About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

From Down Under to the Top of the World

I have just returned home from meeting one of the most charming, intelligent, and gentle men with whom I've had the pleasure of spending time. When David McMahon aka authorblog emailed asking for my phone number so we could have a chat when he flew in from Melbourne on his way to the Yukon, I promptly replied that I would be at the airport to greet him. He had several hours to wait for the final leg of his journey so it was a perfect time to get to know each other over breakfast.

I could not believe how chipper he was after such a lengthy flight of 13,192 km (8,197 miles) and before he began the final leg of 2,697 km (1,675 miles). This map shows just how far he travelled to reach his final destination of Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory of Canada. Melbourne is in the south-eastern area of Australia, Vancouver is the most south-west part of Canada, and Yukon is just east of Alaska. I had a piece of paper with his name printed out on it in case the international arrivals area was crowded, but as soon as he saw me and I saw him, we knew each other! It was like we were already old friends.

Off we went for breakfast at the Fairmont Hotel, where the hostess led us to a lovely table by the window. It turned out that the hostess was one of my former students and she was thrilled to see me, as was I her. We hugged and chatted a moment before she carried on with her work.

Unfortunately, the day was overcast and we weren't able to see the mountains, but David assured me he'd seen them on previous trips. He told me all about his wonderful family, how he'd met his wife and how they'd moved from India to their current home in Australia. It was obvious he's extremely proud of his three children, too. I'd love to meet them some day - Australia has always been on my list of "places to visit before I die" and meeting David and hearing about his family just makes me more excited to see what I imagine to be a very exotic country.

He told me he'd wanted to bring me something but wasn't quite sure what. His wife suggested he bring along his book, "Vegemite Vindaloo" and I really must thank her because I'm an avid reader and wanted to read it, but had not been able to locate it here in Canada. He very thoughtfully autographed it with a personal note, so this book is definitely a keeper. I can hardly wait to start reading it - this afternoon! To see reviews of David's book, click here OR here.
After an incredibly long breakfast, (delicious by the way) it was time to head for Domestic Departures. Our hostess, my former student, kindly took a photo of us before we left so I'm including it here. (Notice I'm holding the book.)

I left David to wend his way to the appropriate gate, and he should be landing in Whitehorse in about 15 or 20 minutes now, exhausted I'm sure. He's up there on business, and I'll be interested to hear from him how he enjoyed his two weeks photographing areas of Canada that most Canadians have never seen. I must admit I'm a tad jealous of his opportunity to travel there.

This blogging business has sure been an experience for me. I've met so many people through the adventure and had people send me and my family gifts from afar. Leeanne from Australia and Liz from Wales both sent gifts for my daughter's new baby in March, John in Edinburgh send me two books of his Scots Haiku poetry, and I'm now awaiting the arrival via mail of a book I won on another site. I've met several women who have become good friends, especially Suzanne and Josie. And, I'm meeting jmb and Liz on September 15th for lunch as Liz is passing through Vancouver on her way to Vancouver Island on holiday with her husband and daughter & her husband. Next summer I'm hoping to meet many others when my friend Cathy and I visit Wales and parts of England. Get ready ladies! Here come the Canajuns!

Meeting David today was another highlight. He expressed his appreciation that I got up so early to come to greet him, but heck, how many times do you get to meet someone from halfway around the world? It may have been cloudy this morning, but I spent a brilliant three hours chatting with an incredible man. He may be on his way to the top of the world, but I'm feeling as though I'm already there.


Trubes said...

Oh! Leslie, I do wish I had your energy to do the things you do.
At present I am so weighed down with pain that it is difficult to even walk to the end of my garden and back.
Sorry to sound so gloomy, but it just hits home when I read of others fullsome lives. I can't even arrange a much longed for holiday in Europe because of my wretched health.

Sad old Trubes at present!


leslie said...

Oh, poor soul! I guess I really do have an unusually high pain tolerance! The surgeon said I should have seen him so much sooner but when you live with it most of your life, you learn to deal with it the best you can. Plus weekly massage therapy helps to control pain. I also refuse to give up on the pleasures of life, such as meeting wonderfully interesting people like David. Take care of yourself so we can meet up next summer! Cheers :D

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

oh wow!! lucky you, the man himself...thanks for inviting me back Leslie! a pleasure...
he's so modest, give me the title and l shall go see amazon now..

living vivacriously now...thanks

and btw lve just finished a haiku course, so l'm intrigued at scots haiku poetry???

nite x

Ackworth Born said...

Oh that is a fabulous account of a great meeting.

Jo said...

Leslie, David looks very nice. It looks as if you had a wonderful time together. I hope you said "Hi" to him from me.

That is one heck of a long journey from Australia to the Yukon! In one day. Goodness! If it were me, I would be shattered.

leslie said...

Hi FFF - I don't know if Amazon carries the book - I know Chapters doesn't. It's called "Vegemite Vindaloo."

Hi Ackworth - we had a wonderful visit.

Yes, Jo - he's very nice and he said to give you a BIG AUSSIE HUG! So {{{{{{Josie}}}}}}

holly said...

oooh i simply adore this man! am so envious of your meeting! that guy needs to fly to london! i'd drive there!

my friend jo (from www.jobeaufoix.com) got me his book. i only haven't read it yet because i haven't read anything in a month (but the five months before that i read two per month, so i'm not a heathen, i'm just waaaay busy right now). it is the next in the queue!

CrazyCath said...

Leslie that is a fabulous post! Thank you so much for stopping by and telling me about it. I am flattered I may have been mentioned in conversation.

I too very much would like to meet David, and I am trying to search out a copy of his book. The plot actually sounds just like my sort of read.

You describe David just as I imagine him - gentlemanly, gentle, kind and er, gentle!! lol
I'd love to meet his wife too. What a special lady she is. ;0)

Great post. Happy reading!

holly said...

hiya cath!

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis" is happy you were able to meet David. He seems to be the sort we'd all like to have as a friend.

"Louis" thanks your for your visit and comment at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo. "Louis" was quite pleased that you stopped by!

Katney said...

Amazon does have the book but it is something like 60 bucks. Borders could get it for me for $30. There is a source my son the (former) bookseller found for me to get it out of India which would come to about a tenner.

Liz is coming through Vancouver? I would come join you but I will have just finished the Brast Cancer 3-Day and have committed to a week at the National Park.

Nobody ever comes through Yakima on their way to anywhere. But Vancouver is not all that far from the Yakima Valley. Not nearly as far as Wales. So, someday...

jmb said...

What a lovely thing to happen Leslie. He always seems like such a nice man from his blog. I would have been happy to meet him too. I did notice he said he was coming here but did not know when.
It is always a pleasure to meet in person those we know only through their words.

RiverPoet said...

Leslie - That is wonderful! And the two of you look like old buddies. I'll bet he was one fascinating man to talk with. His stamina amazes me.

Peace - D

Moannie said...

I am a fairly new blogger and found David through FFF,[ my daughter] and it was he who posted the first comment [well second but the first was FFF and to be expected] on my very first attempt. He does seem to be a delightful man with the curiosity and energy to put me to shame.

Enjoyed your account.

Daryl said...

AND did you give him the hug I sent?

I am so jealous ... he was hoping to stop in NYC but Air Canada was not accommodating with its schedule/times ...

And I have, finished it last week, a copy of the book .. if anyone wants to BORROW it, I will send it on as long as it gets returned ...


Daryl said...

BTW I got the book by Googling it and it didnt cost much .. it did however take about a month to get here ... I opted for the cheaper shipping


leslie said...

Hi everyone,

I started the book last night and only put it down when I couldn't see anymore (from being tired - yes I do have electricity!). Will continue it today. Wonderful story!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Wow Leslie, what a lovely story and how great that you were able to meet him!!

Dragonstar said...

How wonderful to be able to meet David like that. I know you'll enjoy "Vegemite Vindaloo" - I had to send to India for my copy!

meggie said...

How lovely that you could meet David. What a lovely photo of both of you.

Craver Vii said...

How excellent! A couple of really nice people... and food! It don't get much better 'n that!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, the contacts we make through blogging are fascinating, especially when we get to meet the bloggers in person! Glad you had such a great time, Leslie.

sally in norfolk said...

sounds like a fab day :-)

starnitesky said...

Hi Leslie, I am catching up after visiting my daughter and a short break. How wonderful to meet David, I often read his blog and look at his wonderful photos. How are you enjoying the book?

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

How wonderful Leslie, I too have met some wonderful people through my blog and a few of those in person.

david mcmahon said...

Dear Leslie,

I missed seeing this because I was travelling.

I've only just spotted it and may I humbly say I am so honoured to be featured on your blog.

It was such a pleasure meeting you and I cannot thank you enough for a) your kind words and b) for taking the trouble to come all the way to the airport to welcome me to your beautiful country.

God bless you andyour family