“My first blog post was on December 10, 2003 at 4.06 pm which makes this blog four years old today. Despite my husbandâ€™s comment that the computer is ruining our marriage (mostly during NaBloPoMo), I think that it may have saved my life. Especially when I had no job. I was thinking the other day that, if I were to die in the morning (which I have no intention of doing, I just have a morbid turn of mind*) at least it would give my children something to remember me by and a chance to get to know me in a way. That and the complete photographic archive of our every moment which I have gathered together over the past four and a half years.
When I started, my friend C asked me who are those weirdos who make the comments and I was rightly outraged on your behalf (and on mine, obviously, because itâ€™s not like I donâ€™t have an alarming interest in the lives of people I have never met myself, not that I am implying that that is what you do etc.). The commenters are fantastic. Hearing what other people have to say is one of the best parts about blogging. I am most grateful to people who take the time and effort to comment (not grateful enough to respond mostly, you might very fairly observe, but I have a marriage to sustain) and, if I never got a comment, Iâ€™d probably jack it all in like every diary Iâ€™ve ever started.
Of course, no anniversary post would be complete without a reference to Fluid Pudding who started me off on this lark in the first place by being, in 2003, the only person to put on the internet a funny description of giving birth. Encouraged by the august Angela, I started blogging at 20six and it was a great platform thanks to the wonderful Jojo who made it into a community. Once she left, it really wasnâ€™t worth staying and with the final defection of GPmama, I just donâ€™t go there any more. But I made lots of virtual friends, people like Minks, Norah, Bobble and Pog (who was a social whirlwind in her own right). I still think fondly of some of the people who used to blog on 20six and disappeared â€“ snuffed out like candles (that would be Jack, Locotes and Silveretta). But somewhere, in the back of my mind, like Bishop Berkeley (who was Bishop of Cloyne, you know, in Cork), I didnâ€™t really believe that they existed. Which is why it is so particularly extraordinary that last night, Heather slept in the spare bed. Yes, this is the first time Iâ€™ve met someone from the internet but I might try it again. Have resolutely decided not to blog about what a wonderful person she is because I know from reading post BlogHer posts that this is very dull. But she is wonderful.
Where will it all end?
*Anyone else out there planned his/her own funeral?”
See that post? That is exactly what I wrote on Saturday, December 8 all ready and prepared to post for Monday except I accidentally posted it on Saturday. The fact that Heather only arrived on Sunday night made that a shade embarrassing. Especially when the only person in the whole world who read my blog that Saturday afternoon was Heather (she was browsing my archives to pick up appropriate presents for my children). I have not been so mortified for ages. Apparently, what was next was death by humiliation. My loving husband, normally so kind and sympathetic, was unable to stop laughing for long enough to say anything useful.
I rang my mother for comfort but kind of forgot that meeting someone off the internet might be a bit alarming for her. She was most anxious and asked whether I didn’t think that Heather might have set up her blog four and a half years ago simply as a way of inveigling herself into my life. I attempted to talk her down by telling her all I knew about Heather but in the way of blogs, I knew lots about her inner life but not so much about her outer life (like profession, surname, that kind of thing). In the end, Heather was the only one who would sympathise with me.
I wouldn’t change a word of the post above except to say that I was quite nervous about meeting Heather because I thought the children might behave atrociously. Mercifully, they were as good as gold. I’m not sure whether this was because she charmed them or because they were fascinated by her, either way was good for me. They were a little hazy about her role in our lives.
Me: Daddy and I are going out on Friday night after the boys go to bed. Guess who with?
Princess: [Various likely candidates].
Me: No, no, no. Someone who lives in this building.
Her: Our upstairs neighbours?
Me: No, someone who’s related to us.
Her: Is Heather related to us?
Finally, for those of you kind enough to enquire, the party was actually fine. We had about 20 people in the end and mostly their voices were audible over the bass from the stereo downstairs where a much more successful party was taking place. First to arrive were Nicholas and his wife. They arrived a little earlier than expected to find their hosts sitting in chaos having a cup of tea before starting to get ready. I left Mr. Waffle chatting to them and cleaned the bathroom. Cursorily. Then I came back and announced that I would go “and make myself beautiful”. “Impossible!” said Nicholas. It’s not what he meant but it was what he said to some hilarity.
Actually, you know the way I said Heather was the only person who read my blog on a Saturday afternoon. That actually wasn’t true. Nicholas and his wife read it too. “Where’s Heather?” they said. This humiliation will never end, will it?