Saturday, 30 January 2010

In praise of online friends.

One of the novelties of blogging and other involvement with online 'communities' is the development of online friendships. This was a bit strange for me at first, and I didn't know quite how to categorise my affection for people that I'd never actually met face to face, and likely never would. I wondered if referring to "my online friends" made me sound like a bit of a saddo fantasist who played with make believe chums. Chums who, contrary to their online persona, were in fact old geezers at home in their vests on the computer, grooming me for "friendship etc" . Eww, perish the thought that Milehimama could actually be a schemer called Malcolm who doesn't get out much.

But the fact is it is possible to have online friendships which are every bit as authentic as any other. It occurs to me that the communion of saints operates a bit like this. After all, I have never met Saint Therese or indeed my great grand parents, but I still feel a sense of belonging to them, and of them belonging to me.

The very modern novelty of online friendships is interesting, but no less meaningful I think than any other long distance friendship, whether the distance is geographical or temporal. Last year I bought a blogging friend a gift from her Amazon wishlist. She was experiencing some financial hardship and while I couldn't turn up with a bottle of wine and a casserole, I was able to get her something she needed.
The internet has opened up new ways of relating to people and of supporting one another.
Just before Christmas I asked a favour from an internet buddy Sara, aka CatholicMom ( no prizes for guessing what foot she digs with) Sara gave me that prayer on my sidebar when I was expecting Marie-Aibhlinn and trying very hard not to let my anxiety get the better of me. I really wanted this diary/planner, but they don't ship overseas. I asked her if she might be willing to post it on to me, if I had them ship it to her first.
So, she agreed. And with marvellous American super efficiency, she fedexed it to me. And that's not all. She included a matching set of pink pyjamas complete with tutus for Honor and Marie-Aibhlinn! Oh the pinkness!
It was SO thrilling to take delivery of the fedex parcel.Honor tossed my prized planner aside ( it is wonderful, and I think the most practically useful planner I've ever had) as she dug into the box and pulled out the pink. Little girls just know that that pink is for them.
Then she snuck off to her room and got undressed again. I peeped through the jamb of the door to see her struggling with the tutu. So I stealthily scooted off to get my mobile phone to capture it, and by the time I came back she had moved on to pulling on Colmcilles pirate socks. An interesting combo, very Camden Lock circa 1980's. A pair of Dr Marten boots and the look is complete. Here she is when she spots me with my camera.

Pleased with what she had put together, she struck a pose:
Then she asked me to take a photo of her nativity set:
( I say 'asked' but really she did a lot of pointing and "interrogative grunting". She's not very verbal yet)

I'm including this next picture because I love "back to the camera" photos, they are so unselfconscious. Here, she's fossicking around for a book:

And Colmcille, not being as entranced by tutuness as we are, can't understand what all the fuss is about.

After these, we put Marie-Aibhlinns tutu on her, it's just as well she can't stand up yet since it is still much too big, but we took pictures of Honor holding her. Two little puffballs of pink tulle. Frustratingly, they were taken on my husbands camera which has since disappeared before i got a chance to upload them. I held off posting this hoping that the camera would turn up and I could complete the photo gallery, but dear saint catholicmom must be wondering if she's ever going to see the promised pictures, so I've given up waiting for the camera to turn up ( we're thinking that it might be permanently lost *sigh*)
Anyway, it's high time I put these pics up.
So thank you CatholicMom! I really appreciate your helping me out, and for sending such a delightful gift for the babies. And whether it's Florida or London, I hope we DO actually get to meet in person eventually!


  1. How adorable! Love the outfit, love the curls, love the expression. You've got some real cuties there!
    Hopefully you'll find the camera. Otherwise, maybe you could just set up the shot again. I'd love to see pictures of the baby!

  2. Lovely! The kind friend and the pics! Good thinking on the planner. I had one in the days when they shipped to the UK but didn't have your brainwave about about getting someone to send me one.

  3. Oh, CM did good as we say in the South.

    I love those planners - and I love your comparison of bloggy buddies to the Communion of Saints!

  4. :) I've made online friends whom I've then arranged to meet, so they are now "normal" friends as well:)

    It's all very platonic and whatnot - meetings of minds only.

    One wedding so far, between an blogging friend and a "normal" friend. And here's a happy development that only happened because the meeting was first "of minds" though chap reading girl's blog. (warning - rude words, etc.)


    random passer-by


  5. I have met a number of internet friends in real life, and they have all been delightful - including the Wonderful Planner Supermom ;). My very dearest friend is an online friend I've yet to meet, though all being well she will be coming over to the UK later this year.

    The tutu and pirate socks combination is wonderful!