Tuesday, 19 June 2007

When bloggers collide...


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.

He blogged:

"...so begin to wend my deliberately complicated way to Berneray, home of Silversprite, in the Outer Hebrides."

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.


  1. Similar experience:I am out of town and look up long lost friend "Fred Smith" in phone book, "Hi this is Tony Forster, have I got the right Fred Smith""Yes""I wondered if we could meet while I'm in town""No, not convenient"....It doesnt sound right but I'm having trouble getting feedback from the monosylabic replies.I finally establish that it is the wrong Fred Smith, he doesnt know me, he misheard my name and mistook me for someone he didnt want to even talk to. The next "Fred Smith" in the book is the right one.

  2. LOL! Excellent. Reminds me of the "packet of biscuits" story by Douglas Adams.

  3. Tom: Hmmmm. I know the story you mean; read the biography of Douglas Adams recently and found him uncannily similar to myself in many ways, including getting into biscuit-like incidents. Unfortunately, we aren't similar in terms of wealth, fame, or multi-million selling books :-(

  4. This is great! ...a feel good story if ever there was one.This weekend, I meet a blogger for the 1st time, and he definitely is coming to stay at my place.My cyber buddy, (http://www.nanolog.blogspot.com) & his wife will hook up with my family, and we're hoping for a cool time together.J

  5. What a wonderful story! I love this about the internet. Random people that you wouldn't have met if it weren't for a comment on a blog suddenly become friends and stay at your place; or at some other random place that the cabbie happens to take them to! LOL

  6. Ha ha ha ha ha. Wonderful story.

  7. A tale of two walks at Silversprite22 June 2007 at 00:01

    [...] tuesday, Dave - the journalist, author and locator of phantom accommodation - accompanied me on my daily 6 mile trundle across the machair and down the west beach. It was hot [...]