Friday, June 29, 2007

98 Reasons For Blogging: 15

Today, for only the second time since I began blogging, I met someone who previously I had only known through the medium of the blogosphere. I've been reading about Lucy's exploits at 'Prestigious U' in the US on her blog Always Listen to Your Pig Puppet since we were introduced by another Lucy, aka Mz Tartan, when she tagged us both with a meme about strange habits.

Gradually, over a period of time, from her comments on my posts, which featured photographs of geckoes and the Queen Street Mall, and others, which discussed the severity of the drought in South East Queensland, I realised that Lucy was from my part of the world. So, when I read on her blog that she was going home to 'Commonwealth Land' for a holiday, it occurred to me that she could be coming to Brisbane.

I wasn't too sure if she would want to meet up while (if) she was in town, so I sent her a tentative email suggesting the possibility. It turns out that she was in town and had been having similar hesitant thoughts about getting in contact with me.

What struck me about the process of arranging to meet one another was that we both knew exactly what university we were arranging to meet at, but I'm sure, when she spoke of visiting her 'old lab', and having a coffee hot chocolate with me, that she didn't ever mention the university or campus by name. It was only belatedly that I thought, 'Oh, I'd better check'.

I think I'm trying to say, somewhat awkwardly, something about the nature of getting to 'know' someone mainly through blogging, followed by the experience of meeting them in person. Sometimes you know things about the other person that you think you couldn't possibly have known. I suppose, they're the kinds of things that are never revealed in any one post, but which are accrued over a period of time. Often they're things that you probably wouldn't reveal upon first meeting anyone--it's an odd thing to sit across from someone and try to recount every dark secret you've let slip to an understanding 'stranger' and wonder if you should suddenly be mortified because now you could recognise her in a crowd. Of course, all of this is dependent on how personal a blog is. The thing is my blog has been quite personal on occasion and Lucy's is often personal too.

At first, I wasn't sure whether to ask questions which were informed by things I had read on Lucy's blog, but then I thought, 'Why not?', and so I did, and I think that was okay. For my part, I enjoyed being able to learn more about Lucy's foray into photography and her Doctoral research and to 'revisit' conversations about the cuteness of squirrels and the evils of corn syrup. And afterwards, while reflecting on our conversation, I settled upon 'charming' to describe Lucy, because she is, thoroughly; I enjoyed her company immensely.

And then there are the things that happened over coffee and a pistachio biscuit (me) and macadamia slice (Lucy): a kookaburra swooped low over my head with its bounty of potato chips before landing in the nearby garden to feast, making for a perfect photo opportunity for Lucy to capture with her camera.

Before we parted we took a photograph together, me with my mobile, Lucy with her proper camera. At first she was going to take a picture of my shoes and I was going to capture the collar of her cardigan, but then the sun came out, and there we were:

Lucy and Kirsty: Shadow Bloggers

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