Friday, June 25, 2010

Aim low

I'm off to what they call a blogmeet tonight.

It's organized by the readers of a magazine I subscribe to and whose message board I'm all over. They all seem like a nice bunch and we certainly have lots in common, but it doesn't make me less anxious about going.

There have been a couple of these meet-ups before but I've never had the courage to go. The last one I chickened out of, despite having been out elsewhere earlier and fuelled by alcohol I couldn't bring myself to go into the pub. I walked past it two or maybe three times, but I didn't know who anyone was so I didn't want to go up to complete strangers and force myself upon them. Not that I'm a pushy person you understand, but you know what I mean. I wasn't ready to throw myself into a roomful of people I've not met before.

Thankfully, Mondo is coming to this one, so at least there's a friendly face to go with. I'm sure it'll be fine, but it's nerve-wracking. Despite being a journalist and have to go to all sorts of things solo, it's still not the easiest thing in the world.

Very early on in my journalistic career I was told by my editor that I had to attend a 45th birthday celebration for The Archers. It was held in really lovely room on the Thames embankment and was very busy. Being new to this world I didn't then know any other journos on the circuit - if I go to anything now I'll know at least three or four people minimum - so just kind of stood rooted to the spot for a bit, along with someone else doing the same. I'd also never listened to The Archers.

As we made strained smalltalk, a rather statuesque, grey-haired grande dame swept over and introduced herself. "I'm Paddy Green,' she intoned theatrically. "I play Jill Archer".

"Oh I know," said my companion, "I'd recognise that voice anywhere". And for everyone there but me, this was a dream evening. Mrs Antrobus arrived with her Afghans, Lynda Snell held court. I had no idea. If it were now I"d be find, and after that I did listen to the show regularly. I even did at homes with Peggy Woolley and Lynda Snell.

Anyhoo, I managed to hold my own but couldn't find the press officer who I vaguely knew but had never met, so I spied two youngish girls and asked them if there from the press office.

"No, we're in the programme," they laughed. They were a very pre-Office Lucy Davis and faux Geordie Felicity Finch, who plays Ruth. But they were charming and we had a laugh. Then it was time to go. I'd survived. And it really wasn't as awful as I'd imagined.

Nothing ever is, is it?

PS Last night I was in the same room as Simon Bates


Chris Hughes said...

We need more Bates information.

Five-Centres said...

I was waiting for you Chris.

The silver national treasure was at a Midsomer Murders do I was at last night. I was desperate to talk to him, but I didn't get the chance. He goes out with someone from the production company's PA or something, a young, willowy thing half his age.

Cocktails said...

A message board you and Mondo are all over? Must be the Word then! Do you people on that site ever do any work?

And having read all of that I'm kind of impressed that you made it through the door of our meet earlier in the year.

Five-Centres said...

It was a toughie, Cocktails, but I felt because I sort of knew everyone already, it would be okay. And it was.

Ishouldbeworking said...

That's quite comforting. I also cack myself before events like that ( I would have made that last blogmeet had 'events' not genuinely intervened, but I would almost have been sick with nerves on the journey up.). We're all so scared of each other!

That Archers thing sounds completely surreal. Though I've heard elsewhere that Lucy Davies is really pleasant.

Enjoy your evening with the Wordies.

Mondo said...

I'm not too bad with this sort of thing although am a bit nervy about tonight. Mainly as I made such a tit of myself at The Word Pugwash gig. I hadn't planned to go to, but hooked up with John Medd (who had tickets) for a pre-gig snifter. We did any evening's drinking in 2 hours and I ended up at the gig, chewing Mark Ellen's ear off in the pub downstairs. Having said that he got me into the sold out show without a ticket - so can't have been quite as bad as I imagined.

But still woke up the next morning with a dreadful slumping 'what was I thinking' feeling.

Five-Centres said...

Best behaviour tonight then, Mondo.

Clair said...

I spent an evening in Bates's London flat once. It was horrible and he was wearing a drip-dry nylon shirt that I thought went out with the Ark.

Five-Centres said...

Not so fast Clair - why did you spend an evening at his flat. I want ALL the details.

office pest said...

intro of Our Tune music

"Our story today is a harrowing tale of a lady who was looking for something, but found me, instead...."

Bright Ambassador said...

I couldn't do one of those things en messe. In fact I've only met one person from our little circle of bloggers. She's great though. I'm scared that I'll get found out if I meet many others.
I did once arrange to meet someone from a Rush messageboard I used to frequent but they ended up with the shits on the day. Eihter that or they couldn't face meeting me. They got on my wick anyway but I was chuffed at meeting a Rush fan in my area.
And I once spoke to a member of that Rush board on the phone but it was quite obvious she was stuck in an unhappy and sexless marriage and wanted phone sex. Oops.

Five-Centres said...

Are you excited about the new Rush film, BA? Apparently it's "all rock, no roll".

Clair said...

Did you have a naice time?

I chatted to Bates after he left Radio One. Nothing untoward happened; I remember the lighting being the grim sort that you find in public toilets - a look I've only seen in a Japanese restaurant where I went on an internet date with a man who was 7' 3". But that's another story...

Bright Ambassador said...

I've just ordered the Rush film off of Amazon this morning. A lot of the British Rush internet fraternity are getting excited because a portion of it was filmed at a UK fan convention, and they're in it. I once asked a fellow Rush fan if they wanted to go to the annual Rush convention, to which he replied: "Spend the day with a load of Rush fans? No thanks." And he was right, of course.

TimT said...

So how was the Word meet, FC? I'm all agog.