I awoke to the sound of police sirens. Or maybe it was my alarm clock? Yes it was my alarm clock. Forgive me for confusing the sounds, but they’re two very similar noises.
I’ve managed to break two mobile phone handsets this year (if anyone can do it, I can) and my recently loaned handset, from a dear and kind friend, contains an alarm clock which rather resembles the commotion of a police raid in my bedroom. I’m always relived when I realise it’s not a police raid, merely my alarm announcing it’s time to get out of bed.
I got out of bed and pulled my curtains so I could see the outside world and the weather conditions. I smiled when I realised it was not snowing or raining, just cold and grey. At least the UK weather wasn’t too unfriendly for the arrival of my fellow blogger from Singapore. For the day had arrived, it was Blur's visit to the UK and we had arranged to meet in London for food and drink and chats.
After my cinnamon and marmite bagel with coffee (they’re a hard habit to break) at my desk in the office, I called the restaurant to confirm my booking for the evening. All booked and confirmed! I then printed out directions to the restaurant and to Blur's hotel. I even saved the restaurant's telephone number in my mobile handset (the handset with the police sirens for an alarm clock) just in case I got lost. I always worry about loosing my way, this has happened quite frequently. I checked I had not accidentally deleted Blur's mobile number, which I would need in case I got lost finding her hotel, and to welcome her with a text message when she landed in the UK. So far so good. It was then time to do some work.
At five thirty on the dot I raced out the office and my journey to Paddington commenced. I surprised myself by finding the restaurant and the hotel straight away.
And there was Blur, all smiles, in real life, not a photograph on a blog! We greeted each other like old friends and made our way to the restaurant.
It was an authentic Middle Eastern/Lebanese restaurant with rose petals on the tables, and cushions, lanterns and wood carvings everywhere you looked. We sat down at our table and grinned at each other. It felt good to be sitting opposite someone I have spent many, many lunchtimes and evenings reading about her life and replying to comments regarding my life. Even though we had never met before it was as if I’d known her for years, and I immediately relaxed and was looking forward to our evening ahead.
The menu was mind boggling, so much choice, so much food! We ordered, wait for it:
Halloum mekleh. (Pan fried cheese with chili spiced jam.)
Samboussek jibneh. (Awaki & feta cheese with parsley.)
Falafel. (Chickpea & broad beans. Tahini & garlic yoghurt sauce.)
Soujoc. (Homemade spicy sausages with cherry tomatoes and parsley.)
Jawaneh. (Chargrilled chicken wings marinated with lemon juice, garlic & coriander.)
Machaweh. (Mix of kafta. Lahem meshoue, taouk & marinated cutlets.)
And warm breads, marinated olives and salads.
Plus a bottle of Lebanese wine.
You were discussed dear readers, in between sampling food and sipping wine. All bloggers were mentioned and our mutual love for blogging. We both agreed how ones personality develops through ones writing and how honest and sincere bloggers can be about themselves and their lives. Apparently I am exactly as Blur expected me to be! Yep, my writing is rather like myself, nothing fancy, just little old me rambling on about my interpretation of life and anything else that pops into my head.
We then danced around the tables, with the belly dancer.
It was a real pleasure to meet the writer behind ‘The day flew by so fast it was a blur’. We chatted and laughed like two old friends, already knowing so much about each other through our blogs and our writing and our photographs. It was a shame the evening had to end, but I would like to thank blog world for bringing such a warm, sincere and lovely person into my life.
And thanks for the chocolates Blur!
Pictures of the day: