New Friends

As I mentioned earlier, I learned through “Life in Hay” that there was another American/fellow Illinoisan living here in Hay, so before coming over, I sent a quick note to Leslie, the owner of the blog, and she returned my email with details of where Jackie worked and on what day I might find her there.

When we arrived at Broad Street Books, the accent of the lady at the front of the shop was distinctly un-English. Confirmation that we had indeed found Jackie was the SIU ball cap perched atop the head of her husband, Richie, who was seated beside her.

I think we gave her quite a shock as she wasn’t aware of our coming to meet her. Thankfully, we didn’t frighten her away, and we had a wonderful talk. They invited us to meet them for drinks later in the week, and I am oh so glad we did!

Last night we met them for drinks at Kilverts. Sitting outside in the garden with a half pint (I’m not stupid – I know I’m a lightweight and know that meeting for “a drink” does not mean just one), with a few fellows playing guitar & singing, dogs sitting beneath fellow patrons feet, and the marvelous company of Jackie and Richie – it was a great evening.

I find it both hilarious and comforting to come this far, only to meet someone who lived about 6 miles from where I went to college. Who else could I reminisce about the Spillway, or Booby’s, or anything else related to Southern!

I like them very much, and would like to think that we have made our first friends here in Hay. Jackie is funny, warm, and down-to-earth. Richie is hilarious and has a story for just about everything. Boo will be speechless when he learns that Richie once toured with his favorite band – but we’re leaving that information for Richie to tell Boo himself.

It makes me look forward to our return, as they are charming, lovely people. Pete agrees, even if it didn’t take long for Jackie to say “you know, you remind me of someone, but I just can’t place it…”

Hopefully, Pete won’t much get referred to as “Simon Cowell’s younger brother”. I think he prefers saying that he works at “the Pill Factory”, as it apparently is referred to here!

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