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Friday, 17 August 2012

Celebrating the Last Year With a Tea Party

What a difference a year makes.  This time a year ago, I was floundering.  Pip had just turned two; the gradual transformation from toddler to little boy was already underway.  I felt a sadness that his baby face and plump little hands were disappearing so quickly, that already, independence loomed large.  Time seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye; I wanted to rewind.  In other areas of my world, I was struggling with changes too. The course I’d enrolled myself on to re-train as an acupuncturist had gone into liquidation, and the silver lining in the aftermath, a longed for pregnancy, had ended in miscarriage. The house we’d moved into to ‘do up‘, we found was going to cost us more to 'do' than we thought so all building projects were put on hold. As moth upon moth chewed holes in my pre-baby cashmere, there was a sense in my mind of -  what next?

I started a blog.

On a whim. Which is how I often do things.  I barely knew what a blog was, let alone how to ‘do it’.  Thank goodness for Blogger - at least it wasn’t complicated.

I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep writing.  As a teenager I would start a new diary at the beginning of each year, with resolve to fill each and every page. Inevitably, by February I’d have lost interest (or possibly my life just wasn’t interesting enough to write about).  Expecting history to repeat itself, I told no-one about my new hobby, just typed away secretly, now and again, sharing whatever was top of mind.

But this time, it was different. It wasn’t like writing a teenage diary.  This time, I was hooked.

What I hadn’t accounted for, was that (unlike a diary), writing something in a corner of the world wide web meant that people could read my blog if they wanted to.  As I poured out my thoughts in those early days, occasionally someone would respond.  Words resonating across the wire between strangers; it was a completely new experience for me. I took great comfort in the comments from people I’d never met; identifying, empathising, supporting me.  In turn, I’d visit back, learn about their lives, share their experiences, their stories, laugh with them, be inspired by them, cry (occasionally) when reading their words.  I found myself in a new world; one of shared (and sometimes differing) perspectives, I found myself part of a virtual community -albeit as someone still with one foot in the ‘moving in’ van.  I also found myself enjoying writing, something that I hadn’t done since school. Suddenly, I didn’t feel quite so floundering anymore.

In the course of the last year, this blog has become my sanity providing sanctuary;  a place where I can warble away freely.   I see it as a piece of virtual patchwork, weaving together the various pieces of my life, old and new.  Sometimes I write about what’s happening in the here and now, more recently, I’ve also written about things past, as a way of recording memories to look back on in the future.  My 90 year old grandmother is now struggling to remember certain elements of her life, she calls my mother regularly, to try and make sense of the gaping holes in her memory. I listen to these conversations, and I think, maybe if I’m like her, in years to come, reading back over my blog will be a way of plugging some of my gaps. I quite like the idea that what I write now may one day become an aide memoire to help me through senility. 

I wouldn’t have enjoyed blogging as much as I have over the last year without the bloggers I’ve met along the way. The two go hand in hand. How do you celebrate a year’s anniversary with warm, wonderful people that you’ve never met?  How can you say thank you? Thank you for reading, for commenting, for all your heartfelt words, the witty one-liners, and ‘have you tried this?’ tips and tricks. Every word has meant something to me.  

Well, I guess I’ve just said it.  But, because it's my blog birthday, I wanted to make a special gesture too. This is for you...

A ‘Thank you’ Tea Party

Tea (or coffee). From the pot of course; this is a special occasion. Champagne. Obviously - they always serve it at afternoon tea in the poshest hotels. Sandwiches with the crusts cut off; cucumber, salmon and cream cheese, ham and mustard, maybe some rare beef and horseradish too. Filo pastry tartlets with a tomato and mozzarella filling. Scones with clotted cream and jam. Victoria sponge (my favourite), cute little cupcakes and petit fours.

You can have more than one if you like...

Wow. That was so much easier than making it in the real world.  Enjoy - and thank you for reading during the last year. x

26 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your one year anniversary Mummy Plum! I'm so glad you started blogging - I LOVE your blog - the way you write is so enchanting and captivating, like a lullaby, and I'm very taken aback to discover you haven't really 'written' since school - you possess such a talent!

    What I got from this post is how important blogging has been to you over the last year, a light at the end of the tunnel after a very challenging year. So you were looking to train as an acupunturist? Hopefully you still can, or maybe your future lies in the written word - if those very unfortunate things had never happened - would you be writing your blog now? Life through all its twists and turns has a real way of setting us on the right path, and I've always felt you are destined for writing fiction. I hope you continue to write your blog for years to come!

    Now if you don't mind, I am dying to get stuck in - mmmm - lets see, a cup of earl grey, a glass of champagne, some salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, a slice of victoria sponge cake, and one of those yummy looking cupcakes. You're such a great host Mummy Plum, thank you for laying on this celebration! XXX

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    1. LOL - You get stuck in :0)

      Thank you for your wonderful comment, and for supporting me and my blog over the last year. Your words about my writing mean a lot - especially from someone who I consider to be an excellent wordsmith herself.

      Yes, blogging has been more important to me than I ever thought it would be. You're right, it's funny the twists and turns life takes, if my course hadn't folded, I definitely wouldn't have started this blog. I wouldn't have had the time.

      Still not sure I have the time actually, it's just that these days I ignore the washing up and the hoovering. Blogging has definitely made me a substandard housewife!

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  2. Although I haven't been about as much I have been continuing to read the blog posts that land in my inbox, and I really enjoy writing yours! I know I haven't been reading for long but I know I will definitely continue! Happy Blogging Birthday XXXX

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    1. Thank you. I've been reading yours too. I know it's been the most difficult time for you. Sometimes it's hard to find the right words to offer comfort, but I feel every word you write. x

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  3. Wow! We'll all have to do this in real life some day. Let's make a date for afternoon tea in London / Brighton NOW!

    First of all - Congratulations on your first Blogaversary. I'm glad and honoured to have shared some of your journey with you.

    Secondly - Champagne on an empty stomach - my favourite. A try of each tiny weeny sandwich and then a big fat scone with lashing of cream and jam, plus the discussion of which goes on first? Then more champagne.

    Then, perhaps, tea / coffee, depending on the mood. One of my most favourite ever posts, that Afternoon Tea! XX

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    1. I know, it would be lovely to do it someday. I LOVE afternoon tea. It's just so elegant. Personally, I put the jam on the scone first. Am so glad you went for a second glass of champers...it is a celebration after all! x

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  4. Nearly lost that comment - and obviously lost the one about the plums! Do you know you have that catchpa thing on? I never knew I did until someone told me. You can go to settings, scroll down to comments, then take 'verification' to 'OFF' - or, as it's your blog, you can leave it as it is and tell me to naff orf! XXX

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    1. Thank you. I've been brave and turned it off. *Awaits spammers*. On the comments section do you have it turned to 'anyone' or those with 'open id' out of interest?

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    2. Well done you. Anyone who's anyone seems to have it off - if you'll excuse the expression *blushes.* I have mine set to 'anyone' and rarely get an anonymous one. I wouldn't rule out the open id though X
      Seriously, though, shall a few of us get together for cofffee / tea/ lunch? X

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    3. Hmmm...that would mean removing my thin veil of a disguise showing my face. (Unless I could hide behind it and slowly sip champers...). It would be lovely to meet you in the flesh though. Perhaps a small gathering? x

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  5. Congratulations on your one year blogiversary, and thanks for the cucumber sandwich - yum! It's amazing how much has happened over the past year for you, and do keep on blogging over the next one when so much more excitement will be taking place!!

    I've tagged you in my Liebster blog award post - looking forward to seeing your reply!!!

    http://thelondonmama.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/liebster-blog-award.html

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    1. Thank you - will pop over to yours and take a look at the Liebster award.

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  6. one year old & what a year it's been for you! Bubbles and cake, wonderful, please may I come to the party :) If you do make it down to Brighton give me a wave! Everyone is so right, you have such a gift for writing, which is acupuncture's loss! I'm having a bloggy holiday this month, the toddler and the beach have won me over xx

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    1. ps captcha thingy off *thumbs up* written many posts to your blog that never saw the light of day because I rushed off after clicking Publish an my cr@p computer froze or shut itself down :^0

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    2. Bloggy holidays are good. Live first, write later I say. I think lots of people have them in August. How lovely that you and TC are able to be at the beach. Especially on scorchers of days like today!

      Good to know the lack of captcha gets the thumbs up. I'm assuming it worked when you posted this!

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  7. Hi. I was tagged by LondonMama too and she sent me the link to your blog. Lovely! Love the post. Funnily enough, there are some similarities between myself and you a year ago. My little man has just turned two with all those challenges, and I also recently had a miscarriage for a much-wanted baby no 2. I haven't written about it in my blog, but I plan to for the next post. I think it is something that should be talked more about as so many go through it. Wish me luck! Thanks for the cake!

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    1. Thanks so much for popping by and leaving a comment. I'm sorry to hear that you have suffered the pain and loss of a miscarriage. I agree with you, it is something that should be talked about more - so often it seems a taboo subject that people just don't talk about. Good luck. Will come and visit you at your place to read more. x

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  8. OOh, how I would love this but thank you for inviting me to your reality tea-party. I love your blog and eagerly await the next episode in your story - it comes up automatically on my sidebar as your are a 'blogger I love'. I enjoy the way you write, describe things and use poetry to unfold a story. I am so glad I found your little corner of the worldwide web :) Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I'm a big fan of your blog too. x

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  9. Thank you for inviting me to your party. I'm sorry if I drank a little too much champagne; I get a bit loud when I'm tipsy.

    Many congratulations on your one year anniversary. Your posts continue to be an absolute joy to read.

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    1. Thank you FFHM. I do like a fellow champers drinker - even if it is only virtually!

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  10. Many congratulations and thank you for the lovely tea, especially the champagne - my favourite too. I'm always a little slow to get around to commenting but get around to it I eventually do, as I always enjoy reading.

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    1. Thanks for reading over the past year, and for all your supportive comments. Has been great reading your blog too and getting to know you.

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  11. A lovely post that reflects much of what I feel about blogging too. Thanks for your support over recent months and for being one of my fave groovy mums too.
    I have said it before but will repeat that I adore your writing.

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    1. Thank you Kate, what a super compliment.

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  12. Am raising a belated tea cup! I love your writing and look forward to your blog posts popping into my inbox!x

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