Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Friends

Last week, I had the delightful pleasure of receiving a parcel from Book Psmith, as was.  Stacy will always be Book Psmith to me even though she has called time on her blog.  When she left the blogsphere I wrote that I would keep in touch and we have sent an email or two back and forth.  To let her know she is still thought of, I sent off a postcard and was so surprised when she sent me back one of the Yarn Harlot's books and a gorgeous flower pin!

A few weeks ago, in response to my post about British treats, Cornflower generously sent me some Tunnock's teacakes and wafers.  My belt is fitting a tad tighter this week and I have only myself to blame...I ate them ALL myself.  Shocking isn't it!?  Offers were made to share, I just want to be clear that I wasn't scarfing down chocolate treats in the closet or anything. 

Over the past two years I've referred to those of you who drop in here as blog friends.  Whether you realize it or not, you have all been mentioned at our dinner table.  Be it a trip you've taken or a new book which you've bought that sounds really tantalizing, the adoption or passing of a beloved pet.  When Verity got engaged it was announced in our house!  In Rachel's case, we've been following her hopes of moving to this side of the pond for months...and now she's done it!  At first I referred to you by your blog names but I've come to realize that many of you are now referred to by your first name.

When I mention the kind gesture of a book sent through the mail or a bookmark won in a contest, I am frequently asked who sent it.  When I say it was a blog friend, I sometimes wonder if my friends or colleagues think I'm a tad doolally to consider people from blogs as friends?  We didn't grow up on Facebook so perhaps it's a generational issue.

There are some really lovely people out there who just so happen to like some of the same things that I do and I'm more than pleased to have 'met' them.  And in Kristina's case, I actually have met her!  We lunched in London...a totally gratuitous statement, I just like saying it. 

I'm really interested so please, do tell.  How do you refer to the people you communicate with through your blogs when talking to colleagues, friends or family and how receptive are they about it all?


  1. What a lovely post and what a lovely term, 'blog friend.' I haven't thought of that and I've referred to bloggers as 'fellow bloggers.' I like the term blog friend and it's the right word to describe people we definitely connect with even if we haven't met. Real life friends give me blank stares when I refer to Persephones or Viragos while blog friends understand my passion for them. I have a lovely 80-year-old blog friend across the world who has passed me over 10 of her Persephones in the last year and a half. How would we ever have come across each other otherwise?

  2. I think of my cyberspace bloggers as blog friends...
    rather like pen pals but more so...

  3. (Delete this if you get it twice...the internet ate my comment!)

    That was a lovely gift, and this is a very lovely post.

    By virtue of having a friend in London, I soon made friends, almost exclusively online to start with, a whole crowd of her friends, wonderful people across the UK. I've met most of them, have been to weddings, met up for coffee and tea, and have stayed with them and had them here in my house. Some have become very dear friends. I think my family and friends were a bit wary at first, but now they're used to it and I refer to them by name. I've been extraordinarily lucky that the internet has brought me only wonderful new friends to add to the ones I have nearby.

  4. My mum refers to my blog friends as my pen pals. But to me they are most definitely 'real' friends in every way. Hoping we can meet up again for lunch in London in the not-too-distant future!

    K x

  5. The 'blogosphere' has introduced me to so many wonderful and interesting people - and moving from London to Oxford was made so much easier by the fact that there are so many lovely bloggers here!

    In answer to your question, (hanging head in shame now) - I haven't got very far with Jane Eyre at all. BUT, as the nights are getting crisp and cosy I did pull it off the shelf again the other evening and I am 'ready' now to finish it!! I just need to get stuck in and autumn is the perfect time of year to bury your head in a long book.

  6. Hi Darlene, I've only just found your blog so I guess I don't qualify as an old friend yet but hopefully one day I will as I look forward to seeing 'roses over a cottage door' at the top of my blog list as this means a new post.

  7. That is such a lovely lovely post! I'm glad you were excited when I got engaged :) Ken found it a little odd a first, but he's now used to it and knows all about you, because of your lovely knitted gifts, and asks whether I mean "blogging Claire" or "Clare from Exeter" if I mention a Claire. I've made some lovely friends and I really hope that we get to meet up some day.

  8. What a lovely post! I definitely think of blog friends as 'real' friends, especially as I've been lucky enough to meet quite a few. I think my (non blogging) friends found it a bit odd at first, but are now used to it, and I refer to bloggers by their name.

  9. My family knows all about my 'blog friends' - that's the term I use, too. Have thought of Book Psmith at least twice this week alone...most recently when I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. I need to send her an email!

  10. I have blog friends from all over the world and the possibility of meeting them is extremely remote (I live in Sri Lanka). My family are now slowly getting used to this idea that I do have blogger friends! it was not easy for them at first but yes slowly they are coming around to the idea!

  11. Darlene what a lovely post! I am so touched that my trip was a topic of conversation at your dinner table!

    I have long had internet friends - I joined a forum when I was 18 in one of my non book related interests and rapidly I became friends with a group of regulars. We range in age from 24 (me) to the 40's and we now have our own message board where we keep in touch with each other. Most are in the US and I have met a few when they have been in the UK - I know we will be lifelong friends and we are planning a weekend all together next year which will be brilliant.

    Blog friends have really enriched my life over the past year - I've met a few, and enjoy email correspondence with many (including you, Darlene!) - it's such a pleasure to talk with likeminded people, and the fact that we're not talking face to face doesn't make people any the less a friend to me. My mum thinks it's weird but everyone else I know thinks it's great that I know all these people across the world. I hope to meet more while I am in the US...I especially hope to make it to Ontario, Darlene!

    PLUS Naomi (Bloomsbury Bell) and I would NEVER have met at work if not for our blogs. Claire at Paperback Reader brought us together despite the fact we worked two offices down from each other. Now Naomi is one of my best friends - I miss her! - and I hate to think that I would have missed out on meeting her!

  12. So true Rachel - we would never have met were it not for our blogs and blogging friend Claire! It's so funny to think that we were working along the same corridor as each other for all that time. And we had so much fun in the kitchen together over tea making - argh, I miss our tea breaks!!!!!

    Also - Darlene, something else I thought of is that even though I have no idea what you look like I have a really clear picture in my head. And it's the same for all the bloggers that I haven't yet met. Isn't it funny?

  13. Mrs B, An 80 year-old blog friend! What a treasure! Thank you so much for sharing that snippet with me...and yes, I know all too well the blank stare when I talk about Persephone *sigh*.

    hostess of the humble bungalow, There is definitely a LOT more chit chat with the ability to respond more quickly isn't there!

    makedoandread, I think you are very much like me in that we are misplaced citizens of England! It has meant the world to me to be able to connect with people such as yourself and not just here but on Ravelry as well!

    Kristina, We definitely will do lunch again!

    The nice thing about having a pen pal is that you can have those letters to pass on as a piece of history. All of our wonderful banter, Kristina, is lost in internet outerspace!

    Bloomsbury Bell, I must find a photo and send it along so you can see how close you are!

    You're right about the move, Verity and Simon, among others, could tell you where to find just about anything in Oxford!

    Rob, How lovely of you to say! I've really enjoyed meeting Tommy and will be popping by regularly to see how all of you are doing!

    verity, R gets you mixed up with Claire! I say to him 'No, Claire is the one from Scotland living in London, Verity is in Oxford'. Happens all the time!

    skirmishofwit, You should have seen the looks when I told people I work with that I was meeting up with Kristina! 'Is that safe?' was the question most asked. If only they knew us for the harmless book-loving, cake eaters we are.

    JoAnn, Pumpkin spice latte! Everything else has just melted away like a hazy cloud lol!

    You were my second blog friend, JoAnn, it has been lovely having you with me along the way.

    Mystica, We really are a lovely bunch aren't we and oh my goodness, Sri Lanka is definitely a very long way away!

    bookssnob, With you, Verity, Claire and Simon still in your twenties it's like having peripheral children who never ask you for money or leave messy rooms behind! I root for all of you to find happiness in all that you do and I'm so proud of you.

  14. Dreadful news, Darlene ... just as you got a taste for them!

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  16. This is a great question! In the beginning I would say 'bloggy friend'. I picked it up somewhere reading book blogs. But now I do say friend (and will clarify is asked to) because although I have been confused over how to describe a friend one has never met, I am crystal clear when it comes to realizing that in many instances I have more in common with friends I have made through book blogs than some friends in real life...so I stopped differentiating:)

    p.s. I am ashamed to say I had two pumpkin spice lattes in one day yesterday...oh the yummy shame.

  17. mary, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Perhaps Tunnock's has heard of the Keebler elves (that's one for you to 'google', Mary!)

    Book Psmith, A place where people know that Pym, Delafield and Whipple is NOT a lawyer's firm!

    Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed two lattes in one day last year...how decadent! Yummy shame indeed.

  18. I read you posts often and stopped by today to see what you had to say and what you had to say struck a chord in me.

    I refer to my newfound friends as my blogging pals. My family is wonderful and ask me from time to time about my pals in New Zealand or the girl from across the pond (Rachel) or the one who has a cottage in Ireland (Janet). Some of my friends are interested and have found blogs through me and others, ah others. They look at me with a blank stare and wonder what the heck I'm up to and why would I spend time writing for strangers to read. I listen to them talk about scrapbooking and quilting and dog walking and cleaning their toilet bowls, which are all fine things to do, and then I pick up a book I might never have read or google a plant I read about from my pals in New Zealand, and I smile to myself like a smug teenage girl and think "I know something you don't know!"

    Thanks. I need that.

  19. lifeonthecutoff, Hi and thanks for your comments! Book Psmith hit the nail on the head when she said that in many instances she has more in common with blog friends than her friends in real life. Connecting with others in a positive way through books and common interests can't possibly be a bad thing!

  20. Lovely post and I agree--I've met lots of really nice people via my blog--both the book one and needlework one I keep. And I also consider them my blog friends--this has been a really good experience for me, as although I have friends locally many of my blog friends are in a way even closer as we share a love of books or stitching and never seem to run out of things to talk about. And it works both ways-I've also been surprised by little random acts of kindness as well-like being thought of while someone is on vacation and getting a thoughtful postcard in the mail! :)