)