It's time I did some musing.
I haven't written a Musing on a Monday post for nearly two years but today it's back and I'm talking friends.
First I must apologise if the above GIF makes your eyes go doolally but whilst searching through Pinterest for an inspirational quote about what I wanted to write about today it caught my eye - and sums it all up.
As with any good tale let's go to the beginning.
Four years ago I upgraded my brick mobile for a smartphone and my life changed. I entered the addictive world of swashy swashy swiping screens - and Twitter.
Then I started a blog.
I would lose contact with my husband for days on end as I got caught up in the world of posts, linkys, tweets and the people living in my phone.
My husband didn't understand it all at first - I'm not sure he still fully gets it now but I know he appreciated the Beef Jerky from the Blog On Winchester goody bag so he puts up with it.
When I first opened up Twitter and chose my, now completely different, username the app threw lots of suggestions at me whom I eagerly started to follow then waited for them to reciprocate. Beyond doing the obvious thing of hooking me up with all the SAHMs, as I was back then, and those users with similar names the algorithms and mechanics of such social media platforms baffle me.
But it made some great links.
I started following someone in Cornwall whose pink cup of tea avatar caught my eye. She was, I don't think she'll mind me saying, a few years older than me with a daughter and son who I would avidly read about whilst seeing my two a few years down the line retelling similar stories. We would chat online and follow each other's blog and I would joke about popping in to see her in Cornwall - for many reasons it sadly never happened.
We eventually met up at a small blogging conference in Bristol where we said hello and had the briefest of chats over a cuppa - obviously.
Life then threw up a whole load of challenges which resulted in her moving to a town just a few miles up the road from me. Despite the closeness in distance we didn't see each other again until another blogging conference in Cardiff. Since then I have had the pleasure of cuppas and lunch at her house and I have finally met her dogs - one of which is sneeze friendly so therefore my favourite, but don't tell the others.
Some people in my life don't get how I have friends that I have met online yet probably wouldn't see meeting a new partner online as odd. Why is a friendship viewed differently? The internet, and Twitter is a great example, gives you an opportunity to suss people out. Yes, lots have a façade but many tweet their true personality. I seem to be a reasonable judge of character so go with my instincts too. Meeting at blogging conferences is a great way to confirm your instincts that yes in fact these people are perfectly harmless and actually quite nice. We all have family forced on us but it doesn't mean we are friends with them. We all have neighbours within touching distance but you're not always going to bond with them. Work colleagues have a huge range of personalities and they don't always gel with mine. So online friends are kind of amazing. You can basically pick out the good ones!
Following Blog on Winchester I had the pleasure of meeting my internet friend's lovely family. I popped in for an evening cuppa and was met with a smiley husband watching the rugby, a trio of crazy dogs, a shy quiet teenage boy with his headphones on immersed in his love of 70s music on his laptop - he quietly said hello and smiled and I completely got his shy ways - and a newly blonde teenage daughter who tried to educate me in ten minutes on how teenagers use Facebook. I felt relaxed with them all - which is a huge thing for me as teenagers usually intimidate me and I'm normally completely crap with new people - but I felt I knew them all already.
But then they already 'knew' me via the online life of my lovely internet friend.
x x x