The Knee Jerk Reaction

This was a special weekend for me. Instead of wanting to get home after my shopping I had another destination in mind. Some 5 years ago I was privileged to meet in real life a young writer I’d been corresponding with from America. Patricia (Patti) Carrigan


The second part of the original book Antiserum. Written by my young friend then 15. She was a delight and Ju and I got very close to her. She came to the UK with a delegation from her home town and happened to be calling in at Chester for a short time. We went to meet her there. The time wasn’t long, about an hour, but at the end we all parted with Huge Hugs and the correspondence has continued ever since.
In order to let the family know she was going to be OK and that I wasn’t some predator stalking her daughter I’d also been writing to Patti’s Mom for a while. To be honest, at the end I almost felt like part of the family. Even so, it was a major surprise recently to get a message to say they were coming to the UK. Part business for her husband Tim and part holiday for them both. Would we be able to meet? Tracy knows I’m not good with people and tend to hide away but regardless I agreed. I think just to convince me I wasn’t being stalked Tracy had been in touch with Yvonne to ask to meet them too. They already had tickets to visit Chester Zoo so that was the place we agreed to meet.
Mike and I got there a little before 1.00 pm and finding out Yvonne and co would be a little late we agreed to meet inside by the elephants. We were standing there in the sunshine waiting for Yvonne when I saw two people coming towards us. No mistaking who they were. It was Hugs and handshakes all round. We had a few minutes to natter before Yvonne’s crew turned up so we quickly  discovered a great sense of humour. When we were all together it was time for a coffee so we’d all be able to say hello properly. Reuben promptly disappeared with my crutches, no doubt to shoot some poor unsuspecting alien since he loves Star Wars. Mike brought our drinks to the table and in order to occupy the hands of the octopus (Amelie) Tracy gave her a bottle of  water.
Everything was going swimmingly until Amelie launched the bottle of water and like a magnet it was propelled in my direction. Straight down to my spherical man parts in fact where it landed with a groan. ( I know I heard one). At that point I had a knee jerk reaction which cracked my leg on the underside of the table and an elbow jerk reaction too which sent my coffee into the air only to descend again in a spreading pattern. It covered my leather jacket, my jeans and my tee-shirt as well as he mother’s leg. Mike pointed out I could hold his hand leaving so people would take pity on the one who’d pee’d himself, and even more pity on his carer. Bloody Cheek. I dried out in the sun and we had a great afternoon round the zoo before it came time to leave and go our separate ways.
                                                                                   Tim, Me, Tracy and some random stranger who stalked us.
On Sunday they were due to go to Llangollen so I was able to give Tracy lessons on how to pronounce the place before she screwed her tongue so she couldn’t eat. I understand they enjoyed a Hot air balloon festival there. Today they’re off to Scotland. It was wonderful to meet them.
Hugs to all.



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102 responses to “The Knee Jerk Reaction

  1. Internet meets can go either way. Our better ones have involved people we didn’t know very well, and the worst was someone who I had got on with extremely well – but IRL 😦
    Maybe it’s an issue about expectations, or maybe it depends what you discuss. They’ve all been younger than us, 20s, 30s and 40s (although I was 40s back then too).
    I like my own company, and that of my dogs, and occasionally the Welshman is tolerable. After that, I get somewhat picky.
    Big cwtchxx

    • I’ve just had the two and have been very lucky both times though since it’s the same family I don’t know if it counts as two.
      I think you’re right and it’s probably a lot to do with expectations. It’s lucky I don’t have any.
      I’m sure the Welshman is delighted to be included on such an exclusive list albeit begrudgingly. Keep being picky then I’ll know you’re OK.
      xxx Cwtch mawr xxx

      • I think the generation difference counts as two 🙂
        Yes. No expectations = no disappointment.
        The WM said a while back how I made him laugh every day. I thought that was quite sweet. I think?
        Picky? Never pick a WM, say I! 😀

      • If you say never pick a WM then I say always have a WM in reserve for when you need one.
        Hugs xxx

      • Well, he would probably say never pick a Yorkshire lass, so we would be equal.
        Still, they are a funny breed. Not helped by coming from those damp, wet valleys (said with strong South Walian accent) full of pits. Well, before Margaret. Ditto steel 👿 Sorry. Well o/t!

  2. I’ve only ever met internet friends twice, but both times felt as if we’d known each other for years…which we had, just not face to face. If you can talk to people online, I think it only takes 5 minutes to get you back to conversational speed again. 😀

  3. I love the immediate connection to a blogger friend in real life. No doubt, you recognize each other immediately. You have read their spirit. 💘

    • We did actually recognise each other straight away which was good but then I’ve known my daughter a long time. he he.
      I think there was a real closeness in our past messages and they were very easy to like.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  4. Meeting an Internet friend is something I might well be a little scared to try given my instinctive tendency toward being awkward and tongue-tied around people I’ve never met before. Of course, it might be different given that you both knew each other pretty well online. Regardless, I give you 10/10 for courage.

    The coffee incident sounded painful and embarrassing. I’m glad you didn’t let it spoil your visit to the zoo, though, and everyone went their separate ways at the end of the day completely unstalked.

    • If there had been any awkwardness then the coffee incident cleared that up nicely. You couldn’t help but laugh at my reaction though there might have been a slight delay on my part while I held the scream in.
      All in all it was a lovely day Bun, thanks for the points (I’m saving for a toaster)

  5. What a lovely occasion even if you did (not) piss yourself. “D Hugs galore xxx

  6. And why should things go predictably anyway – bit of surprise is good for everyone 😀 Good to know you had a good weekend David ❤ Hugs ❤

  7. I’m glad you had such a great time (except for the unfortunate coffee-knee jerk reaction incident). 🙂

    When I went Chincoteague last spring, I was with a group of women I only knew from their blogs–and some I had only just started following. I’m quiet and I’m used to having my own space and spending time alone, but it was a great experience.

  8. Even with the incidents it sounds like a lovely day. I hope we can meet in person some time soon too. Thanks, David and keep well.

  9. Sounds like a pleasant meeting, including the water, coffee and knee jerk, but you made the best of wet pants. 🙄 Glad you all got to meet. Have a great week, David. Hugs.

    • I’m glad we got to meet too Mary J. Trouble is it’s USA -2 Rest of The World -0 so far in meetings. There will be jealousy.
      Coffee’d clothes washed this morning so the evidence has now gone.
      xxx Mammoth Hugs xxx

  10. What a hoot! I met my 7th cousin via the internet and later in real life. We met for lunch at a restaurant and subsequently got together in each other’s homes. Once we accidentally met at a zoo. She was 100 miles from her home, and I was 1,000 from mine.

  11. I have carefully noted your tip for breaking any potential ice… sounds as if you had a super time, too, once dried out!
    I’ve only had one ‘internet’ encounter, and as it was Susie Kelly and her husband Terry the whole thing was a hoot.

    • I suggest a lighter object is thrown to break any ice as a bottle of water is a tad uncomfortable. Mind you, I wish that had spilled and not the coffee.
      I’m glad your encounter was a hoot. maybe we can persuade more people to try it and exchange hugs in person.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  12. How wonderful and so funny too. I hope neither of you got burnt. What a great idea to meet at the zoo. The monkeys there are very rude as I remember. The young uns teaching them naughty things.

    • Thanks Catherine, no we didn’t get burnt, just stained. The zoo has changed beyond all recognition for me but I didn’t get to see even half of it. Maybe if I can get another mortgage I can go again. They even have a little monorail through the zoo and what they call Islands where animals are divided into areas they come from. The bat cave was good fun though.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  13. I think it is wonderful that you were able to have an outing with your friends. And it must have been so nice that your young writer had met Ju previously – that would be a nice memory! We recognise ‘our people’ very quickly I think. I’ve met up with five very good friends through blogging and had an amazing time visiting their country. It makes for special friendships when we don’t live nearby – more like the old fashioned pen-pals………..

    • Ah Pauline, I remember the pen pals so well. I hated having to wait so long for replies though we did learn so much more about people than we tend to these days. I prefer a friendship to a fleeting relationship where you know little though. Yes, I think we’re of an age where we can recognise ‘our people’ quickly.
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

  14. Great to see you doing well my friend. Have a wonderful week.

  15. David you make me laugh. It sounds like a very interesting time, the water bottle throwing Amelie and Reuben with the crutches and the spilt coffee, well there is nothing boring or mundane about a day with you. Nice that you got to see your blogger friend Tracey and her husband and that you had a nice outing and got to spend some time together. So nice to see another post from you, I think it’s a real treat. Have a lovely week and massive hugs!! Nice photo of all of you.

    • I don’t deserve someone as nice as you.
      It’s actually not Tracy who”s a blogger friend, that would be her daughter. Tracy was just a fortunate accident. I was happy to have the chance to meet her anyway. I wonder if I’ll ever be as lucky again with a blogger friend? Have you met many?
      I wish you a wonderful week also and send you Unlimited Hugs xxx

      • Well I have met quite a few and I really enjoyed seeing them in person. I thought you had said Tracy was young, a teenager but then I thought maybe I had misread. What a nice meeting you had. I haven’t seen Reuben or Amelie in a while I’m sure they are getting so big now. Have a great week.

      • Sorry sweetie, it’s Patti their daughter who Ju and I met 5 years ago. I didn’t mean to confuse anyone.I’m glad you’ve had so many good meetings, I envy them all of course. I don’t know why I chose a photograph without the children but yes, Reuben’s getting big and I think Amelie will be walking before too long. She’ll be one in December.
        Have a Fantastic Week.
        xxx Much Love and Huge Hugs xxx

  16. And hugs back to you, David. What a great post, full of fun and terrific details. I’m glad you met in person. What a treat.

    • Thanks so much Marylin. I’ve always tried to see the humour in a situation and share it otherwise I’m sure my blog posts would be dry and boring. Lucky…..I know people like to laugh at my pain (sob). me that there is usually something funny to find.
      It is a treat to meet someone in person, especially someone from so far away.
      xxx Have a Fantastic week with Hugs Galore xxx

  17. Such a memorable experience in expected and unexpected ways. Glad you had a good day.

  18. How great to hear about your meeting with Patti, and it makes sense that you also corresponded with her mom to help everyone feel comfortable 🙂 I’m meeting a blogger gal I’ve known online for years this weekend so I hope it will go well. We talk all the time but have yet to meet face to face. Given this upcoming event, I found your blog post to be most timely. Thanks for sharing your experiences xx

    • I’m sure your weekend will be a big hit Christy, they’re bound to love you, being such a sweet person.
      I’m glad you enjoyed my experience and I’m sure to enjoy yours.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  19. It’s hard to imagine you as such a recluse when your writing describes such a very social view of life. Having that Reubs arounds sure keeps things lively. Glad you are getting out and making real-live friends! Huge hugs mon ami! xx

    • I seem only to be a recluse Mon to Friday as I have no choice but to go out at the weekend Mel.Then it’s generally shopping, coffee at a favourite place and then lunch at somewhere I’m known and comfortable. Even that is often under duress but would make poor reading.
      Given the choice I’d stay on the computer and have shopping delivered but the option isn’t there. Being bullied at my age eh?
      xxx Always lovely to have a visit from you. Gigantic Hugs xxx

  20. Ali Isaac

    Lol! Well thats a great way to break the ice, David! Hehe! Its so good to hear of you getting out and about with friends in the sunshine. 😊 Massive Hugs!

  21. I remember the day I went to the very first Bloggers Bash, where there were 20 other bloggers I’d never met before. I was a nervous wreck, but so were most of them. However, it wasn’t long before everyone was getting on with the chatting. The hugs were one of the best parts, David.
    Big hugs to you.

    • I so envy you meeting all those gems as they met the gem in you Hugh. I think I’d still be a nervous wreck now though. I’m glad to hear the hugs were flowing.
      Huge Hugs to you friend of mine.

  22. Friends from anywhere are wonderful, thank you for sharing this with us, David. Massive friendship hugs xoxox

  23. I really enjoyed the way you retold the story, David. Good job! 🙂 Hugs))

    • Thanks so much Yvette. I wanted as much of the humour of the day to come through as possible. If it hadn’t been that then the stress of actually coming out on the day would have shown instead.
      xxx Sending Gigantic Hugs xxx

  24. Time with friends, no matter how you met them, are always special events. The coffee incident assured this was a memorable visit for all.

  25. Kev

    Great post David… love the pic… Random stranger Lmao! 😁

  26. With the exception of the coffee incident, it sounds like you had a great time. I’m so glad your meetings with internet friends went well “coffee incident” didn’t dampen things. 😱 Sending hugs your way!! 💗💖💗Have a lovely weekend David!

  27. Sorry about the bottle incident. Why are you on crutches?

    • Don’t be sorry, it was really funny. Though when I sue my granddaughter I will talk of the pain.
      The crutches are because I have a bad hip, bad knees and because if I have an angina attack while out they’re perfect to rest on.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

      • Ah… I don’t know what an angina attack is -i’ll have to look it up. Your granddaughter will get my sympathy in the end -after all, she is a grandchild and all grandchildren should be coddled and forgiven.

      • My grandchildren own me already and my granddaughter’s smile owns the lease on my heart.
        xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  28. Oh I so love to visit with friends! You had a great time, and your little Octopus added some fun 😉 I too got a new granddaughter in August. A future Octopus 🙂 Wishing you all the best! Many hugs! xxxxxx

  29. Aren’t Internet friends wonderful? I had the great fortune to meet one recently and it went swimmingly. Sorry ’bout your jacket, but it sounds like your experience was terrific, too. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I always say. Congrats and hugs from across the pond. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot Joe. It seems strange them coming over from America just to see me get soaked by my granddaughter. I thought the zoo would amuse them but not like that.
      You’re right, the experience was terrific, meeting them was sensational. I wonder who’s next?
      Have a Great new week.

  30. David, I must admit to laughing a bit while reading this. Heartwarming and humorous ~ can’t get much better than that 🙂 ❤

    • Such overwhelming sympathy from the female sex- not. Ah well, I suppose siting in all that coffee made me the ‘butt’ of everyone’s jokes.
      To tell the truth, yours was the reaction I hoped for and got Tina. Kids do funny things. I wish it was to someone else but hey ho.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  31. At least you had dark trousers on. Glad no lasting damage was done. :O

    It must have been a week for spilling things – I tossed the end of my coffee down my front as I was dashing to leave to play golf. I hurriedly rinsed it off, but it was still a huge damp patch on my front when I arrived…

    Huge hugs xxxxx

  32. We meet people for reasons and seasons, no matter where or how. Sounds like a wonderful time, minus the water bottle, lol. (((((big hugs)))))

  33. Oh David. Now there’s an event with mixed feelings. I’m pleased you took what could have been considered a small catastrophe in your stride, dried yourself off, and continued to have a good time. Sounds like a lovely group of people to have an outing with.

    • It was the best of times, it was the worst of times (Sorry Dickens) Norah. I’m lucky the sun was out to dry me off, I’m lucky the coffee wasn’t too hot and I’m lucky not to have laughed myself silly ( a very short journey). My granddaughter was lucky I’m of a benevolent nature though retribution may follow someday when I show her boyfriend pictures of her at this age in daft hats. The company was excellent and it was so nice to connect in person for a change.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

      • Ah, it’s always good to see the positives in every occasion. You did well. I’m impressed. (Nice to have a little bit of “retribution” up your sleeve though!)
        Hugs back.

  34. Mike is such a great friend! I need a Mike in my life. lmao!!! Thanks for the smile David.

  35. A great and encourging memory. Time I get back up to Chester and make that a proper two internet meets. 🙂

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