Monday, 19 July 2010

Cyber friends.

I have been thinking about blogs - surely it is rather like the cyber equivalent of Pen pals. Does anyone have penpals these days - or is letter-writing old hat?

I had a penpal for ten years - between being ten and twenty years old, when our school was in contact with a school down South and we all chose a 'friend'. My friend was called Diana Wickens and she lived in Broadstairs in Kent (in the unlikely event that you read this, Diana, do get in touch and let's be penpals again.)
Now, instead of penpals we have cyberpals - many of them, all over the world and from all walks of life. Yet we still have a lot in common because as we trawl through blogland we tend to alight on the blogs of those with similar interests.
I have met several of my cyber pals - in April 2009 the farmer and I met Elizabeth (The World Examining Works - see my blog list) in New York and spent an interesting morning with her - trying out New York Taxis and New York buses - and having coffee in a lovely coffee house which we would never have found - and seeing a super exhibition of German Expressionist painters.
Then in the Autumn of 2009 Rachel (More about the Song see my blog list) with her partner and their daughter (and their Border terrier) called in for a cup of tea and a walk round our fields.
Fiona (Marmalade Rose - see my blog list) lives only a short distance away and once we realised this we met - they came here for strawberries and cream last Summer when we had a glut of strawberries and I went over later in the year for a cup of tea and a chat.
The interesting thing is that in each case I felt I knew the person very well - months of sharing ideas in blogland meant that when we met we were already well-acquainted.
And today has been exactly the same. Because this morning Derrick (Melrose Musings - see my blog list) and his partner called in on their way home from Harrogate. It wasn't like meeting new people - I would have recognised him from his blog photograph - and we had a couple of hours drinking coffee, eating scones and raspberry jam and really getting to know one another.

What a marvellous thing blogland is - I now have a new circle of like-minded friends around the world and I thank Google for it!

38 comments:

Gwei Mui said...

Yes the blogsphere is an amazing network. I would never have summoned up the courge myself to push forward had it not been for the wonderful bloggers I have come across. But it's briliant that you have met some of your blogger mates in the flesh.

Helen said...

Without sounding 'strange' ... I sometimes awaken in the early morning thinking about one or more of my blog friends. Men and women I most likely will never meet in person but know them in spite of it. My grown children and grandchildren just chuckle when I begin to talk about my invisible friends. I have been supported, I've given and received strength and courage, laughed, cried and learned so much on the widest variety of topics!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How wonderful to meet Derrick!
And how I do wish Edward and I could pop in for tea one sunny afternoon.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

True....I have many friends from blogs, but even more from yahoo groups. The www has let us find kindred spirits in ways that were never possible before. And it's a blessing!

Masia Mum said...

I am very new to the world of blogging, over the past few years I have kept in touch with friends and family all over the world via email and occasional telephone calls.

Maybe having my own blog will create new friendships - who knows? It rather depends if anyone reads my ramblings or feels like making a comment or two.

I still love writing and receiving real letters [paper to pen with genuine signatures] and if that makes me old-fashioned so be it.

Poet in Residence said...

I've never met a blogger but I once met a guy who used to author treasure hunt books, we'd been telephoning and corresponding about clues and ideas and so on for several months, perhaps even a year, and when I finally met him on a hill in Wales he was, as you may have guessed by now, just as I had imagined him.

angryparsnip said...

I so enjoy meeting if only on the internet some wonderful people from places that I would love to visit. Thanks to you and Pat I get my daily dose of "tourist" as I call it... but I also get to see the lovely everyday beauty....

cheers, parsnip

jinksy said...

Google will definitely be getting big headed today!

steven said...

hello weaver! i do think this is a lot like pen pals although there's more latitude in blogging for moving towards deeper issues, understandings and also we can share much more of the visual element of the world. have a lovely day in the dale. steven

Hildred and Charles said...

Oh yes, blogging friends can surely warm your heart and open the world to you. Charles and I often talk about you and the Farmer, and wish that our traveling days were not behind us.... Do you suppose you would recognize the handsome Lancaster Pilot that might have passed you on the street in his flying days?

Heather said...

Very true Pat - it took years of persuasion on the part of my daughters before I realised what delights a computer could hold. I'm so glad I finally gave in, but I still have pen friends and enjoy writing and receiving letters. So far I have only met one of my blog friends.

maggi21 said...

I too have met several of my blogging friends, and am lucky enough to have one living relatively nearby. I do miss the letters from penfriends though, I'm still, old-fashioned enough to welcome the chance to be able to curl up with a good letter from an old friend.

Kayla coo said...

Blog world has been an amazing place for me to meet those with the same passion for art textiles.
I have been lucky to meet a few at stitching shows.
I find it exciting to have mail from the other side of the world!

George said...

I share your enthusiasm, Pat. While I am somewhat reluctant to admit it, I sometimes think my blogging friends are my best friends. There are no social pressures when it comes to blogging friendships. Relationships develop solely on the basis of shared passions and interests. I find that refreshing!

willow said...

How fun to actually meet Derrick in person! He's one of my very favorite cyber peeps. It feels a bit surreal, doesn't it, to meet an internet friend for the first time, in 3-D?

Penny said...

Ihave always felt sad we didnt manage to catch up. I have always liked those bloggers I have caught up with too.

BT said...

What a great post Weaver. Blogland has opened up new horizons for so many of us. When I was ill, an internet forum practically saved my life. How lovely to have met those bloggers. I'll be calling in one day for some of those scones with jam and cream!

Catch the Kids said...

It's super cool that I can sit here in Australia and read your post and comment on it. With a pen pal, you only hear one point of view. Here you can hear dozens!!

Pondside said...

That's been my experience, exactly, Weaver. I've met three blogger so far and it's as though we knew one another quite well...and we were very congenial company!

Erratic Thoughts said...

That's true..
Far yet so near...I have come to know some lovely people from literally the other side of the globe...and they fascinate me so much...I simply love the way they think and write...It's like we are speaking in person...
Thank you for reminding me so...

Derrick said...

Good morning Weaver,

All I can say is how delightful it was to meet up with you and the farmer, Dominic and, of course, Tess! We had a super time and thank you for your hospitality.

Dave King said...

Yes, blogging seems to be all things to all people. It didn't start off as an electronic form of pen pal writing, I think, but it has become that for many. It still is, though, whatever you want to make it - and long may it remain so. Whatever is made of it though, there always seems to be this strong bond between us.

Gerry Snape said...

I had so many penpals when I was a teenager and kept all of their letters and photos in a special bag which I had sewn to keep them secret from a little sister! Maybe that is the draw for me, to know how others live , but in particular to know how they think. Thanks for this great thought.

Eryl Shields said...

For me blogging has been, and is, the perfect way to get to know people. I am slow and ponderous and rather hopeless socially, most people give up before getting to know me. I count several of my blog pals as very good friends indeed, having got to know them over time. And now I get, and send, real mail from (to) a few!

Granny Sue said...

It's been the same for me, Weaver. It started in 1996 when I joined an online discussion group of storytellers and over the years I've met many of them in person, had them to my house or visited them. Now with my blog I find it a real pleasure to meet my blog friends. Blogging extends our world in a personal way like no other.

Lin said...

Awww.. this is a great post. Glad I discovered your blog (through reading Old? Who Me?). Excellent!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you dear cyber friends for responding to this post - your answers say it all!

Golden West said...

You come up in conversations between me and my daughter, as in "Weaver - you know, the lady I read in the UK - posted pictures today of wild foxgloves - imagine that - growing in the wild!" or "Weaver's house is torn up for a remodel. Remember when we laid planks over the floor to walk on when we refinish the hardwood?" Similarly, with other cyberchums, it"s, "Eryl's working at a paint ball park!" or "Nina's put her condo up for sale!"

mrsnesbitt said...

Yes I fully agree - I too have met up with some of my blogging friends and it has been so much fun! Yes I must come and see your house oops I mean you & the farmer! lol! Only kidding but yes I always think of you when we are near leyburn - we will come when the farming season is quiter. Just let us know.

Reader Wil said...

Blogging is wonderful, Weaver! But I also remember I had an English penfriend when I was 14 years old. It was exciting to get letters in a foreign language and we sent each other Christmas presents.
It must be great to meet cyber friends too. I haven't be so fortunate to meet any of our bloggers, but who knows....

Elizabeth said...

Sorry not to have got back to you sooner.
I did read the post yesterday.
So kind to mention me.
I absolutely concur. All the bloggers I have met have turned out to be EXACTLY as I expected and often, if possible, even nicer.
Amazing how we reveal ourselves in our obsessions and our posts.
I even went to stay with a blog chum when I was last in England.........
I feel I have MET people from all over the world through blogging.......including YOU and the Farmer.

When people go moan, moan about the modern world I want to say that I think blogging has given creative people a wonderful audience and a new way to interact with like minded souls.
I think blogging is also excellent for people stuck in rather isolated situations too.
KEEP ON BLOGGING!

jeannette said...

How nice that you had the chance to meet some of your blogfriends!

I think that there may be several reasons to blog, and some only share a part of themselves, but whatever the reason is, it shines through, one or another time:)

Cloudia said...

Very well said


and well exemplaried.....

Glad WE are friends :)



Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Robin Mac said...

I have only just caught up with your post and I thoroughly agree. I love blogging for all the wonderful friends I have made in cyberspace. I have been lucky enough to meet up with about 6 of them now, and they are, as you say, just how I expected them to be. I had numerous penfriends when I was at school with whom I corresponded regularly. That was great fun, but blogging has images as well and brings immediate contact and lots more links. Cheers, Robin
PS I am glad you liked my latest blog

Reader Wil said...

BTW , my burglar story was partly made up by me. The end was not true.
Sorry...

Loren said...

I've been blogging since 2001, and I'm always sad when one of my blogging friends decides they're no longer interested in maintaining their site, or they turn to Facebook, etc. instead.

Blogging seems a lot like teaching colleagues, one of the few places you can actually share some serious ideas, as opposed to merely sharing small talg.

Thanks for remindind me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Cyber friends - who would be without them? You can't beat them. Thanks for visiting cyber friends.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Hi, I am new to your blog & came to it via Melrose Musings. It is great to have cyber friends as usually the ones we are drawn to have similar views & interests. Where I live I find folks with enough differing viewpoints that the cyber world is quite lovely!