The human giraffe stoops down, bending almost double to kiss me on the cheek.
“You really are 6 foot 8, aren’t you?” I say. ” I thought you were joking?”
“Nope, I really am 6 foot 8 I’m afraid,” jonathan says. “Is that a problem?”
“Oh no, it’s fine. I’m a gigantophile like Lord Rothschild. I like very talk me and large animals: giraffes and elephants and giant tortoises and Megatherium and…”
“An extinct giant sloth,” I say. “I love sloths don’t you? We saw Geoff, the new baby sloth at the zoo on Friday and…”
“What would you like to drink?” Jonathan says.
“Gin and slimline tonic please,” I say.
I watch him make his way to the bar, towering over everyone.
“So, how tall are your parents?” I ask when he returns with the drinks. We’re sitting outside at the Black Lion in West Hampstead.
“Mum is 5 foot 9, Dad is 6 foot,” he says.
“So how come you’re so much taller?”
“There’s height on both sides of the family,” he says.
“Have you got any siblings and…”
“I’m the tallest,” he preempts my question.
Suddenly the heavens open and it is pouring. Squeals, and everyone in the substantial pub garden rushes inside. We make our way across the road to the Wet Fish Cafe.
Settled at a table at the back, Jonathan tells me that he is a lawyer but wants to be an English teacher.
“So at the moment I’m working full time, training to be a teacher, studying for an English degree and writing some comedy on the side,” he says.
Maybe he makes more time with all those extra inches of height somehow, I think.
The evening passes in a blur of chat about theatre, teaching and other things. He is lovely. Fingers crossed that he calls.
Last night I received an offer of a trip to Italy from one of the chaps I haven’t yet met who is from there. Which was nice.