Thursday, May 19, 2011

For Coffeelady

If I could get my act together I would magic up a lovely new banner and start my fourth blogging year with a bang. Oh well, not this month, but eventually. Perhaps. I need a new template which won't squash my videos and I need to fix up some old links. My blog is a reflection of my real house - serviceable, comfortable, and in need of repair and some tender loving care.

When I started blogging it wasn't fashionable, it was actually considered to be kind of weird and creepy. I was too embarrassed to tell my friends. I often thought there might be something wrong with me because I loved it so much. I was afraid that it was a symptom of my introverted nature, which I realise now (duh) is not actually an illness. I'm allowed to be introverted, it's OK.

And that reminds me of my first blog get-together in Melbourne when I got up and belly-danced. As I returned to my seat I turned to Suse and said "You know, I'm actually an introvert," and she laughed her lovely head off. It shocked me that she laughed so hard. Good times I tell you, good times.

Which reminds me of my last visit to Manhattan. Before I left I had brunch with my brother-in-law and his partner who asked me what I had done during my visit. I briefly described the time I spent with my blog friends Blackbird, Eurolush and the lurker B. They were thrilled with my stories and wrote me an email afterwards saying that I was one of the coolest people they know. And, I must tell you, they are two Ultra Cool Guys, I mean one of them is a stylist and the other advised me on the best place to buy vintage-style glasses. Need I say more?

So things have changed a lot here in blogland. One of my friends said to me the other day "You should start a blog!" That really made me laugh. There are also a whole bunch of Aussie bloggers who only started a year or two ago and have NO IDEA that there are Aussie bloggers who have been around for years and years and have an entire network of international blog-buddies. I mean, I consider myself an apprentice to the great Aussie bloggers in my network, and I worship at their feet. Those newcomers are clueless. Also, they use their real names. I mean, how boring is that? I mean sure Kim is Kim, but she's really Kim From Allconsuming; and Mary is still totally Blue Mountains Mary in my mind. Yeah, I know, I'm really Eleanor. But YOU DON'T KNOW MY LAST NAME. That's the fun, it's a secret society, I mean honestly, can you imagine Blackbird or Duyvken or Eurolush or Babelbabe or Coffeelady being anything but? Pfftt.

Maybe Twitter has something to do with it? Yes, I think it might. In Twitter you're meant to look up a person YOU KNOW or HAVE HEARD OF and follow them. And all these famous people and business people are using it to be popular. Oh please, that's so not blogging. Blogging is about making connections over a period of time by using serendipity in combination with kindness, humour and a sprinkling of craft. The craft of blogging, or (in my case especially) the craft of commentbox filling. It's not a popularity contest, it's friendship.

Of course, everything changes. Of course it does.

The nanny next door has moved on to her next baby. Blue barks at my neighbour's kitchen window because he doesn't trust the new nanny yet. She's a gorgeous young thing who we see through the window as she texts in-between making her charges their breakfast. Ninny never texted, she only called people, in emergencies. Things change.

Eurolush will be leaving Germany in a month. Can you believe it? I know, I mean, if that doesn't make you realise that things change then what does? But you know what's even crazier? The idea that if I hadn't taken that "risk" and started blogging I would never have met Eurolush. I would never have known that a person like her (well, she is her, there's only one Eurolush, but you know what I mean) existed in a tiny German village. Sometimes I think she exists only for my benefit, a cute little virtual Eurolush who came into my blogworld when I needed her most - to make me smile and laugh and be extremely jealous. My own tiny dancer, my own little Eurolush marionette with a plastic beer mug glued to her hand, my own Eurolush garden gnome who scares the crap out of me when she suddenly winks, my own Eurolush paper doll with a dirndl and a mushroom toy and a cute paper Tex to take on walks.

I'm going to stop now.

E x


eurolush said...

I think the word I'd use to describe our mutual blogging experience is serendipitous:

ser·en·dip·i·ty (srn-dp-t)
n. pl. ser·en·dip·i·ties
1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.
2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.

You were my fortunate discovery, Eleanor.

Of course, for a while it was very confusing for me--when I realized you were one of my closest friends in Germany. You don't even live in Germany. You live halfway around the globe from me. When I am in snow, you are on the beach. When I am asleep, you are half-way through your day. Yet, when I think of my time here--I think of you as a big part of it. Funny, isn't it?

Truly, Eleanor, everyone is richer by having known you. Life is more colorful and full of joie de vivre when you're around. Introvert? Only in your own mind, sister. We all know differently. An introvert doesn't squeal like a wild parrot and run up in a hotel lobby in NYC to give a perfect stranger a bear hug. Remember? I do.

I loved this post. It sums blogging and its best qualities up quite nicely. If I didn't have a blog, I'd want one now. Oh, wait. Maybe I do want one, afterall.


PS-I like how you describe B as 'the lurker.' It makes sound like a questionable character--which she is!

Duyvken said...

Eleanor! I am so pleased to read this truly delighful post from you.
You write so well.
I can hear your voice in every phrase you've written.
Love, love, love, A.

The Coffee Lady said...

Oh, you make me happy. And you make me sad. I agree with everything that you say.

Things ARE changing, aren't they? There are people with their names on in the UK. They have networks, where they all witter on endlessly about RSS feeds and PR contacts. I've been to blogging events and people tweet all the time they are there. They have ambitions for their blog that extend beyond finding nice people and feeling happy. You ask for their email and they give you their twitter ID so everything is public. They update you constantly on what they are eating. Their pictures are all over the place.

I don't know what Blackbird looks like. I like it that way. (Eurolush has always been an exhibitionist with her endless self-portraiture, but I can forgive her that because she has hidden away her entire personality behind beer and jumping, so she still GETS the subterfuge thing.) These people constantly throw up pictures of themselves or their children.

Whatever happened to editing?

Oh. Dear. I thought I was all zeitgeisty with my blogging, but it turns out I'm an artisan old dinosaur ALREADY. ALREADY.

Duyvken said...

These people constantly throw up pictures of themselves or their children.

Oh coffeelady, are you talking about me? It's been a kid-fest around my blog lately, but I swear I am only trying to disguise my total lack of quilting. Is it working?

The Coffee Lady said...

God, no, no not YOU Duyvken! Good grief! I do hope you didn't really think that! I mean endless unedited pictures of their children, not nice ones, ones that would be of interest to a granny in another country but not to anyone else.

We're talking about ENTIRELY different things. I want more, not less, pictures of YOUR children.

blackbird said...

I'm so glad you've written this - not only because it describes the essence of blogging (real old-school blogging) but because we must each pay tribute to dear Lushie.

I send you a big strong hug!

Mary said...

For me too darling you have written so well about how I feel about blogging.

Sure there is an argument for the need for blogging to move on. I suppose. But move on to what?

Can all the monetisation that now abounds in the blogging world really take the place of what we here know to be true...the friendships we have formed run deep and are long lasting.

Love to you.

Jodie said...

beautiful, and yes those friendships are the unexpected wonder of blogging.

kim at allconsuming said...

I adore you. Plain and simple. From that very first meeting to this very minute. My life? Without you in it? Unimaginable.

Paola said...

I don't have a blog.
But every day starts with all of you my friends, some have a face and some don't, but all of you give me something which makes my life a bit richer.
Thank you for having a blog.
I heart you all.

Suse said...

I remember you telling me you were an introvert and I thought that was hilarious. As I got to know you better I realised you actually are. But to see you leap up and belly dance in front of that entire restaurant, well, who'da thunk?

I love this post. I love you too.

Your last line has me worried though. Are you going to stop?

(Oh my gosh, the wv is quital. PLEASE DON'T).

RW said...

I liked reading this E.

Jen said...

Oh, dear. I'm certainly guilty of gratuitous photos of my children, spaniels, and a complete lack of anonymity. But then, I've never really gotten the anonymity thing. Why can't we know each other's first names? If I had an alias, then that would be one more thing I'd have to remember.

Anonymous said...

I have never been overly concerned about protecting my identity, but everyone online thinks of me as kmkat so that's okay. Somewhere in one of my address books I have your last name, missy, and if you do not immediately send me 6 dozen cupcakes, assorted flavors, and fresh flowers for every room in my house, I will out you to the ENTIRE BLOGOSPHERE! (I love calling someone missy -- it makes me feel so evil.)

You have all been blogging longer than I, but not TOO much longer, and I treasure the online relationships we have. Lushie, have you thought of moving to Wisconsin when you come back to the US? Great beer here, you know...

Julie said...

I am a new blogger, but I hope not of the 'new bloger' ilk. I'm not on twitter, or facebook, and I was inspired into blogging by reading yours and many of the other commenters here blogs. For many years I never ever commented. For many years I wrote blog posts in my head, thinking I'd never actually have a blog, lacking -something - courage? to do it. I cannot imagine blogging being about followers, or popularity or numbers of comments, or, for goodness sake - fame!! The blogs I return to again and again are ones where I sense a kindred spirit, or where I love the writing, or which make me laugh or cry, or where I just love the quilts and knitted goods. I have enjoyed your blog so much, so thank you.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if you were quoting Elton John or Ben Folds. Blog writing unites people who "get the same stuff" (btw I'm talking about the tiny dancer reference...)

Julia said...

Well said, and let me know if I can help with the template!

Kel said...

Oh please, that's so not blogging. Blogging is about making connections over a period of time by using serendipity in combination with kindness, humour and a sprinkling of craft. The craft of blogging, or (in my case especially) the craft of commentbox filling. It's not a popularity contest, it's friendship.

how do I love this
let me count the ways . . .

I started blogging back in 2004 and have also made international friends, met up with some of them, and others locally

facebook and twitter have a lot to answer for re the demise of readers who are willing to invest enough time to read more than 140 characters

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