Today Mandarine lists the goals he has set for his blog in 2007. One of them is to:
Keep my blogging friends. 2006 has brought me the joy of new friends from all around the world. Friends of the rare and invaluable ‘can-read/can-think/can-write’ kind (otherwise known as literati/ae). When I started out, I had no idea blogging would end up being more about enriching relationships than about writing. I will be cherishing these relationships through 2007 by practising fidelity to these blogger friends.
I agree whole-heartedly. I had no idea when I wrote my first post in March that blogging, which I regarded as a slightly weird and geeky thing to be doing at all, would bring me as much satisfaction in making friends and building relationships as it would in writing. I feel lucky and honoured that I have chanced upon such wise, funny and interesting people, so interesting in fact, that I have given up my magazine habit altogether. Twice this month, I have had a blue moment and instead of buying a chocolate to perk myself up, I’ve bought a magazine, and you know what, they’ve lost their magic. Instead, I would far rather read a few blogs.
Blogs give me so much. They provide an English island in the sea of Germany, they give me perspective on worlds far from my own, I find inspiration from other writers, beauty in people’s photographs. Book reviews, movie reviews, fashion tips, cookery advice, life skills. Who needs a magazine?
And you can’t have a friendship with a magazine. Anthromama and I had a brief email exchange about this new kind of friendship. She says that to her it’s like a speeded-up form of having a pen-pal, without the anticipation of waiting for a letter. I think she’s probably right. When I mention my blog-friends to my real friends, I feel slightly shamefaced, as if blog-friends aren’t as valid somehow, as if because I haven’t met them, they are slightly less real.
Well yesterday I was assured that they certainly are real. And even if I don’t know what they look like, they are just as kind and generous as the friends I can see and meet. First off, Kerryn and I had a discussion about the scarf I want to knit for my husband, and she very kindly mailed me some tips and a link to a pattern. Then the doorbell rang, and the postman stood there with a book that Ms Make Tea had posted to me from New Zealand. It’s a thriller called The Dark Room by Minette Walters, and I look forward to reading it very much (and I’ll pass it on to anyone who mentions in the comments that they might be interested in having it).
And then the doorbell rang again. And there stood the postman again. With another parcel. For me. From a blog-friend. The amazingly generous Lilalia had sent me the entire Stephanie Plum series to read; books one to ten. And as if that were not enough, she included two DVDs for me to watch too. With strict instructions to luxuriate. So if I don’t post much it’s because my reading list’s just doubled in size. When I emailed her to say thank you, I sent her a photograph of myself. Because I think if someone’s borrowing your books, you at least want to know what they look like.