shoegonRemember that blog I did a few days back about the black and white house, well I finally had an upsurge of courage and rode my bike around to their place and made the visit. I knocked on the door and yes, it turned out well. 

It all started out with me trying to conquer my aversion to talking to strangers. The plan was to give a gift to my neighbours and at the same time introduce myself. They live about 200 metres from my unit in a cute black and white house that I’ve always liked.

The day before yesterday I practiced my smile in front of the mirror. Smiles are funny things, don’t smile enough or smile too much and you can come over as disturbing. And I didn’t want to look disturbed. Having found the happy medium somewhere between the ends of the smiling spectrum I set off, present in hand. You might recall I decided to give them a pair of black and white porcelain ornamental shoes as decoration for the house.

As I was riding around to their place the thought went through my mind, what am I doing?….. if you want to make friends knocking on a complete strangers’ door is probably not in the top ten strategies. For whatever reason I was now committed and it really was not going to be the end of the world if it all turned pear-shaped. Anyway I had firmly decided that I would put myself out there and see what happened so that’s what I was going to do.

 I was feeling confident as I’ve  been enjoying my long-distance communications with Timm in San Diego, Juicer in The Big Apple, Vicki at Corner Paint in the Californian Mountains, Pamela in Austin Texas, Daisy Chain on the Gold Coast and MyfrenchKitchen in the Loire France so I reckoned I was ready to add the real face to face element to my conversations. 

Within a few minutes I arrived at the house, lent my bike against the hedge and walked straight up to the front door. I knocked a few times and soon there was a person in front of me and then a second. I did the smile, introduced myself and explained the reason for my visit. 

Although bewildered at first they were very friendly and receptive to my gesture. We talked for 15-20 minutes and found we were both long-time residents of the area and therefore had some basic history in common. They were lovely people.

It was mentioned that perhaps we could have coffee one day so the opportunity for another conversation or meeting is on the cards. I learnt that most conversations can be a dead end of sorts and you may never talk to that person again or you might just be passing acquaintances however once in a while you could really make a friend. All you have to do is make the effort.



  1. I’m so proud of you Sean! I just wish I could have seen your very special smile while standing in their doorway. I’m sure it was wonderful !
    Thank you for including me on the great list of blogger mates!

    Those people don’t realize it yet, but they’ve just met a great guy!

    Hugs my friend!

  2. Thanks Vicki……I’m now thinking that the shoes did pretty well out of it as they now live in a lovely waterfront home overlooking the bay.

    Every time I look at this blog for some reason I can’t help but think of that old saying…. “you should walk a mile in their shoes”….. and wonder if it means that when you walk in another’s shoes by the time they realize it you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.

  3. Sean, this is so well timed, serendipitous!

    Not only your new-made neighborliness, but your posting itself, is wonderful! You include a humor and mirth that is, gladly, catching. Very nice indeed.

    I have to apologize for not visiting more often. My fault, my lack, for not having a high speed internet connection. A dialup modem only! Yes, I’m archaic in these days, but so it is. And that means heavily graphic sites such as yours are a real challenge for me to engage. Sorry.

    But more patience now for me. Don’t like the thought of missing so beautifully expressed posts such as you’ve done this day. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us.

    And serendipitous because I’ve just finished rewriting my blog “about”, trying to be a more easily friendly face in this community.

    My thanks.

  4. Hi Neil, thanks..even your comments are poetry. I’m always over at your place uncovering alternative meanings in your words and evoking emotional responses in myself.

  5. Well done for putting yourself out there. And you are right the shoes have found their way to a cute waterfront house to live. But …bet their life was more interesting at yours watching you practice that smile:)

  6. Hi Sean,

    Now that you have broken the ice with your black & white porcelin shoes. Have you got any blue & or black houses in your area?
    I have an old pair of odd rubber thongs, one blue, the other black. If you like, I could donate them to you, to use in your “find a new friend ” quest.
    I am sure they would be a good conversation starter.

    Let me know.


  7. Dear Ian, ….So nice to hear from you… no I haven’t found houses of that colour but I’ll keep(start) looking…..I’m sorry you had to read on a blog that I was replacing you as a friend… but after 50 plus years I’ve had enough of you and feel I should look for someone for the long term….ha ha

    ps I always knew thongs were your thing.

  8. You are replacing me?
    After 50 years faithful service I feel used & dirty.
    Can’t we talk about this?
    Is there anything I can do to change your mind.
    Was it that I was prepared to discard my old thongs?
    What if I supplied the bait next time we go fishing.
    Please reconsider.
    I will do anything (almost).

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