You know how sometimes you meet people and you get chatting and the conversation turns up some vague similarities, or the fact that you live in the same vicinity (county level usually but sometime country or even land mass!) - and you end with 'Yeah, that would be great ... of course I'll pop in next time I am passing your town.'
Well ... on the 20th May this year I was doing a piece to video from the summit of Everest. The guy next to me says 'that's a northern accent ... where are you from?' 'Keswick' says I, 'you from Canada or somewhere?' (for he had that twang). And it turns out that whilst he now lives in Canada (and has done for 20 years) he is originally from Barrow (in Cumbria).
So we chatted idly for a while (like you do on the summit of Everest) and I told him about the B&B and stuff. He then signed off with the not unusually unexpected 'Well... I'm visiting the UK in September and we'll be staying in Windermere so we'll pop by and catch up.' 'Cool, safe journey down and I'll see you again,' I said and I thought nothing more of it. Just another chance meeting with someone and a pleasant chat. Albeit in rather special circumstance.
Well .... how cool is this? Dave Hill (for that is he) rang the doorbell this week and fulfilled his promise. Naturally we stepped straight out and went to The George for a pint with his wife and friends and had a great craic. And what a nice guy.
Totally laid back and genuine but you could also tell that he had worked long and hard to get himself to the level of being on the big mountain. He summited ... and rightly so. In fact he's exactly the sort of person that I think should be there - a competent climber and mountaineer in his own right with an excellent mountaineering pedigree.
So ... Dave (if you are reading this) one day (but I haven't got a clue when) I shall reciprocate and drop in to see you when I'm passing.
And good luck with your plans to go back to Everest and have a go from The North side. It's a totally different undertaking ... but he's the sort of guy that has a great chance of success. And if that is the case you'll be one of the few to have summited from both sides.
It's an exclusive club!