This weekend I packed my case and went to London for the weekend. Officially I was there to attend Cybher, but unofficially this was the weekend that I had been looking forward to for so long because I was going to have the chance to spend proper quality time with people that I met on the internet. Sounds a bit dodgy really!
It has taken us three conferences but this year I think we executed the weekend perfectly. I arrived on Friday, had a wander and then met up with my room mates for the weekend Heather and Emily, and we all caught up with Jen. Then a bit later the four of us descended on a lovely Turkish restaurant to meet up with Victoria, Paula and Chris for an evening full of chatter and food and drinking. In Real Life. We all tweet and chat online almost daily and it was a surreal experience to be meeting and chatting face to face. In my head I have shortened their names to the more typing friendly first initials and I know that I either called or referred to them H and V and E and so on many times this weekend. I do hope I didn’t offend!
Saturday was Cybher and it definitely gave me a lot to think about and in ways that I really wasn’t expecting. More on that another day perhaps when I have had time to process it all.
That evening we added some extras to our band of merry men and headed off for a drink and a meal, Chinese this time. Round tables are just the best invention ever and 11 of us ate and chatted and laughed until we cried. It was brilliant and then a wander home and talking too late into the night with Heather and Emily.
|Although I look it I am not drunk, just amused that
I seem to be wearing the London Eye on my head.
Online friends are funny things that come and go, and friendships wax and wane as we all have periods on and offline with real life getting in the way. Just over two years ago I accepted an invitation to a blogger chat with Huggies and I met Heather. From that day on we have stuck together at Huggies events, chatted online and made plans to actually meet. Crazy I know. Heather introduced me to Emily and the three of us have developed a special friendship based on the fact I guess that we are all roughly the same age, have similar lives, children at similar ages and we just understand each other. I feel so grateful that these amazing women came into my life and they have definitely made it better and they are always there for me. I hope that we manage to stay friends for a long time.
|The morning after the night before, homeward bound.|
To round off the weekend, after a wonderful morning in the sunshine drinking waffles and finishing putting the world to rights before all heading off in our separate directions I headed to Camden to spend my final free hours with my best and oldest friends (they are not old, just that I have known them a long time). These are a different sort of friend. They are the ones that knew you when you were 16 and a bit of an idiot. They shared houses and bathrooms and sometimes boyfriends with you (not at the same time obviously). They have been there for the ups and the downs for most of your life. They have held your hair when you puked and you have given them blow by blow accounts of everything they did last night. They know all of the skeletons in your closet and they love you unconditionally. Laughter is free flowing and piss taking is expected. It had been too long since we had all been together and I left feeling lifted and happy and although I missed my babies I didn’t regret one moment of the weekend away from them.
I received a really special text from one of those friends this morning that put a smile on my face and stuck with me all day. So I want to write it here so I never forget it.
“…So proud of you honey. You’ve come such a long way and I am so happy you are on the mend / recovered from the depression of 2011. You amaze me and you truly are an inspiration.”
If you have a special friend or friends I urge you to send them a text or an email right now telling them something good or nice about them. It will make them very happy and that will make you very happy too. We should all appreciate our friends.