Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: Tunbridge Wells, Joe, Heidi

Tunbridge Wells, Joe, Heidi






Photos top to bottom: The Pantiles area, Heidi (in green jacket) and I chatting, and Joe.

One of the great delights of our trip to England has been the opportunity to meet a few blog friends. I wrote about some earlier meetings here and here in case you missed them.

When Joe Hyam (Plutarch) of Now's the Time learned that we were interested in possibly visitIng the lovely sounding Tunbridge Wells, he and his wife Heidi invited us to come for lunch one day. I first met Joe through Lucy of Box Elder when she announced their poetry and photo collaboration called Compasses. I so enjoyed that and soon found Joe's own blog and we have been blog friends since.

Joe had sent a map of how to find their place via a leisurely walk from the train station through the Grove, a pretty treed park often mentioned on his blog. At the edge of the park I was surprised and tickled to spot The Compasses pub, another sometime mention. How very clever of him to send us this way! Almost around the corner we then found Joe's home and were met with a warm and gracious welcome. Joe is just like I imagined from his blog with his gentle humour, erudition and measured speech. When I commented on all the beautiful artwork gracing the walls of their home, I was of course thrilled to learn that Heidi is also an artist and the creator of most of the work. Heidi and my husband even enjoyed a chat in their mutual native tongue, German, and her lively personality made me think of one of his cousins.

We had much great conversation and a fantastic gourmet lunch! I had suspected from his blog that Joe was a great cook and they both are! After the long and leisurely lunch, we were given a little tour of their garden and some of this historical town. All too soon we said our goodbyes and thank you's and hopped on the train back to London.

Once again, I have to say this blogging experience has given such great rewards in the friends we've made and been able to meet. Instead of the too final sounding goodbye, I prefer to say näkemiin or auf wiedersehn - see you again!

PS - Suddenly remembered that Joe had written a few words about our meeting, the very next day.

PPS - If you are interested and haven't read the earlier posts on our recent trip to the UK and Paris, please click on the theme Travel on the side bar or here.

Marja-Leena | 19/07/2009 | 13 comments
themes: Blogging, Culture, History, Travel


Joe looks exactly as I'd pictured him. How does that happen?

Dave, maybe you remember the photo that Lucy took of him when they met? That's the bottom left one.

Amazing pictures! Bettie and I have been looking at them. She has been to some of these places, although I haven't.I'll be seeing you before you know it! So exciting.

Hattie, thank you! What a delight to see this comment just moments before you arrived! I so enjoyed meeting you both but the time was too short. And I forgot to take a photo, darn, so hope yours turned out. Safe trip home!

"O wad some powr'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us"!
The pleasure was mutual.

Thanks for posting these pics.

Out of curiosity, have you ever read anything by Edward Rutherfurd ? Probably have, but I find this author to be very enjoyable to read.He puts Ancient places to life thru masterful characterization including Sarum and London.

I recommend his books to many and he makes reliving and revisting history fun.

Joe, thanks again! I forget who wrote those great lines.

Roscoe, yes, I read his fabulous book Sarum many years ago. In fact I mentioned that in my earlier post about Old Sarum.

Your trip to England looks great. I love meeting bloggers. They always seem like old friends even when it's our first time meeting "live".

Hi Loretta, for me this has been the year of meeting several blogfriends and I agree, they already felt like old friends. What a great thing this blogging is, eh?

Oh this one made me smile and smile! I'm very envious, mind you...

You and Heidi look like happy conspirators, or perhaps a bit like Heidi's 'Gossips' painting, though not malicious gossips!

Lucy, you've already met them so I can see that this brings on smiles! Someday I hope you and I shall meet too.

Now I'm going to start whining all over again about there Portland's lack of classic architecture. Of course, it isn't old enough to really have any but there's been a lot of moderately old buildings demolished for glass skyscrapers in recent years.

I'm glad you had a wonderful time in such a nice place. Your friends sound delightful.

Susan, it is the same here in Vancouver! The Gastown neighbourhood and a few good old buildings survive but they are so young compared to Europe.