Last Saturday Sandra Busby (the creators or Kick in the Creatives) and I finally met, the funny thing was, that for Sandra it was a total Surprise.
We’ve known each other online now for over a year after first connecting in Youngman Brown’s – Your Creative Push Group. This led to me interviewing Sandra on my old podcast, we hit it off and started doing some joint episodes. Then we started Kick in the Creative’s, our joint project. Our Website, podcast and Facebook Group was born in January this year.
Even though all that time we had Skyped, podcasted, texted, phoned a lot, we had never actually met in person as we live a few hours away from each other in England.
First received a message from Sandra’s daughter
Back in May I was on holiday with Kevin my partner and received a Facebook message from Adele, Sandra’s Daughter. She said that her Dad, Paul wanted to arrange a surprise meeting and would like to bring Sandra somewhere our way to a B&B where we could all meet up in the evening.
After a bit of to and fro-ing for a few months, Paul arranged the secret weekend away for Sandra. She was completely unaware of where she was going. Paul even threw in some sneaky things like telling her she would need wellington boots to throw her off the scent. I cannot tell you how nervous I was. My poor partner Kevin had an earache from me going “but what if we don’t like each other” “what if we’ve got nothing to say”.
I thought she had guessed the surprise
The day arrived. I had arranged with Paul that we would turn up at the hotel bar at 7 pm. However, at 5 pm we were just walking the dog when I got a text from Sandra –
SANDRA: “Tara by some coincidence I have a feeling I might be somewhere near you! Paul has taken me away for a weekend and I find myself in Kettering which I have never heard of, but I do know it’s in Northamptonshire! If I am anywhere near you, then at least now I know that the drive is not too bad at all!”
ME: How weird! If we had known we could have organised something. What are you doing in Northamptonshire anyway?
I was convinced she knew and was winding me up, but she didn’t.
My sunglasses disguise didn’t work
We got to the hotel at about 7 pm and I could see Paul, luckily Sandra was facing away from us and then went to look at a painting on the hotel wall (ever the artist), but on the way back she spotted me instantly. That’s even though I had my secret disguise sunglasses on. I also had a yellow paper dog with me, just in case she didn’t recognise me (like my Facebook and Instagram icon).
Remember me saying how worried I was that we might not get on? Well, I needn’t have worried, I don’t think we stopped talking from the moment we met until 1.30 when we left. I can’t remember much of what we talked about, but no doubt it was deeply intellectual stuff with a bit of art thrown in.
The next meetup is already being planned, and this one is going to have a creative theme to it. That’s something I’m looking forward to (and a little scared – gawd knows what Sandra’s got planned for that day).
Tara is right… I had absolutely NO idea of what had been plotted!
Ever oblivious to anything going on around me, I just thought it was a bit weird that Paul had driven me 2.5 hours away, to stay in a place we’d never even heard of for a ‘spa weekend’, when we have plenty of Spa hotels much closer by! But no… I was clueless!
And actually, I reckon it was the best possible way for it to happen because I didn’t have a chance to get nervous like poor Tara! I would most likely have been fretting a bit too, because meeting someone in person could be quite different! But I suppose the fact that we speak regularly over the phone just for a chat and outside of the Podcast, that was clue enough that it was always going to be fine.
I was gobsmacked
I was so gobsmacked when I saw her that still, even at that point I thought it was some massive coincidence! I mean, I knew she lived in the same county that we were in, but that could still have been a couple of hours away!
As if my voice isn’t already high pitched enough, I’m pretty sure that only dogs could’ve heard me at that point! Tara and I did not stop talking from the moment we met until the early hours of the morning and poor Paul and Kevin (who also found plenty to talk about) must have had such an earache by then!
Planning the next meetup
Like Tara said, we are already planning the next meet up and no doubt there’s going to be a lot of creative silliness! Finally, I have met someone as juvenile as I am!