Meet Dave. Dave is a writer, journalist and father of many children. He is also a blogger, which is how we (virtually) met.
Around the time of the Scottish Parliamentary Election, I left a comment on one of Dave's blog entries. He followed it up, and we had a brief online chat.
Didn't arrange anything (busy times), but he seemed pleasant.
Last Sunday, Dave blogs about a trip he is making, starting that day, from London to Berneray, then around more of Scotland.
I sent him an email, saying to drop in if he was in the area for coffee. Seems an interesting bloke. And I started to keep an eye out for him, reckoning he'd be here late monday or on tuesday.
As predicted, he turned up late monday in a local taxi. I put the kettle on, and go out to meet him.
Him: "Hello!" (as he's finally here...)
Me: "Hello!" (as am expecting him)
Him: "I've got my bags."
Me: "Where are you staying?"
Him: "Erm, here, as we arranged?" (Looks a bit surprised at this question)
Me: "???" (Thinks, have I had a memory relapse and possibly agreed to something while I was drunk? Or is he being somewhat presumptuous?)
Dave looks a bit upset. In these situations, the solution is to sort out the accommodation first (before it all gets booked up), then chill. I dash inside and try and quickly try to find him local accomodation. First of all, I phone Sealview B&B. Catherine answers; "No, we have someone staying tonight." Damn.
I ring Gloria at Burnside Croft. She agrees to take him and says she'll pop round.
Dave is invited in to help us down a bottle of wine. We have a pleasant conversation, talk about loads of local issues, politics, and compare the house prices of Hackney and Berneray (as a rough guideline, the former is 4 times more expensive than the latter). Gloria pops in and meets Dave. We arrange for Dave to go down to their B&B later.
After most of the wine is consumed, Dave asks about my PR business.
I get kinda puzzled. Yes, my blog and website are popular, but I wouldn't call it a PR business.
Him: "Your PR business? As we discussed on the phone?"
Me: "We've never spoken on the phone." (Thinks, "That's it, I really have to cut down on my alcohol consumption").
Him: "Are you Andrew?"
Me: "No, I'm John."
Makes mental note to educate taxi driver about who is who on Berneray.
So, Dave is walked down to the true B&B, where he is further watered and also fed, and is currently looking out onto the seals in Bays Loch. Ironically, that B&B was the first one I rang. They did, as they said, have a guest that night. He was at that time sitting in my kitchen, thinking we were them.
All's well that end's well. And I don't have to get out the spare duvet, which smells overwhelmingly of cat urine (and it's best not to look at the stains), to accommodate a slightly bewildered author, traveller, journalist and blogger, for the night.