Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What a buzz!!!

Well, it was a great week! My English penpal arrived on Tuesday and I met him at the airport. We had arranged to meet at the baggage pickup area, and as people streamed down the escalator toward me, I scanned every face, trying to find someone who looked like the last photo I had received over 30 years ago. The stream of people slowed down to a trickle, and I started to get a bit edgy. Had he missed his flight from Tassie? Had he changed his mind and decided to stay there a bit longer? Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to find a tall man grinning at me saying "Hello Gina!" We laughed at each other in delight and hugged, and he explained that he wanted to get his luggage before finding me, in case I had been delayed.

From there on, we never stopped talking. On the half hour drive home, he told me how much he loved Tasmania, and what he'd seen there. I pointed out various things as we passed them, and as I knew he liked Aussie beer, I stopped at a bottle shop and invited him to choose a six pack of beer to bring home. When we got home about 2 pm, I made us some lunch, and then we got down to the serious business of going through my records. Paul buys and sells rock'n'roll records for a living, and as I am in the process of downsizing my lifetime hoard of hobbies, I said he could buy any of my records that he was interested in. As I have about 500 LPs and around 200 singles and EPs, it took the rest of the afternoon, and that is how Ken found us when he got home from work - sitting on the floor of my study, surrounded by records! Ken poured a glass of beer for each of them and joined us while Paul kept going through the records.

After tea, we sat in the lounge and continued to get to know each other. I was delighted to see Ken and Paul getting on like the proverbial house on fire - they both had an interest in motorbikes, we all liked the same kind of music, and had lots of other things in common as well. The next day when Ken went off to work, I took Paul on a tour of second hand record shops (and a few opshops as well!) around Melbourne. He didn't spend much, but I did - nearly $200 on CDs and DVDs that I knew Ken and I would enjoy. That night, we showed Paul one of our favorite movies "The World's Fastest Indian" and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Ken then showed him a few bits and pieces of other DVDs and music to display his home theatre system, while I caught up on a few items of housework.

On Thursday, Paul's plane was due to leave at 2pm, so we only had the morning in which to visit our final record shop, just outside the city. This proved to be the best one we had seen, and Paul made up for lost time, finding a large number of records he just had to have! We reluctantly left there about 12.45 and got to the airport just after 1 pm, so he was in good time to check his luggage in and board the plane to Brisbane, where he planned to hire a car and spend three weeks touring Queensland. I told him that next time he comes here, we expect him to spend more time with us so we can show him more of Victoria, and he replied "But you must come to England first". Well, if we win a lottery, we'd love to!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodness... he does'nt look much like the younger photos. I'm so very pleased you had an excellent itme with your English penpal. I loved reading all about your adventures to op shops etc. Fantastic Gina... I bet it was a real blast. xox
ps. Do you still write letters or use email now..?

Monday, 12 March, 2007  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Paul and I still write letters, Nicole. Even though he trades on eBay, he still prefers to write letters to his friends, rather than email. So do I! Just love getting letters in my mail box.

Tuesday, 13 March, 2007  
Blogger Jeanette said...

Hi Gina. How wonderfull to be able to spend time with your penpal of many years and take him on tour to the record shops. No Iwould not have picked him from old photo. take care.

Thursday, 15 March, 2007  

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