Friday, December 30, 2011

Meeting the Plastic Mancunian

I've been reading the Plastic Mancunian for a while now. He likes to claim that he's a miserable old git who, if not trying to convince us all that heavy metal has musical qualities we should all investigate, is prone to ranting about the dire quality of British television but there's a big beating heart under all that.

He's fond of a meme and even fonder of Mrs PM, his sons and their three crazy cats and has made me inhale my meusli in amusement more than once.

And the other day he was being sent on an urgent work mission to Geneva. 'Well, we've GOT to meet up,' I insisted, not respecting his schedule or personal wishes.

So we did:

He's as funny and clever and engaging as his blog and if he's in town next time we'll have him over for dinner (cooked by Love Chunks, of course. Mine would just scare him away).

This brought to mind some recent comments by Andrew, of High Riser fame, who was worried about meeting up with another blogger. "He is edjacated, artistic, a high achiever, a professional and young," he fretted. I hoiked my considerably chunky thighs over my lofty and smug high horse and wrote, "GO FOR IT and MEET HIM. I met the Plastic Mancunian a couple of days before Christmas and am very glad I did. I ain't single or young or gorgeous, but it's amazing what friendships and connections are made via our blogs. If he reads your blog, he already knows a lot about you and how you think, so please don't be worried."

Over hot chocolate (moi) and beer (PM), we revealed the true names of the people we love and write about but there was one question I didn't ask. I briefly agonised over it, but decided to leave it.

That night, lying in bed with Love Chunks, I broached the issue. "LC you know that you're my Main Squeeze and I'll adore you forever and ever and all that, but would it have been wrong to ask Plastic Mancunian what after-shave he had on because he smelt gorgeous!"

LC's answer was kind of muffled, but the odd word emerged.  Odd ball, Inappropriate and Stalker were the ones that were audible.

I've also met the terrific and prolific Baino and would gladly offer her a spot in our spare room should she ever find her way to Geneva.  She's gutsy, honest, hilarious and would have to be a contender for the hottest and best mother in the world.

River was someone I'd seen many times at my local shopping centre before finally 'clicking' and working out who she was.  Her bravery and ability to see the best in life is an inspiration to me and recent tough circumstances have seen her blossom.  Franzy is another. I found his blog after laughing at a witty remark he'd made in a 'reply all' email sent from a mutual friend.  He's sharper than a razor blade and a justifiably proud new Dad whose not afraid to give me honest feedback if my writing seems too slack for his standards.

Pandora was another find - a blast from the past who hid herself for a while, patiently waiting for my plodding grey matter to fire up, put the pieces together and make the identification. I'm bloody glad I did - we had a lot of ground to cover, including explanations and lessons learned.  She's run half-marathons, travelled the world and somehow combines Beer Club on one hand and the slightly more intellectual Book Club on the other.

Other bloggers have become friends online or via facebook too and for those I haven't yet met, I also consider them friends, comrades and (very often) wise and comforting sages. 

Never underestimate the positive power of contributing a comment. Or advice.


Helen Balcony said...

A bit late here, but all the best of the season to you and LC and Sapphire.

Elisabeth said...

I've been trembling about my first real life encounter with a blogger. I'm soon to meet Isabel. I told my daughters we were planning to meet and in a voice they said 'no, you must not hook up with people you meet online'.

I think in my older age, I'm safe enough. As you say, we get to know one another well in the blogosphere over time and although there may be people out there who are false at heart and desperate to lure in innocent and gullible folk, such a person is unlikely to read our blogs for long.

I know of Baino's blog but for some reason I had it in my mine that like PM she is a he.

This often happens to me. There are bloggers whose gender I find difficult to determine and I rather enjoy the genderless nature of life in the blog world. It allow more of a sense of freedom without some of the expectations that foreknowledge of gender promotes.

You, Kath, are one blogger I'd like to meet one day, however seemingly disparate our lives and ways.

Jayne said...

Yep, I'd love to meet yourself and a fair few other bloggers IRL, those I've met have lived up to their lovely souls :)
I'm also rather quiet and shy, in person, until I get to know the person and have the courage to drink gin in front of them lol.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

And thanks for the kind words.

Actually, I am shy and the prospect of meeting you was scary - but I have an approach that I have adopted for years now and you summed it up nicely when you said "Go for it". And it does work.

What amazes me is that by writing the drivel I write I have managed to connect with people all over the world. Who would have thought that a couple of years ago when I started the blog?

I'll just reiterate again that it was fab to meet you and hopefully I shall have the chance to sample LC's cooking (though I won't be able to look your beloved in the eye WITHOUT calling him Love Chunks - which will be weird.).

Hope you and your family have a fab New Year.




P.S. The "after shave" was just a body spray/deodorant that Mrs PM likes. It is one of the many flavours of Lynx. When I add it to the shopping list, she sprays the various flavours in the supermarket and picks the one she likes best - and then I wear it. Actually, it is quite nice, isn't it?


Elephant's Child said...

I am so glad that you met PM, and that it was all that either of you could have hoped for. I have only met (that I know of) one blogger in person. To say I was anxious is a severe understatement; what would an intelligent, creative, artistic type have in common with me? Probably not a lot, but it didn't matter a jot. And I have now seen her three times (once by accident).

Andrew said...

All publicity is good publicity, I suppose. Seems I have a new reader of my blog. Can a straight married woman have a friendship with a straight married man? I don't see why not, but then I am not straight. PM sounds like he is fun.

diane b said...

It is fun meeting bloggers but it can be a little teeny bit nerve wracking wondering if you will get on. I met a few in USA when we were there and they were terrific people. I went to a bloggers get together in Sydney and that was great too. I guess if you enjoy reading each others blogs you must have something in common.
However, I had a blogger tell me she had a bad experience where she was expected to pay for everything where ever they went.
BTW I meant how long will you be in Switzerland. Is it temporary or permanent? Hope you don't think I'm being too nosey.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Ms Balcony. I wish the very same for you and yours too. K xo

Elisabeth, I'd be honored to meet you.

Jayne, being shy is fair enough. I am too, but work hard (very hard) at trying not to be. I'll shout you a GnT and have one or two for meself.

Thanks PlasMan and never fear, I think poor LC was called 'Love Chunks' by a work colleague a few years back. He'd discovered my blog and just after LC had finished his presentation, his mate piped up with, "So, Love Chunks, about this AMDAR data...."

LYNX, PM? Oh boy, that'll KILL Sapphire because they have some pretty horrendous TV commercials in Australia!!

E-Child, meeting bloggers just makes you realise that they're all 'ordinary' in the accepted sense, but that their humour, kindness, observations and talents are unleashed on the net for us all to enjoy. People like to knock the evils of technology but for a lot of us it's given us the chance to express ourselves and sample a lot of hidden talent from others.

I can't see why not, Andrew. I've always been the type to have as many guy friends as female ones and when in a couple you tend to socialise together as well, so I hope to meet Mrs PM one day too.

Thanks Diane_b - LC's contract is initially for two years because that's the official limit they can offer, but we'd like to stay for another 4 to 6 years if possible. That way LC really gets a good grip of the role and Sapphire gets to complete her IB at the same school.

River said...

I remember the day we finally said hello at the checkout and as I left work a bit later there you were at Uncle Arthur's with LC, asking if I'd like to join you for coffee. I had to refuse because a) I was suddenly shy, b) if I'd had coffee I'd be desperate to pee all the way home and c) because L had been in one of his moods that norning and I didn't want to upset the apple cart any further by being late home.
Now, of course, I wish I'd ignored all that and sat with you and chatted, even without coffee.
I'm proud to number you among my best friends Kath.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks River, you've made me cry! I remember that day too - you did mention that L was in a bad mood, so the decision you've made since has been a brilliant one.

We'll do coffee (and chocolate!) together some day!

Anji said...

That was a nice post - and now we know what PM smells like too.

I really get involved with the lives of my blogging friends. I don't think we should under estimate what a kind comment in the right place can achieve.

people who don't blog just don't get it.

Happy New Year in case I don't get back again before.

Christine said...

so immensely reassuring to read this as I explore blogland to find my perch within it. I enjoy reading your posts, Kath. Your blog is introducing me to a part of the world where I have made a brief acquaintance and would like to know more about.

Pandora Behr said...

Your kind words are unwarranted - but I'm well glad we're back in contact - and I so wish I wrote like you. Just very envious that you've met the Plastic Mancunian. Of course he was going to smell good! Here's to a great new year.

Hannah said...

Hear hear! Many of my "blog-friends" have become some of my truest friends and favourite people in this world, and it's incredible the amount of support, laughter, and strength we can all share through comments, emails, and meetings :) xox Happy New Year, Kath!

drb said...

Wow! You met Mr PM!
I am envious!

JahTeh said...

Kath, how could you not ask about an aftershave that smelt gorgeous? I would have been off to David Jones for a tester run immediately. Was it lemony, I love a lemony bloke.

Louise said...

How wonderful to meet your blog friends. I haven't met any blog friends yet, but have met lots of internet bookgroup friends here in Oz, in NZ, France and America, and they've all been amazing and wonderful people. I'm sure blog people are just as fabulous.

Jackie K said...

It must be very cool to meet these people. You're all great bloggers!
Lynx - funny. We all make fun of it but it DOES smell damn sexy.

Jackie K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Nomad OZ said...

Lynx, huh? I always thought that was a marketer's punishment for anyone coming into contact with teenage boys - maybe there's an adult version??

I've not had the opportunity to meet any of my blogland buddies - I used to think I never would, but haven't yet heard any horror stories! But the chances of running across you are pretty remote - until you return to OZ, of course! Happy (belated) new year!