“Hallo the house!”
I barely heard the soft, deep voice call from the driveway over the clang of the dishes as I stacked the last of them in the cupboard. I nervously wiped my hands on the front of my apron, took a deep breath, a last inspecting look at my kitchen, and crossed to the front door.
I flung it open wide, my smile nearly cracking my flushing face in two. I was nervous, I’ll admit. It’s not everyday you meet an Internet friend from afar, who just also happens to be a bit of an internet sensation, and the closest thing to a duine uasal that this island girl will ever meet.
Except that no one was there. I looked around; my head tracked left, then right.
My cheeks flaming even hotter, I looked down (he’s not called Wee Jamie for nothing) to find a man of great worth and small stature waving up at me.
“Nae worries, lass. It happens. I should be most obliged, and forgiving, mind, if ye could take this shopping bag off my back. Wee Claire never stints on a hostess gift, as ye can see, and it’s been a long walk through the trees after an even longer ferry journey. You would have to live on an island,” he shook his head ruefully, then cocked an eyebrow. “Come to think of it, a sup of ale wouldn’t go amiss either, aye?”
After a quick drink, we unpacked Wee Claire’s bag full of goodies, including a couple of bottles of wine, beer (and cider!), crackers, a selection of fine cheeses, white and black truffle oil, jellies and some insanely tasty venison jerky that Wee Young Ian sent along with his compliments.
Then I invited WJ & WC into my Outlander Kitchen, where they helped me roll some local seafood into sushi to add to our picnic. Raw fish wasn’t big outside of Japan in the 18th Century, so I kept it safe and filled our rolls with cooked Spot Prawns, avocado, green onions and BACON. (Want a guy to try something new? Include bacon.)
To keep shrimp/prawns straight during cooking, thread them onto skewers starting at the head end, just under the feet, without piercing the flesh. Sear them on the grill or steam them in a tall pot with an inch or boiling water in the bottom. WJ seemed to really like that tip, so I thought I’d pass it along.
And then to the beach! We headed down to the southern tip of Pender, where we all kicked back for an afternoon of food, sun worship and awed appreciation of the world around us. Ten thousand words could never do justice to the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest on a sunny day, but I think WJ did a good job of capturing the majesty of Mt Baker in Washington State in the pic below.
We ended our day with a long evening at the pub. Dinner and many drinks sealed tight a friendship that goes back to WJ’s very birth. I’m proud to boast that I’ve been with him from the very beginning.
I guess that makes me Murtagh.
In all seriousness, I’d like to thank my friend and WJ creator, Kay, as well as our friend, Cee, for coming to visit me on little ol’ Pender – and for that crazy-big bag full of goodies…we’ll be enjoying that for weeks to come – we’ve been hanging out online for YEARS now, and it always makes a virtual connection that much sweeter and more solid when you get to meet in person. We had a glorious day at the beach, and a long, fun evening at the pub.
And despite what appears to be photographic evidence to the contrary, we hardly played with dolls at all. Promise.