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Friday, July 4, 2014

Country Blogger Meets City Blogger!

“Do I look okay?” I asked my son Thaddeus, for the seventeen billionth time as we sat in the shuddering train between Town Hall station and our destination in Sydney’s South. We’d flown down to the big smoke the previous night and were on our way to meet my favourite, highly-esteemed blogging buddy, Lee-Anne from Is it just me?

I’d never met a real live blogger before and was beside myself with manic anticipation.

About an hour beforehand I’d stood in the middle of the Pitt St Mall staring up and down in unsuccessful bids to catch a glimpse of the Myer’s sign, haranguing a strained Thaddeus to find it on his phone’s GPS.

“If I’d been with your sister, Lulu, she’d have found it immediately by using her special brand of quantum mechanics. She can use her subatomic vision to spot shopping centres using the Earth’s magnetic field,” I sniffed impatiently.

At last I espied the familiar logo in the distance and we lumbered towards it; entered it’s hallowed doors, ignored the snooty perfume reps spraying us with a mist of eye-stinging fragrance, sailed up a terrifying number of escalators, were pushed aside by grumpy shoppers for daring to stand not run on the moving stairs and finally unearthed the ideal gift for my blogging amigo.

We then stood on the station platform gawking uselessly at the screen of destinations unable to find Lee-Anne’s suburb. I really didn’t want to reveal myself as a straw-chewing yokel at this early stage, but I was forced to text her for a repeated set of instructions.

Bogans from whoop-whoop cain’t read this here timetable proper. Please help! or something like that anyway.

Lee-Anne was most patient, assuring us it wasn’t our fault and that we weren’t country bumpkins at all, but I felt quite the graceless, unsophisticated simpleton.

But now we were on the train which erratically shunted into HER station and I frenetically combed my flat hair, the fatality of a morning wash in hotel supplied shampoo and conditioner, in the hope of injecting some oomph into it.

‘Use your posh voice, Pinky,’ I reminded myself. ‘Get that North Queensland twang out of your vernacular.’

“Try not to swear, Thaddeus,” I warned, whilst waving a comb towards his beatnik locks which he brushed away quickly before I managed to make any beneficial contact. “Lee-Anne might not like swearing.”

We left the train and stood on the edge of an exceedingly pretty, leafy park waiting for Lee-Anne to walk down to meet us. I felt ridiculously nervous. It was almost like meeting a date you’d been emailing for months and knew there was a connection and hoped like hell your instincts were right.

“Do you know what Lee-Anne looks like?” queried Thaddeus.

“Well,” I replied anxiously, “I’ve seen one photo but she said that it was taken five years ago and she looks nothing like that now.”

Thaddeus lit a cigarette. “And don’t smoke in front of Lee-Anne!” I shrilled. “She might not like it.”

I noticed a large, blonde lady dressed in militant attire and head-kicking Doc Martens heading towards us.

“This must be her,” I thought in mild astonishment. “Gosh… she’s changed quite a bit in five years.”

But no. The slightly intimidating Kelly Osbourne emulation passed by without slowing her stride and I’m ashamed to admit I breathed a teeny sigh of relief.

“Is that her across the road waving at you?” pointed Thaddeus with his Holiday.

A diminutive, stylish replica of the photo I’d seen for the last six months or so was indeed waving enthusiastically and running across the road towards us.

I immediately felt like a daggy old bag lady with my drab, moth-eaten Winter outfit, but it didn’t matter as in a few seconds we were embracing like long lost friends, giggling and gabbling over the top of each other while Thaddeus looked on in amusement.

As we walked back to Lee-Anne’s elegant and picture perfect house we bumped into a couple of her neighbours.

“Hello! Gawd, you’re all dolled up!” they smilingly remarked. “Don’t usually see you looking so glamorous Lee-Anne!”

Reassured I wasn’t the only one wanting to create a good impression I laughed out loud. “That’s soooo going on the blog!”

The three hours Thaddeus and I spent sitting in Lee-Anne’s verdant, country-style garden surrounded by her chickens and puppies, sipping on wine and chatting without hiatus, went by far too quickly and I felt so sad when we had to say goodbye.

Her warmth, generosity, humour and vivacity were a complete reflection of the person I’ve grown to know, purely through her eloquent, funny and insightful words.

Did you happen to have a penpal when you were a kid, back when letters were de rigueur and there was no email/Facebook/SMS?

Because I’m here to tell you… blogging pals are so much better.

                  Pinky and Lee-Anne arguing about whose hair was flatter.

                               Thaddeus and Lee-Anne 

                               Chilling out in Lee-Anne's "Gaze-bo!"

           Lee-Anne, Nate (the devil dog), Pinky and Blossom (the Minx).

Thank you so much Lee-Anne. It was such a lovely afternoon and I was thrilled to meet you xx

Linking up with Sonia Styling!