Frankie meets... Bob and Elly
I first met Bob and Elly at the completely wonderful 'Mutual Admiration Social Club'. Aside from admiring
other researchers and being admired back, I learnt there the beginning of
the 'Bob and Elly' story. Bob, from Liverpool, and Elly, from Israel, met
each other online through h2g2. Through Bob's extensive journal postings,
Elly came to learn more of Bob and the two became closer together. After
meeting each other in real life, they now want to move in together.
I meet them both at the h2g2 Summer meetup, and it's clear they are very
happy together. Their situation seems interesting, so I ask them some
questions to discover more about the story of their relationship.
Bob tells me how they first met.
'It's all thanks to h2g2, and more importantly the resident Muse Mother
Dragonfly. We got talking on one of the threads in
the Muse Home. Actually I don't think we talked there but that is when I
first noticed her. I did my usual and made some silly jokes, I guess she
looked at my journal because she saw that I was also, well, messed up is the
best way to describe it, having nightmares and such. She e-mailed me and
wanted to know what was wrong. No one had done that for a long time, I liked
it. It made me feel, I don't know, 'special' I guess.'
Bob's journal is certainly very revealing, it only takes a quick trawl
through the blacklog to understand something of what Bob was going through
at the time. The journal clearly helped to bring them together, but I ask
Bob how he feels about putting his life into such a public domain, and what
the general response was to the things he wrote.
'Well I don't really put everything in my journal, only things that I want people
to know, so it doesn't really bother me. And unfortunately people don't
really look at each other's journals, or if they do they don't make a lot of
comments. I usually mention when I have something new in my journal and
usually have the same people who read it and make a comment, but other than
that it is pretty disappointing.'
I ask Elly what she thinks of Bob's journal.
'I love his journal, I read it every time! Usually when his nickname
changes, that's my sign that he's written something new. I also lurk in some
of his threads and take part in most of them. I like being involved and
seeing him from all sides. After being friends for a few months we got more
personal, exchanging e-mail addresses, ICQ numbers, and photos, getting more
involved in each other's lives. At some point it became love. May the 20th
was the day I finally gave up and admitted that I love Mike, from there on
it just snowballed...'
The recent Summer Meetup 2001 in London held
a special significance to Bob and Elly, as it was to bring them together in
real life. They both came to London, meeting each other for the first time
on the Tuesday before the meet. I asked Bob how he felt about the event.
'I was so scared. I kept thinking that she would take one look at me and
run a mile. I keep getting told that I am not but I think I am ugly really.
And there was a bit of a mix up about where we where supposed to meet so I
just got more nervous. But when I first saw her, that kind of all
disappeared, it was amazing.'
Elly was similarly enthusiastic about the meet.
'I was so excited about meeting him, I couldn't breathe properly that day.
I was surprised that after finding me he just kissed me, but since that kiss
we couldn't think of anything else... I was surprised because he didn't say
anything, but I didn't mind once we'd kissed. He doesn't look like his own
pics, which is weird, and I did expect less than I got.'
So h2g2 brought the couple together in many ways. I ask Bob how he feels
about the way the site works as a whole.
'The site is, well, unique. There is nowhere else like it and I think it is
amazing. A lot of people take it too seriously though... I mean it is just a bit
of fun. I have had a few things moderated, and I have had it explained to me
so it doesn't really bother me. I think the site is very open about its
policy and is well managed.'
I ask Elly if she thinks that having met through the net has had an
effect on their relationship.
'I think the way we met makes a lot of difference. You can either be
honest about yourself, or you can just let people see what you want them to
see. I'm always honest about everything, and very blunt, and Bob was
definitely challenged by it and learned to appreciate that about me. Of
course, we never would have met any other way, which makes me feel lucky and
bless every passing day.'
Bob adds his slant.
'Well the way I see it, I know that I fell in love with who she is and not
what she looks like. It is really difficult with her being so far away and I
miss her like crazy. But I think that it is better meeting her like this
because I know that it is actually love and not lust.'
Elly jumps in.
'I think now there's also lust, don't you?'
We discuss the future and Bob and Elly explain that they are planning on
moving in together, with Bob flying over to live in Israel. I ask Bob how he
feels about the move, and how Israel will compare with where he is now.
'I am living in Liverpool at the moment, a nice city I suppose. There is
always a lot going on but I don't really like cities. The move will get me
away from my family and a lot of the memories. And I will be with her. That
is all I have been able to think about for months now...'
Elly tells me a bit about what living in Israel will be like for Bob.
'I think that, for an outsider, and especially a foreigner, the Kibbutz seems dreamy... I'm sure Bob's going to love
it here. It's an amazing place, on the beach. It's the Mediterranean
coast, which is warm and pretty. Life here is relaxed and easy. There are no
cars driving by all night, which we had in London all the time and I
couldn't stand. Here you wake up 'coz the birds get too loud... of course,
everybody here has known me since I was nine, and knew my ex, so there'll be
gossip, but I couldn't care less. In a community of 500 people you learn to
I ask Bob if he thinks it will be quite a culture shock.
'At first it will be a bit of one, but I adapt quickly to new places, I
always have. I guess it comes from me having travelled around so much. The
main problem I can see will be the language but I will learn in time I am
The decision to move in together seems quite a sudden one. I ask Elly if the
relationship has been quite sudden or a gradual process.
'Well for me it was gradual, for him, quite fast. I think I needed time to
see my feelings as they were, and I was never one to fall easily. I was with
someone, who I thought I loved and would marry, but I've found that I love
someone else and fought it very strongly for a while, until I gave up.'
I ask Bob how he feels about the speed of the relationship.
'Sometimes I am a little scared by how fast we actually started planning
things. But it seems so... well the only way I can describe it is it seems
Finally I ask them if they have any predictions of hopes for the
Elly gives her thoughts first.
'Right now we'd like to work for a while, get some money and go on a trip
together. I usually don't even plan my next week, so I have no idea about
longer than that...'
Bob explains his answer.
'Well I am kind of taking that as it comes. But to be honest if I could
have found a way that would not cause even more problems with my parents I
would have married her in London. I know that at this point I don't care
where I am, I just want to be with her and I will make sure of that.
Afterwards I don't know.'
Bob and Elly are a lovely couple, and having met them I can reveal that
Bob has a great smile and Elly has a lovely accent... I wish them all the
best for the future and hope to see them again soon!
Note: Since this interview was done, Bob has moved to Israel to be with Elly and they have become engaged, so
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