Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Supper with czezhOUT

What a strange world the blogosphere is. Last October, I sponsored czechOUT when he went on a charity walk to raise money for Leukaemia Research, even though I'd never met the guy! After that he suggested that we should meet for a coffee, so that he could thank me in person. Although I don't usually meet anyone who knows that I write this blog, I do sometimes make exceptions for established bloggers like czechOUT.

I can't remember why but for some reason we never met up last year. However when he again suggested meeting for a coffee recently, I had a better idea. I think it's much nicer to meet someone over dinner so I invited him out to a smart London restaurant instead :-).

"It should be me taking you out, to thank you for the sponsorship last year," said czechOUT in an email to me beforehand.

"But I don't expect other people to pay for my expensive wine habit!" I replied, "so it'll be my treat :-)."

I arrive at the restaurant first so I'm at the table, busy dissecting the wine list, when czechOUT arrives.

"Were you here long?" he asks, smiling at me.

"Not at all, only just got here," I reply truthfully, although of course out of politeness I'd say that anyway!

On his blog czechOUT admits to being a lawyer, and for some reason that had made me think that a rather stuffy legal gent would be my dinner companion for the evening. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the person now sitting down at the table with me didn't fit that description at all!

We make small talk, chatting about what we've been doing that day while we look at the menu.

"So shall I order some wine too?" I ask.

"Sure, but let's not have a heavy red wine if that's OK with you?"

"These days I often prefer lighter red wines anyway, especially pinot noir, so that's fine :-)."

For white wine we end up plumping for a 2004 Pouilly-Fuissé from a Château that I visited years ago, and for red we find it hard to resist René Engel's 1994 Grands Échezeaux. With all the hard choices behind us, we settle down to enjoy the evening.

"There's one thing I must ask you," I say, when we get round to discussing blogging, "why on earth did you call yourself czechOUT? Before you renamed your blog to 'Made in Scotland', I'd always assumed that you were a Czech guy!"

"Well I've got connections with the Czech republic, for example one of my old friends from Scotland lived there for ages," he replies.

"And what about me," I ask, "how do I measure up to your expectations?"

"Actually I thought that you'd be over 50! And your personality seems quite frivolous, not at all what I expected given your 'Dear GB' postings where the advice you give always seems well thought out."

"Well I hope to be over 50 one day," I joke.

I think it's quite true that when I'm relaxing or out enjoying myself, the frivolous and even childish side of my personality often dominates. At work though, and hopefully when I'm responding to a 'Dear GB' email, I take things much more seriously.

All too soon the evening is over, so I ask the waiter for the bill while czechOUT goes to fetch something from his bag.

"Here you are GB," he says on returning to the table, "a little gift to thank you for a taking me out tonight, and for a lovely evening :-)."

He hands me a small black bag, and I'm delighted to find a couple of Dr.Hauschka products inside.

"Thanks very much mate, you didn't have to but it's much appreciated :-)," I reply feeling genuinely grateful, "In spite of my frivolous comment on your blog recently, I did think that any present you'd get for me would be something like that, rather than an all expenses paid rent boy session!"

1 comment:

MadeInScotland said...

Yes indeed GB, thank you for a lovely dinner.

I hope you have had the chance to soothe in a Dr H bath...

And indeed, when I started my blog I was on the point of moving to the Czech Republic, literally czechingOUT.