Gramophone records and fizz

Regular readers will know that one of my aims in 2017 is to go on seven visits to meet up with friends that I normally only interact with via social media. This has been going well so far, with trips to Manchester and Birmingham as well as a couple of more local visits achieved by the end of March. Our holiday to Cornwall, however, provided an opportunity to go and see a dear friend in Devon on our way back home.

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time to talk

I met Karen a few years ago through her blog and we quickly became friends, although we didn’t meet in person until last year when we managed to call in for afternoon tea with her as we were on our way down to Cornwall. This year, however, we wanted to spend a bit more time together, so I arranged for us to stay a night at a bed and breakfast in her village on our return journey and she offered to cook for us. What with one thing and another, Karen hasn’t been blogging for over a year now and although we have emailed and spoken on the phone, there was lots of catching up to do.

 

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May blobs and marshland

We arrived I time for lunch then had coffee in front of a roaring fire (there was a rather chilly wind blowing outside), before a lovely walk, which involved going to see the ‘May Blobs’ (marsh marigolds). We walked and we talked and we sat awhile on a bench looking at a glorious view, and we got to know a bit more about each other in a way that just doesn’t happen until you have some uninterrupted hours face-to-face. In cyberspace we all tend only to share limited information and so it’s lovely to have time to ask questions and share more personal stories and insights. Mr Snail and I went straight from our walk to check into the b&b, get cleaned up and give Karen some time to get organised, returning about an hour and a half later.

 

We had taken fizz to celebrate our get together, and Karen insisted that we gathered around what looked, initially, like a rather uninspiring cabinet for it to be served:

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it didn’t look promising

Upon opening it up, however, we were presented with a magical interior…

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woohoo!

But this wasn’t the end of the wonders. Next came the gramophone and records:

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time to get winding

and some pre-dinner entertainment (excuse my slight wobbles – I blame the fizz):

I didn’t record it, but my favourite record was of Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra playing The Mahogany Hall Stomp, which got us all dancing.

And then we ate and talked some more.

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delicious dinner

 

During the day we laughed and shed a few tears and we became closer friends.

The general consensus in traditional media seems to be that social media is driving isolation and presenting unrealistic images of our lives. This can be the case, but it can also provide a route to new friends and real shared experiences. In the past few years I have made some wonderful friends via this blog and Twitter and Facebook and I have met up with lots of them. My life is richer for all these interactions and my determination to meet up with people has really paid off. Indeed, having managed five meet-ups so far this year and having already arranged three more, I’m happy to say that I’m set to annihilate my target of seven!

Do you have any  experiences of meeting up with friends made through blogging?

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21 Comments

  1. Laurie Graves

     /  May 3, 2017

    Oh, hear, hear! I have had the great pleasure of meeting one blog-friend, and I hope to meet more as time goes by. While blog-friends are never a substitute for those who are near and dear, they are a wonderful enhancement to life. So glad to come to “know” you and all my other blog friends! Wish you lived closer so that we could meet in person.

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  2. How wonderful that you got on so very well in “real life”, although real life now does involve social media. I have met three bloggers altogether and each experience has been terrific. To be recommended as a way of meeting like minded people me thinks.

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  3. What a lovely experience – I am so glad for both of you that it went so well. Thank you for sharing

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  4. Ann

     /  May 3, 2017

    When The Peach House is finished, you and Mr SoH are more than welcome. I have questions for him….. 😀

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  5. Your friend seems a woman after my own heart 😀 It seems you had a great visit and deepened the bond you began with on-line. I find this blogging friendship thing pretty amazing. I certainly never expected to have anything like it occur when I began blogging and now I think I only continue because of it. As you know I’ve been to the US and met up with a total of 8 bloggers, some just over a long lunch and others for a longer stay. Four of us have plans afoot for a visit here next year and there is another kiwi I’m hoping to draw into that net. I think the thing about friendships that grow out of an initial meeting through our blogs become real because they are based on common interests, personality ‘clicks’ and a desire to know that person better. In our daily life we are by happenstance surrounded by people – work mates, neighbours, even family in some cases – whom we don’t necessarily have that same rapport with. I think it is really special!

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    • I think you have hit the nail on the head – these are not just random meetings, they are based on a firm foundation of common interests. I loved reading about your trip to the US to meet all those lovely ladies. I hope you have a great time with your next get-together and look forward to reading all about it.

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      • Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. I’ve met incredible people through blogging, later translated into real-life meetings and a deepening friendship. This blogging world is amazing. I’m so glad you had a wonderful visit and oh my, look at that cabinet. I love that you called the drink “fizz”. That made me smile. All of this makes me smile. I’m happy for you.

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  6. It sounds lovely! I’ve not met any blog friends, but one day I might. 😊

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  7. I’ve just met up with one and am due to see another on Sunday! I love that blogging allows us to move on quickly past all the “what are you interested in?” stuff when we do finally meet in person. We ‘know’ them pretty well already, based on the ideas and opinions they’ve already expressed, and we can get down to the personal interactions you’ve described so well.

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  8. This looks like the most wonderful day out! I actually remember Karen’s blog… I used to really enjoy it! I hope she’s doing OK, and perhaps planning a return to blogging sometime in the future​? I haven’t managed to meet up with any of my blogging buddies yet – turns out they’re a pretty far-flung bunch. But if you and Mr Snail ever find yourselves on this side of the Irish sea, the Beasties and I would be happy to play host! 😀

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    • I haven’t been to Ireland for about 10 years… it’s probably time for a return visit! I think that Karen is planning to start blogging again… I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time she has created the most stunning garden… which I really should have taken some photographs of!!

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      • Oh no, now you’ll have to go back! 😉 And I’ll try to keep an eye out for Karen’s triumphant return to blogging, but if you have the inside scoop then please do give me a heads up! Also, it sounds like you definitely need to visit our shores again – I think you’ll find post-recession Dublin much more likeable than mid-noughties Dublin was. I certainly do!

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  9. I miss Karen’s blog, too, and was awfully glad to hear that you met with her! I have not yet met up with any blog friends but I certainly hope that changes!

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    • Well, if we are ever in New England again will let you know! I’m pleased to say that Karen is doing ok, after a bit of a trying year… I really hope that she’s inspired to start blogging again if just to share pictures of her beautiful garden.

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