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Friday, May 11, 2012

The thing about writing a public blog is that there's always someone lurking in the shadows behind you and looking over your shoulder...

I'm particularly worried about the small one on the left with her tongue out. But as it happens, there are other, even more articulate, stalkers in my life. Like the bloke on the right with the top that appears to say ASBO.

Back in 2005, when King Nicholas was riding high in the best-seller lists and making personal appearances on the Richard & Judy Show, he appointed me 'Blogger Laureate of the Copeman Empire', and stuck a link to this place on his website. I must have had, oooh... at least two or three visitors via that link. Here's one. And the other's in the photo above.

The chap with the copycat hairstyle is actually BS6 (a name which has more to do with his postcode, and less to do with the amount of rubbish he talks), and he's been reading this blog for the past seven years. I've told him he needs to get out more, and he's clearly taken my advice by driving all the way to Brighton. When he's not escaping from the home, he lives in Bristol, which is unfortunate as I refuse to travel west of Devizes without a combine harvester and a cattle prod, so despite knowing of each other's existence since 2005, we've actually never met. Although I'd be happy for him to marry my sister.

The young lady doing her best to make me look like Zaphod Beeblebrox is his good friend from the west country. She lives in Taunton, so I'll call her TA1. It's like we're all secret agents. We could probably lock each other in holdalls if we wanted to. Anyhoo, in addition to being head and shoulders above me, TA1 can also stand on her own two feet...

That photo was taken by the waitress at 'La Gigo Gi', an Italian café in New Road which was also responsible for singing 'Ooh Aah Just a Little Bit' at the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest. I think. We chose it as a suitable meeting place because it's just a stone's throw from the Brighton Dome. Which explains the broken windows. Much as I'd like to think that our two friends drove all the way from Somerset just to meet me, they also had tickets to see Maximo Park. Who are a band, not a tourist attraction. So don't make the same mistake as Amelie, and ask if they have swings.

Anyhoo, having swapped mobile numbers on Facebook and hacked each other's voicemail, we successfully arranged to meet after work last night for a coffee and a cake. And very nice it was too. Within seconds of meeting, we discovered how much we have in common: they'd booked into 'The Pussy Room' at the Hotel Pelirocco, and I'd spent the night sleeping in the lounge with the kittens.

La Gigo Gi closes at 6:30pm on a weekday, but fortunately, if you've travelled 200 miles to be there, and have a lot to talk about, they'll let you stay until seven. We were there for a good hour, chatting about the old days when my blog wasn't just about Amelie, and I could play the guitar without painkillers. BS6 plays in a band with a name so memorable, he'd forgotten it. Apparently it's something to do with fish, but isn't Marillion. I think it might have been Codplay. He's coveted my Bloody Nightmare guitar for the past five years, so with my arthritis the way it is, I'm tempted to let him have it. These days, the only bloody nightmare I can play with is Amelie.

BS6 also tried to explain what he does for a living, but not even TA1 understood it, and she's met him before, so I didn't really stand much chance. It's a shame he's not a publisher, otherwise I'd have a book deal by now. He was also quite impressed with Amelie's photography, so I think she's on the verge of getting an agent. He particularly liked this shot...

... although she followed that up with this one...

... which was a bit of a waist.

All in all, it was a very happy hour with some exceptional company. Although it almost went wrong when the awning above us decided to shed its entire load of rainwater over the table next door. For one heart-stopping moment, I thought I'd been lured into a professional hit.

But we managed to make it out of there alive and unwashed, clutching a handful of quality gifts. Not only did we receive some gourmet confection from Hotel Chocolat (which is somewhere I'd like to stay), but Amelie was given a Peppa Pig magazine and a 'Learn to Draw a Cat' art kit. The back of the box says "This pack contains everything you need to have great fun capturing your pets on paper". Although judging by the way she tried to wrap Chloe last Christmas, she's pretty much there already.


Phil's Mum said...

Amazing who you can meet through writing a blog - even if it DOES take 7 years!

Peter Chapman said...

Nice tights!

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