When Imaginary Friends become Real!

No…not the imaginary friend I had when I was a child…that would be wierd!

Especially when you consider that my childhood imaginary friend was only about 10cm high so she should come everywhere with me!

This was not what happened last saturday...

This was not what happened last Saturday…also who knew mice could knit?!

She was definitely not the imaginary friend I am talking about…this would be a little odd…

actually pretty cool…

but odd…

Anyway, I digress…

What actually happened on Saturday 19th February was much more exciting!!

You may remember that back in the early days of this blog, I made contact with a wonderful fellow 365er and fellow blogger named Nancy from

My Year[s] of Sweat

over time and many many comments it soon became apparent that we had a lot in common but she still remained someone I only knew via the interweb…and thus was possibly imaginary…

Until one fateful Saturday in February when I had it on good authority (hers) that my imaginary friend would be staying in a fancy pants hotel in that London! This I considered was worth braving public transport (more accurately…the public) for and I set off leaving my world of trees and greenery for the excitement ofΒ the big city!

Parking and train drama aside (I can’t go on a journey it seems without some sort of parking drama…) this was an awesome decision!!

Meeting up at (almost) 9:30 am the first thing that was needed was coffee…of course…what day of adventure could start without coffee!!!

this had both "friend","awesome" and "coffee" in it...it seemed appropriate!

this had both “friend”,”awesome” and “coffee” in it…it seemed appropriate!

Conveniently there was a starbucks…in sainsburys because where else would there be a starbucks…not that it mattered, we had coffee and chatted and it very quickly because obvious that we did get on just as well in real life as we did with the moderating influence of internet communication!

woohoo πŸ˜€ a real friend…I never expected one of those to pop up hen I started this blog! but I am so so pleased it is Nancy because it turns out she is awesome!

So after much chatting, some coffee and the decision that Nancy shouldn’t take her trousers off in a starbucks that is inside sainsburys, we made our way onto the public transport system to wend our way towards Greenwich.


we went on a boat!! like tourists!! I have never done this!

As Greenwich was considerably further away from the centre of London than I realised (what? I am a Northerner who now lives in Sussex I don’t know!) we decided that walking there was silly and so we got on a boat…

Much more picturesque than a tube or the DLR

The boat took and hour but the driver’s friend (I assume he was another member of the crew…) told us about what we could see on each side of the boat…which we completely failed to look at because we were too busy chatting!!


here we are on a boat!!

We even did the proper tourist thing and sat on the top of the boat so we could see what was going on…

for all of 10 mins…

It was really cold, and windy!

What? It was February! I was just glad it wasn’t raining!!

We retreated inside and spent the next hour chatting…

When we arrived at Greenwich (which was easy to spot because it was the end of the line and they told us to get off the boat!) we made our way in a straight line to the first public building and asked for directions to the observatory.

The first building we saw was the Old Royal Naval College entrance…and the person behind the desk was moderately confused by the request for directions so told us all about the painted hall instead…we will come to that later…

when we eventually got instructions on how to find the observatory, we were told it was a long Walk…we thought we would risk it… and set off in the general direction we were given…

it wasn’t long before we found a helpful sign…


well that makes it clearer…

with such helpful signage, how could we possibly get lost!

as it happens, it was fairly straight forward! We were so close that any direction would have done…apart from turning completely round…

We shortly found the park and the path up to the observatory and walked along it belittling the alleged hill that was supposed to be there…

It turns out this hill was cunningly hidden by some trees and loomed suddenly causing Nancy to go into “I am climbing a mountain” mode and me to go into “I am not getting left behind by someone I have only just met no matter how awesome she is” mode πŸ˜‰

look how high we were...we could see that London!

look how high we were…we could see that London!

luckily, it was short, steep but short and we only had to stop to catch our breath for a minute before we made our way into the home of time!

Did you know the royal observatory at greenwhich was the home of time? well it is… that is where everyone else in the world has to come to get their allotment of time! It is all stored there…we saw it…all kept locked up in big clocks!

It is ok if you run out though, we can give you some more for a small charge…

This is exactly how it works…exactly…

Then there is the meridian…that point from which all time zones are measured…that point that separates east from west….

this being the UK…there was a queue…but it was ok, there was some good chatting to be done whilst we waited πŸ˜‰

then this happened:




IMG_5758[1]Which was lots of fun, we were both east and west and neither east or west…if only the man who took our picture (and cleverly queue jumped at the same time) could have got out feet in the picture πŸ™‚ ) I enjoyed myself immensely…I haven’t done that since I was about 8!

Following a rather good portion of fish and chips with out mushy peas because I am not silly, although Nancy braved them :-S we took in the rest of Greenwich…

probably not all of it mind you, we saw the naval college and the painted hall (it is very very painted!) and the Thames path which contrary to my previous belief, is actually in the Thames not along it…




We made our way back to Nancy’s hotel, along the way, I made the startling discovery that the Tower of London was right next to Tower Bridge…

who knew??

Shhhh! I told you, not a local!!

After a brief rest, and much much more chatting we headed out again to see more of the London! Nancy at this point saved my life as I never dress for the weather and she kindly gave me her lovely hand/wrist/ arm warmers which served to stop me freezing πŸ˜€ (I love them…I can wear them to work too as they don’t have fingers πŸ™‚ )


We walked and tubed and walked and chatted and eventually decided to find some food…

AΒ large amount of indecision later we settled on Persian. It was a spur of the moment decision, I decided it was a day for new things!

It was a good decision…and one that was to prove more startling than expected!

The food was very good…

The entertainment was unexpected…shortly after sitting down, a man came over and moved our table slightly and said, there will be a belly dancer…and boy was there a belly dancer!

Well I say belly dancer…she didn’t actually have a belly, which was teeny!! and wiggly very very wiggly…and animated…and to be honest if I was going to name the dance after any part of the body, it would be bottom dancing…not belly dancing…but still, it was an experience!

The meal and the (more) chatting sadly signaled the end of an awesome awesome day as it ws beginning to get late 😦

I am so pleased that Nancy managed to find time in her schedule to visit London! We managed to clock up over 25000 steps that day and hardly noticed it…what with all the chatting πŸ˜‰

I love that I have a new friend for life, one that is no longer imaginary and definitely not a 55 year old sleezy man!

πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€



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About Sam Catchpole

Exercisaholic, Photographer, Artist, Writer, Engineer, Morris Dancer, General Obsessive...

31 responses to “When Imaginary Friends become Real!”

  1. shazruns says :

    I have had the pleasure to meet some fellow bloggers over the years, all ways been a very positive experience, I have made some great friends on my blogging journey, totally unexpected. Lovely to hear about your day!

  2. NancyTex says :

    Bahahahahaha! So much gold in this post. Where shall I start?…

    1. “So after much chatting, some coffee and the decision that Nancy shouldn’t take her trousers off in a starbucks that is inside sainsburys…” <- First off, it's STAINSburys! Don't you remember?? And secondly, there may be a need to clarify why I considered taking my jeans off… πŸ™‚

    2. "the person behind the desk was moderately confused by the request for directions so told us all about the painted hall instead…" <- I snorted coffee out my nose reading this bit. That was so bizarre!!

    3. "suddenly causing Nancy to go into β€œI am climbing a mountain” mode and me to go into β€œI am not getting left behind by someone I have only just met no matter how awesome she is” mode.." <- Told you, when I'm climbing up an incline I just get so angry and want it to be over with that I speed up. πŸ™‚ Sorry! πŸ™‚

    4. "if only the man who took our picture (and cleverly queue jumped at the same time) could have got out feet in the picture.." <- TOTALLY! The whole point was to get our feet in the damned shot!! πŸ™‚

    5. "if I was going to name the dance after any part of the body, it would be bottom dancing…not belly dancing…" <- HAHA! True enough! Lots of booty-shaking going on.

    6. "and definitely not a 55 year old sleezy man!" <– This just made my life! πŸ™‚

    You are so awesome! Thanks for such a wonderful day!

    xoxo nancy

    • Ice_Badger says :

      1. Hehehehe…no I decided to let the world think you are the sort of Canadian hussy who takes their trousers off in supermarkets with people they have only just met!

      2. It was bizarre, as was his estimation of a long walk!

      3. Hehe I don’t mind at all πŸ˜€

      4. I don’t know what we expected from a queue jumper!!

      5. Yup…bottom dancing!

      6. I thought it was important that the world knew this πŸ˜‰

      It really was a wonderful day!! I enjoyed it so much!! Xxxx

  3. NancyTex says :

    Reblogged this on my year[s] of sweat! and commented:
    Curious about a more blow-by-blow review of Sam & Nancy’s Excellent London Adventure? Read on, friends.

    But don’t worry your pretty little heads over why I considering dropping trou in a Starbucks first thing in the morning. Never mind.

  4. nrhatch says :

    So glad to know that NT is NOT a sleezy 55-year-old man. πŸ˜›

  5. joannesisco says :

    I loved reading both of your accounts of your day together because when blogging friends become friends in the ‘real’ world, it can only be described as awesome! πŸ™‚

  6. Tiny says :

    Oh – I can only imagine …to a certain extent …the conversations when everyone was not listening/reading πŸ˜€

  7. peakperspective says :

    A terrific story and it truly sounds like a brilliant time. I couldn’t be happier for the two of you if I had been there myself and had all the fun.

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