“My mother used to say that there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet. She’s now in a maximum security twilight home in Australia.”
― Dame Edna Everage (aka, the formidable Barry Humphries)
Something that I only really became aware of in the last year or so as we were gearing up for our move (finally!) to London, was the expat blogging community, and the local friends they’d made via it, based in London itself. I started reading a few, mostly to find travel tips for some of the places and countries we wanted to visit, but I really enjoyed a handful of them and kept reading. I liked Aspiring Kennedy especially, and many of her friends, so when the writer behind it (Lauren) announced that she was organizing a meetup for people who wrote blogs, read them, or just who just happened to stumble upon her post that day, I signed up immediately.*
It was held at the Biscuiteer’s Notting Hill boutique. They specialize in seriously stylish iced biscuits (cookies to Yanks), and the whole troupe of us got to ice our own while drinks were passed and chats could develop.
I’m sure I came off as the most ridiculous person there, I was just so eager to socialize with actual, breathing people that some awkwardness must have been the result. Lately my work pace has been such that there are days I never leave the flat. Productive, yes. Inclined to make me hyperactive, definitely. The only cure is human contact and I’ve been getting but little of it. The result was something like puppy-ish over-exuberance. Calm it down, C.!
It’s usually in meeting people that my life experience is thrown into sharp relief. Among other cultural issues, I can’t answer the basic question, “Where are you from?” satisfactorily. It’s always fun to talk about adventures growing up, but I often feel like a bit of an odd duck after introductions. Luckily these lovely girls didn’t seem to mind and we were soon swapping stories like pros. Some of them are in London for their own work, their partners’ work, as students, as permanent expats, or just passing through. We were quite a diverse bunch.
Regardless of my undoubted exuberance, I had a really great time and met some impressive ladies to introduce you to:
Ruth from the Planned Adventure (a fellow freelancer, we had much to commiserate on)
Amber from Nouveau (whose style, taste, and dog I covet)
LilyBelle from Honey on the Ground (the blog name apparently came from a sermon her grandfather once preached, which I think is fantastic)
Alexandra (who doesn’t blog anymore but who does work for Diane von Furstenburg, which is exceptionally neat!)
Teri from The Lovely Drawer (a girl with a wonderful eye!)
Katie from The Schwinds (a fabulous girl who is packing as much Europe into a year as possible and with whom I shared a Tube ride home and a lovely long chat)
And more who I didn’t get names or cards from but really hope to meet up with again. I think it was really lovely of Lauren to foster a little community building, goodness knows lots of people (expats or not) could do with it sometimes. All in all, a delightful evening and much needed.
* I’m unsure if I fit the qualifications of being “A Blogger” (caps, please note), most of the bloggers I know have exquisite platforms and expertise while the goal of my writing is largely just to tell stories and share adventures. Regardless, I wanted to meet some of these fabulous people and was really glad I did.