When I started blogging .... actually that sounds a bit rude, doesn't it, as though I decided to treat myself to a regular post-breakfast enema but let's move away from bowel movements and back to blogging.... (ahem)......
(Puffs out chest proudly and affects a pompous tone): When I started blogging nearly five years ago, the aim was simply to play with some web technology that even I could navigate on my own without ending up in crying in the corner rocking to myself, and also to try and keep some writing 'fitness' up by posting at least two or three times a week.
Never did I realise that I'd actually make friends on it as well. Friends whose lives I'd eagerly read about and visit daily just to see what they were up to. And this has been the real bonus for me. The other night, Sydney blogger and all-time Awesome Kick-Arse Mother and Techno Tart Baino was holidaying in Melbourne with her daughter ClareBear. Did I want to meet up for a drink on Monday? Do fish pee in the sea?!
Baino's on the left, looking younger and slimmer than she tells us she is on her blog. Next time I hope I can convince her that Love Chunks, Sapphire and I aren't axe-wielding psychopaths who knit knee rugs from our own belly button fluff (or not very often anymore) and that she's welcome to enter through our Gates of Hell and have dinner. Or stay. Any maybe help us knit....
Afterwards I got home, started yelling at my visiting parents (three glasses of wine on an empty stomach and I think I'm whispering delicately) over dinner and started thinking about the other bloggers I've met in person.
Franzy - Funnier than seeing Malcolm Turnbull in a Centrelink Queue. Smart. Quick to tell me that he's disappointed if some of my bloggings are lazy. New father, sleep-deprived; still suffering the shock and wonderment of it all but able to work up a good rage every now and then. I hope to buy his best-selling and critically-acclaimed works of fiction when he finishes them.
Ashleigh - Quirky. Intelligent. Passionate about the ridiculousness of finance, enviro-greenwashing and actively querying just why (oh god, why?) his local council won't allow boobies or willies to be shown as artworks in public places. Challenged me to a blind chocolate tasting that showed we both have a lot to learn, which is a damn convenient way of allowing us to eat more of the good brown stuff.
Delamere - Warm. Friendly. Sharp as a whip. Mother of three, career-woman, home renovator, rabbit and cat wrangler and - to highlight some cruelly bad timing - she used to work at Cadbury Schweppes before we met. Being ensconced in a telephone company just doesn't have the same ring to it (boom boom). Intense love of all things Jane Austen but possibly not their corsetry or whalebone devices.
Red Cap - Hilariously dark writer who's been rarer than Pamela Anderson in a polo neck in the blogosphere of late. Brain the size of a planet. Snarky but with a beating heart of gold. Brilliant writer and photographer. Keeps her chin up during even the darkest times (and some of those involved being spat on and groped by a drag queen during a festival revue).
Deep Kick Girl - As John Cusack-obsessed as I was. Clever. Generous. All kinds of interests ranging from wearing silly hats proudly in public to rigorous fundraising. Has a tattoo of her favourite band in a very special place that might also get a Sydney Swans logo to accompany it. Deftly survived the rigours of South American travel (twice) with the same dignity she possesses during a fight for a car-parking space outside a childcare centre.
Go East Young Woman. Determined. Bright. Observant. I'd say 'glamorous' until she opens her mouth and makes a drunk Collingwood fan blush and cover his defacto-on-parole's ears. Has more stamps on her passport than I have pairs of shoes. Fashionable and computer savvy. Devoted mother to two cats who have travelled to Holland, Australia and Dubai. Not too shabby with a camera either.
Lessons Learned. Fearless. Astute. Tenacious. Single-handedly takes on the health system on behalf of hearing-impaired babies and children everywhere. Black-belted karate teacher that patiently put up with my explosively embarrassing farts and still managed to teach me something. Should apply those killer skills to budget advisors because everyone's afraid of an angry scientist with the ability to crack a gonad in a single kick.
Myninjacockle. Hilarious. Ingenious. Witty. Met him the same night I met Franzy and knew him straight away just from his descriptions. Bought his book despite considering poetry about as accessible as modern interpretative dance, but thankfully (and not surprisingly) loved his. After all, how many blokes can pen a poem about marking a block of Bega cheese like a football? I selfishly wish he'd put his kids and study books down and write more.
Simply Natural - My ex-boss. Intelligent. Graceful. Kind. Strong. Has endured more than her fair share of sadness and challenge over the past few years but survives and thrives far better than she thinks she does. Should consider moving into interior design professionally because it's clearly her passion and her talent. I often wonder if she keeps me as a friend for the sole reason of being her 'BEFORE' case study for all things decorative, stylish and elegant.
All of them are as fabulous in person as their blogs which detail their loves, hates, frustrations, laughs, bemusements and opinions. All are hugely witty and wonderful writers and I envy them their unique way of looking at the world and their place within it.
Thank blog for this freebie online device that we can so easily tap at in the privacy of our lounge rooms or at the work desk during lunch hour or I'd never have known you. Same goes for those bloggers I haven't met yet. Your absence would make my world a lesser place.
* Sapphire read this sentence over my shoulder, furrowed her brow and said, "Well, do they?"