“I trust all is well on the other side of the North Sea,” Arjen messages.
“It’s not too bad,” I reply. “Just recuperating from another operation. Feel sad about lack of invite to the Galapagos though.”
“It was a family trip ten years in the making. Cost my brother and me an arm and a leg, and a bit more besides. Wish there was something similar closer to home,” he says.
“Ahhhh looks like you had amazing time. Envious. Are you coming back here soon please?” I ask him.
“It was fantastic. Visiting London again is obviously one of my New Year’s Resolutions,” he says.
“Yay! I see you soon. With baby marine iguana hopefully,” I say. This is, obviously, a joke. Am not condoning stealing marine iguanas from the Galapagos. Am just very fond of them. In one of Arjen’s photos there is a huge pile of them climbing all over each other with a baby seal looking on.
Anyway: can now look forward to seeing Arjen soon – or sometime next year anyway.
Meanwhile, messaging continues with my new Bright Young Thing, the 31 year old ChessBoy –
ChessBoy: Norwegian? No, I’m German. Why do you ask? What about you? What kinds of things do you write?
Me: All kinds of things. Fiction, non-fiction, articles. How is Saturday?
ChessBoy: Why you asking if I’m Norwegian? Haha. Saturday is alright. Flying home to Germany tomorrow for Christmas. Can’t wait. Are you a professional writer?
Me: Yes, am sort-of a professional writer. Have a safe flight and a lovely trip. Where in Germany are you from? (Just wondered if you are Norwegian due to the Magnus Carlsen connection)
ChessBoy: Close to Hannover. Landed today. Happy to be home with family but the weather is a bit of this 0-degree-grey-and-rain thing which we had of so much in London over the last weeks. Oh well, maybe it snows over Christmas. Have you seen the movie Interstellar?
Me: Fingers crossed for a White Christmas then. No, I haven’t seen Interstellar. Why?
N.B: Looked it up and “Hannover” is the correct German spelling. “Hanover” is the English spelling. So have learnt a new thing…