So, yesterday was awesome.
Admittedly I didn’t do a lot of writing yesterday, but I did my next best favourite thing, which is: meeting wonderful people. It was doubly amazing that this also involved such things as drinking coffee, visiting places of cultural and/or historical significance and lots (and lots) of walking, but the true highlight was spending a whole day in the company of a pair of truly lovely people. I’m tired today, but it was all so worth it. And the most amazing bit of all? I have this blog to thank for yesterday’s happiness.
One of my favourite aspects of keeping this blog has been the fact that it has allowed me to ‘meet’ people from all over the world. Through sharing posts and comments and paying visits to other blogs, I have encountered all manner of kind, supportive, talented and frankly amazing folk. I do wonder, at times, what it would be like to meet some of these fellow bloggers in the flesh, and yesterday, I had a chance to do just that. My hitherto online-only friend Kate, and her husband Andrew, are on holiday in Ireland and the UK all the way from Australia, and I’ve been looking forward to meeting them for months now. Yesterday was the day it finally happened, and – as I’ve said – it was awesome.
(Linguistic note: I don’t use the word ‘awesome’ very often, mainly because very little in life truly warrants it. However, there simply is nothing else in the English language which does yesterday justice, so ‘awesome’ it is.)
I took my new friends on an impromptu walking tour of Dublin, taking in such sights as the Book of Kells, the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle, the Queen of Tarts teashop on Dame Street (heartily recommended, beverage fans), Christchurch Cathedral and the National Gallery of Ireland. I gestured vaguely at lots of stuff – buildings, statues, landmarks – hoping that my descriptions of them were accurate and not something I’d half-picked up in school, probably backwards; they seemed reasonably happy with the trip, so I’m counting it as a success.
The only sad thing is, of course, that yesterday may be the only time I ever get to meet Kate and Andrew in person. Australia’s a long way away. We spoke a lot about the links between Ireland and Australia in terms of the transportation of convicts and criminals from my country to theirs in past centuries, and how if a person was taken from Ireland and put on the boat to Australia, their family essentially had to think of them as being dead, because they knew they’d never see one another again. The links between our countries – and, of course, between Australia and the UK – are strong and unbreakable, and arguably Australia isn’t as far away now as it has been in the past. But it’s still a journey I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to make.
But even if I never set foot in Australia, or if they never make it back over here, I’m so glad to have met them, and to have had the opportunity to spend a joyous day in their company. We drank a coffee-toast to the internet, and WordPress, and blogging, at the end of our day together, and I am truly thankful for the technology that allowed us to ‘meet’, first virtually and then in person.
I hope that the remainder of their ‘holiday of a lifetime’ in the British Isles is a rip-roaring success, and that they bring home memories and photographs that will bring them joy for many years to come. It was truly a pleasure to meet them both, and I’m doing my best to forget the tang of sorrow in thinking we might never meet again. Thank you, Kate and Andrew, for taking time out of your holiday to spend a day with me – and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.