I decided to recycle this, first posted in July 2010. I have met quite a few people since then, some friends in the US and Canada for instance, Kathleen and Jim, Nathan and Jenesta, Brian and Christine Laing, Don Webb, Amy Corbin and her lovely family. I have met some internet friends, John Ritchie, John Stocks, Avis Hickman Gibb and of course those who live close to Newcastle… and next weekend I am meeting another internet friend Colin Will. And I was thinking about meetings and how nice it is to shake hands with someone. I think it’s an under-rated form of contact and it tells you something about a person. So:

What do Ian Paisley, Sir Douglas Bader, Barry McGuire, Quentin Crisp, actor Bernard Lloyd, Francis R. Pryor MBE (archaeologist) Sir Tony Robinson and The Crusader at St Michan’s have in common?

They’ve all shaken hands with me – well I suppose the crusader didn’t do it very actively but I held his hand and it seemed surprisingly human for one so long dead…  (Visit The Vaults for more info on St Michans) Perhaps some of the horror rubbed off – because I am a most unlikely horrorist!  I used to have nightmares about Daleks.  I even had nightmares about Twizzle!  My mother used to ask for my help in the kitchen every time she saw a potentially scary programme.  She didn’t want to be up half the night, I learned to bake, everyone else got to watch the show – a great psychological coup on my mother’s part, I’m sure you’ll agree..

Quentin Crisp didn’t shake hands very actively either, it has to be said.  I was honoured though…  He looked up – which he didn’t do often, smiled and took the proffered hand for the merest instant and with no pressure exerted, then he signed the book.

Barry McGuire said he was pleased to meet me and reached down (my eyes were about level with the giant’s belt) taking hand, wrist, forearm… I exaggerate but you get the picture – wish I had one of that actually, it must have looked hilarious!

Sir Douglas Bader was an official function – graduation day. Some handshakes are merely formal.

Mr Paisley has a forceful handshake – as you might expect.  I was vote counting at the time… but he did make a point of it, recognising me as ‘one of the Kyle’s’.

Bernard Lloyd was very affable.  His handshake was shy. He asked had we met previously — should he know me? and then chatted to this complete stranger for upwards of 5 minutes.  Much more communicative than the Crusader 😉 though he was rather good at being “dead as a door-knob” in A Christmas Carol. I liked him.

I was really pleased to meet  Time Team’s Francis Pryor and Tony Robinson (he kissed my cheek) on Holy Island last year and Karen and Charlie Slade from Tudor Monastery Farm there, this year. I have to say these TV people seem to have nice firm handshakes. I like that! They’re forthright. Probably they have to be to be on camera.

I have shaken hands with lots of people you wouldn’t have heard of too but it’s strange isn’t it – each individual has a unique set of people whom they have met and no two sets will ever be the same. It’s a wonder to think that all the hands that shook mine somehow met in me.

And I wonder how they perceived my handshake?

You’re unique too.  Whose hand have you shaken, I wonder… MINE perhaps? 😉 Do tell!