Friendly Friday friend

Let’s call him Rory since this is his name. It was not exactly travel, more like a job that brought me to Denmark, but travel around we did, a busload of students and I as a journalist. My last evening in the country, Rory was Irish, a writer and suddenly there.

This was not a romantic encounter. He was much older and it was not that kind of click. But clicked we did. We spent that evening chatting non-stop. I couldn’t understand why I knew him without having met.

We exchanged addresses. I started writing to him and he replied, and this went on for years. We never met again.

This was pre-internet and later, when I could, I never managed to track him down online. Our communication was old school. To receive a letter – nothing feels quite the same. Not even to write one.

And wrote I did. I wrote about everything. I told him plenty. I guess I was intrigued that a writer would find me read-worthy. This went on until I got a feeling that he was only doing me a favour. Then I stopped.

A rare postcard Rory sent below an old favourite e. e. cummings poem, both from the board above my computer room in my old home.

In a way Rory was my first follower, my first reader, long before I thought it would be good to start talking to the world and showing it pictures.

I have no pictures from Denmark even though I was there as a photo journalist. (Don’t ask, it was pre-digital, father gave me a couple of his old cameras and off I went a-clicking, hoping for the best). The newspaper that sent me did post a few. Years later, as it happened, the bag with the photos and negatives got stolen.

If I posted a photo of Rory to go along with this post, he would be standing by the window in his Copenhagen apartment in his tight purple pants, with a round hat, his big wicked grin, and a small ladies’ gun in his hand. A prop or a real deal? The photo exists and I took it but don’t know the answer.


Instead, here are some photos from my farewell party in April 2013 just before I moved to Tuscany, featuring the Danish flag from this trip. We were singing.

For Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Sarah at Travel with me: Meet

This day in my blogging history

Published by Manja Maksimovič

A Slovenian in Italy for love. Blogger, photographer, translator and would-be writer who would be a writer if she wrote. Plus reluctant but emerging poet. Beware.

23 thoughts on “Friendly Friday friend

  1. Oh yes, letters are magical, especially the hand-written ones. I used to exchange these, pages and pages of them. Now the best I can do is my annual Christmas letter, and it’s always typed. It’s a fun thought: that Rory was your first follower, your first reader. My first was my mother of course, and she thought I was amazing. But if family doesn’t count, my first was a best friend Ophelia, and we were so tight, and then drifted apart. I guess that happens with people who were once close.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea that Rory was in a way your first follower 🙂 He sounds like a really interesting guy. It’s great you kept in touch so long way before to do so was easy. Do you often wonder where he is now, how he is and what he is doing? Thanks for sharing him with us for Friendly Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such things always make us wonder, don’t they.

    I loved my pen friends tremendously. And I miss the pre-internet excitement when sending a letter or getting one. There were times when I received as many as a 100 per day, and answered to each and every one of them. Crazy, isn’t it. But it was fun too. Regrets I have a few.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to spend hours writing letters and was so excited to find letters addressed to me in my mailbox. I still have every letter I ever received (from when I was a child). They are a history of my friendships (all good) and family too (some good, some not so good…but it is what it is). I keep thinking (hoping) there is a writing project in there somewhere.
    This is a wonderful post and story of what sounds like a fascinating friendship. A real pen pal! Also – how sad that those negatives and photos were stolen!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this Manja. You must have made a real connection to exchange all that mail. Speaking as an ‘old’ person now, it must have been interesting to Rory to read your views of the world. Part of the appeal of reading blogs is getting a different perspective and that’s what you probably gave him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The wonder of letter-writing. Today it is quite a novelty isn’t it? Who would have thought something that lasted for millennium would now be defunct? Travel friendships are memorable and it sounds like Rory was a real character. Fancy meeting him in Denmark! Of course, my ears pricked up when I read that name!

    Liked by 1 person

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