Apart from swanning off to England and the Med this summer, I forgot to mention a few other things.
I have been co-hosting the Pond Parleys blog for a while now with fellow author and American expat, Mike Harling. Although both of us are happily married (and I've met his lovely wife), we hooked up bloggy-wise a few years ago and we e-mail probably more than we e-mail anyone else - usually panicking about the topic for our weekly blog post or tackling the challenge of publicizing our books. It's one of those e-mail relationships where you think you know the person so well that you almost sign off with a few xxx's. So far I have restrained myself.
Well, this summer we finally met up for a pint. Mike's account of our meeting is here, and very enjoyable it was too. Once again, I was interrogated about my 'date', this time from my aunt with whom I was staying. The teenagers crossed their arms and nodded judgementally (if that's a word) behind her. I couldn't have felt more guilty if I'd been caught leaning out the bathroom window with a fag. (Americans, please, it's not what you think!)I have become so adept at dodging the "blog date" inquisition that I now tend to say that "it's someone I write with", (although my grammar would leave much in question). Unfortunately, the kids are not fooled and made my cousin drop me off at the pub. That he left before I even walked through the pub door rather defeated the purpose but it certainly made me feel like a wanton teenager.
Up north (or "oop north" as southerners seem to think we say), I had lunch with another bloggy friend. I met her last year and although she no longer blogs, we've kept in touch so it was perfectly legit to tell my mother she was a friend. (Okay, so if my mother was meeting people she'd met on the Internet, I'd have a fit. I can hardly expect her to be any less fitty, can I?.) Friend works for the big newspaper in town, and she asked if I'd like to be in the paper, or something like that.
"Fine", I replied, thinking she wanted me to contribute something to a piece. "What do you want me to do?"
"Well we'll write about you and put some photos in", came the response.
"Oh", I said.
Next morning I did a phone interview about, well, me. I scheduled it for early morning to make sure the snarky teenagers were still in bed. Then we all trooped off to Newcastle City Centre for photographs. I dressed quite nicely but thought, for some reason, that the photos would be head and shoulders, or at least nothing past the hip. But no. Of the two that appeared in the full page spread (what on earth could they have to say) one exposed the full whiteness of my legs. This was before I came back from Ibiza with the sun-goddess tan (not).
The photographer (a lovely feller) said he could "bronze it up", but clearly he was joking.
I'm now beginning to see why the Hollywood lot are so obsessed with their looks. I think if I had papparazzi following me everywhere, I too would emerge from my house fully made up, weighing less than my kids and giving them my best angle.