Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Is This The Real World?
I intended dropping in on my very first London bloggers' get-together this weekend, but, timid and shrinking violet that I'm sure you know I am, chickened out at the last moment. I actually arrived, but remained in invisible mode for one solitary Stella before slinking silently off into the heart of Saturday night (well, Old Compton Street, as if you couldn't have guessed).
I do that sometimes. I even did it at a friend's wedding reception once. It's not shyness, as anyone who's seen me dancing topless at Turnmills can attest, and I hope people won't see it as bad manners. What I probably find so exhausting and off-putting is the pressure of having to interconnect all at once with a big bunch of (mostly) faceless but (doubtless) friendly strangers, and to be witty and erudite and remember not to go on too much about The Tomorrow People.
I'm much better meeting up with smaller groups where I don't feel obliged to give 'em the old razzle-dazzle, or called upon to "perform"; more relaxed that way, I don't forget anyone's name either, I get to know people better and I don’t make too much of a idiot of myself until about the fourth or fifth Stella.
Of course, there was also the very real possibility that someone would introduce themselves to me as the author of "Little Boy Blog" or whatever, and I wouldn't even have heard of the bloody thing let alone read it. That fear obsessed me so much that, for the two days leading up to Saturday, I Googled every bloody UK blogmeet since 2000, before finally whittling down to about sixty a possible attendee-list, and then doing a crammer on their last month's posts. I even drew up an Excel spreadsheet, detailing all their recent goings-on, favourite bands, quirks, and real names. Because I do so want to make a good impression on you, my dears. I do so want us to have loads to talk about. That's how much I need to entertain you.
Or maybe I'm just a snotty and supercilious middle-aged queen. Anyway, apologies if anyone was expecting to see me, and next time I'll be braver. Next time I'll try harder. Honest.
Sunday was spent on more familiar ground, as I made my first trip this year to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, there to meet up with Mike of Troubled Diva, and listen to a foul-mouthed man in a frock sing Karen Carpenter songs. The product of an illicit union between Lily Savage and a Royston Vasey reject, the Dame Edna Experience wasn't as outrageously funny as she can be, even though she's still got one of the best voices in the biz.
Whatever she lacked, however, was more than made up by the Diva's presence, Mike's was the first blog I ever read, so it's all his fault, and it was fitting he should be the first blogger I meet in what passes for the real world of Vauxhall Cross. I couldn't put it better than he does here: it was a blinder, mate. Also nice to see, albeit briefly, Marcus whose Cuddles piece is one of the best things I've read in yonks; and Steve, who'll stand you a packet of dry-roasteds next time you're down Soho way.
It was remarked over the weekend that I'm not half as camp in real life as I am in my blog. Look, dears, no-one's that camp. But purely to make you all happy, I've just gone out and bought a Bonnie Langford CD. There. Satisfied now?