Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Virtual reality

This will be a brief post as I've just updated my other blog and it's 9pm and my husband will be home any minute and might expect me to be a 50s housewife and actually have produced him some dinner (I haven't) so will have to rustle up something exotic like pasta and pesto. With peas.

Anyway, I had to post because on Sunday I did something I've never done before. Well, that's not strictly true, I've done it once before but his was different. I met people from the interweb in real life.

I first became addicted to the internet when I lived in NYC and was planning a wedding. Back then, every spare moment I logged onto - a fabulous forum for wedding obsessed bridezillas. And while I did give away all of my many wedding magazines to a fellow knotter, she just picked them up and I never met her.

Then I moved to the UK and had a baby. A difficult baby. Cue Without the kind souls on that forum, I might have just curled up into a ball and wept (actually I did that anyway but at least I felt I wasn't alone in doing it). But I certainly never met any BWers.

Then I had a brief flurry on but the people there just scared the bejesus out of me and there was no way I'd ever have gone to a Mumsnet meet up.

Then we moved house to a new area and I knew no-one. So I used the meet a mum boards and did actually meet some people from the internet. But it wasn't like we had a long virtual friendship first. It was kinda: hey, anyone want to get out and chat instead of going slowly insane on your own? I stayed in touched with one or two but nothing more than a Facebook alliance now really.

Then came the world of mummy blogging. I didn't even know it was a world. I just stumbled upon it and thought how marvellous it was that you could spout off reams of twaddle and have random strangers feed you twaddle back. It is amazingly addictive how you come to know people so well, and experience all the highs and lows of their lives with them. It makes reality tv pale into significance.

And then thanks to Susanna at British Mummy Bloggers and Silver Cross, there was a mummy blogger meet up. The chance to meet virtual friends in real life. I'll admit, I had an ulterior motive for going along to meet other mummy bloggers. I wanted to understand the community better and how the meet ups might work so that (wearing my dashing PR hat) I might be able to advise clients on it all. But I was also intrigued to find out who some of these people were who have supported me in my mad plans to sail across the ocean and whose lives I have shared so initimately for so long.

We met at the Rain Forest Cafe in London, which is an amazing place and somewhere I'll be taking my kids in the future. The other mummies had their children there and they were enthralled by it. Silver Cross demoed their lovely new products, which were almost drool-worthy enough to tempt me to have a third child. But not even the Halo Buggy and Doodle High chair are that good.

The strange thing was, that chatting to the fellow mummy bloggers felt like I was meeting up with old school friends. You don't really know them, but you do. Their real life personalities are just like those on their blogs. You have an instant understanding because you've shared so much of their lives already. So it was really lovely to chat to so many of you. I know I should name and link to you (as many of you have kindly done to me) but I a) know I'll forget someone and will feel like a poop for doing it and b) I really, really do need to go get some food on the go.

But suffice to say it was a great experience and one I'll certainly repeat. And any other mummy bloggers who didn't go to this one, do try to make the next!

Right, now to tie my apron on, prepare a G&T for my husband and prepare to look cheery and gay while asking him about his day. That's what the books say right?


BoozleBox said...

The peas make it a balanced meal surely? In fact I'm sure that's a regional speciality somewhere in Italy.

Perfectly Happy Mum said...

It was lovely meeting you on Sunday!
Like you said it was so easy to connect with everyone.
That's quite freaky I had EXACTLY the same virtual journey as yours(apart from the wedding one, my place was Like you I became addicted to the baby whisperer to start with and like you didn't gel much with the mumsnet mums, but met great friends through Netmums Meet a mum board :)
Hope your husband enjoyed his dinner!

Iota said...

Maybe he had a meet-up with some husband bloggers.

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

It was lovely to meet you. And it was so, so, so much easier than the school gate, or other online meet-ups I've done (I have done a few!). Very glad you managed to squeeze it into your incredibly busy schedule.

Experimental Mum said...

Bet the Meet-up was fun, I think I'd have enjoyed putting a face to the words.

I've tagged you at mine, if you'd like to play along!