petite anglaise

September 18, 2005

tired and emotional

Filed under: good time girl — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:51 pm

A mobile phone rang in someone’s pocket. The owner glanced at it and looked up with a sheepish, apologetic grin. “It’s sitemeter. Sorry, I’d better to take this,” he mumbled, before turning his back on us momentarily so he could talk about Very Important Things in private.

The kind of banter one would only expect to hear at a blog meet.

The regular patrons of the Champion pub in Notting Hill Gate may well have wondered which planet this strange assortment of nervous looking people were from, when they started sidling in, one by one, on Saturday afternoon, often with a copy of the Guardian tucked under an arm. A private handshake of sorts.

As for yours truly, I did cheat by meeting a couple of people at a secret location beforehand, so as not to arrive alone, but after a couple of glasses of wine on an empty stomach, my butterflies were stilled and I mostly flitted around the pub repeating “I’m just so excited! There are so many people here I was dying to meet!” like a broken record to anyone who would listen.

But I was excited. Because without exception, everyone I talked to was lovely. It felt more like a reunion between old friends who hadn’t caught up in a while than a meeting of strangers. Because we Know Things about one another. More about some more than about others, admittedly, but their voices seemed familiar. They talked like they wrote, or sounded just as I expected them to sound. I asked after their building work or other half as if we’d met many times before. People asked me quite personal things (usually prefaced with “Stop me if this is too personal, but”) and I replied, honestly, because it felt perfectly normal to do so.

One person had a very exciting device and he let me hold it. Others plied me with alcohol (and if I forgot to reciprocate, please excuse me!) and potato wedg(i)es. I resisted the urge to throw a pair of (clean) undergarments at That Man From Norfolk.

I’d love to do it again. On the condition that a few other people I really, really, really, really want to meet come along too…


  1. Not at all to do with this post, but did you see this article in the NY Times?

    Comment by Bumblebee — September 18, 2005 @ 9:53 pm

  2. Very lovely to meet you too. Here’s to the next one, and soon, hopefully.
    Really nice bum, by the way. I don’t know why you worry so much about it.

    Comment by Tim — September 18, 2005 @ 10:57 pm

  3. Did you actually make it to the bbq?

    Comment by Laura — September 18, 2005 @ 11:15 pm

  4. It’s all right, I took some whilst you were in the toilet.

    Comment by JonnyB — September 18, 2005 @ 11:46 pm

  5. I did Laura, eventually, after lurching around lost in the dark around Arsenal tube for a while, and the nice people there fed me lasagne (I think I got my wires crossed about the bbq bit), plied me with caïpirinas and asked me very politely to explain what a blog was.

    Comment by petite — September 18, 2005 @ 11:47 pm

  6. Must get a blog of my own then so I too can meet all these lovely people!

    Comment by Richard — September 19, 2005 @ 12:06 am

  7. Glad you too had a good time yesterday. Sorry I didn’t get round to saying hello, but I couldn’t stay for long and it was all rather overwhelming for the first couple of hours!!

    Hopefully we’ll have a chat at the next one…

    Comment by Jamesyboy — September 19, 2005 @ 12:14 am

  8. gosh, I’m so sad I couldn’t come. and to think I was in london last week (almost bumped into natalie!)

    next time. boo hoo.

    Comment by vit — September 19, 2005 @ 12:20 am

  9. Absolutely lovely to meet you . . . lovely. And I even got in here when it still just said 7 comments, so I didn’t feel paranoid. This is always a good move on my part. :-)

    Comment by Vaughan — September 19, 2005 @ 1:00 am

  10. Great to meet you too, petite… an altogether very pleasant afternoon.

    Comment by mike — September 19, 2005 @ 1:14 am

  11. lovely to meet you – I did leave a comment earlier – but it seems to have been eaten – maybe the next blogmeet should be in Paris.

    Oh – and I am never drinking red wine ever again.

    Comment by andre — September 19, 2005 @ 1:40 am

  12. I have to say, it was some hell of an afternoon (I had to depart early, otherthings to do) We could have the next in anotehr major city closer to some other people ?

    I agree with your comment that this wasn’t really a meeting with unknown people. Some people we knew more things about than others.

    Comment by Andy — September 19, 2005 @ 2:22 am

  13. Lovely. When are you coming to the other side of the world? We wanna meet you!

    Comment by Jesus — September 19, 2005 @ 6:02 am

  14. Finally got a blog of my own… now, when are you all coming to visit?

    Comment by miss tickle — September 19, 2005 @ 7:19 am

  15. Certainly sounds like a lot of people had a lot of fun.

    Comment by Universal Soldier — September 19, 2005 @ 7:46 am

  16. Sorry we didn’t get to speak. Maybe next time…love your blog, by the way.:)

    Comment by Mr Wibble — September 19, 2005 @ 9:16 am

  17. It’s the ones who made notes after the personal questions that you need to be careful of.

    *Hides Pen & Paper*

    Comment by Greavsie — September 19, 2005 @ 9:32 am

  18. You, Zoe and Vit should organise an ex-pat blogmeet. In Paris or Brussels so all the Londoners can jump on the Eurostar. And kip on your living room floor!

    Comment by Alan — September 19, 2005 @ 11:51 am

  19. Petite, it was just lovely to meet you. I apologise if I was at all drunken or overwhelmed or overwhelming. Or underwhelming. I was just really quite, quite overexcited about meeting so many of the people I always thought I’d like to go for a pint with.

    And it was lovely. Sorry, ace.

    Comment by anna — September 19, 2005 @ 12:18 pm

  20. We drank too much again. Why does that always happen? I have no memory of any of it.

    Comment by Karen — September 19, 2005 @ 1:16 pm

  21. awww, Petite, you sweetie! I really want to meet you too. I’m sure it’ll happen. So glad you had fun!

    Comment by Zinnia Cyclamen — September 19, 2005 @ 1:53 pm

  22. …and there I was thinking you were all chic and Parisian like. Whats the french for Bollocks?

    Comment by Mr Wibble — September 19, 2005 @ 5:39 pm

  23. Petite, it was very nice to meet you but alas, too brief!

    I think I felt like a deer in the headlights from start to finish on Saturday and felt a bit over-awed by the whole event! But funnily enough, the alcohol really helped the day go.. smoothly.. and a little hazily..!

    Next time- France!

    Comment by Bonobo Love — September 19, 2005 @ 6:18 pm

  24. i’m glad that you had a good time – i’d love to meet you (and everyone else) too. my house is fairly large and i’ve had at least 20 people crashing out in various parts of the house on several occasions. people can always pitch a tent in the garden too ;)

    Comment by zed — September 19, 2005 @ 7:30 pm

  25. Oh yeah… a buried memory surfaces… I did keep hearing people say to you “But I thought you’d be, you know, more French?” But then we were all drinking quite a lot…

    Comment by mike — September 19, 2005 @ 7:42 pm

  26. Hello! I just wanted to say that it was lovely to meet you too. Hopefully we shall meet again soon :-)

    Comment by NML — September 19, 2005 @ 7:48 pm

  27. Ooh yes, zed, I’d hop on a Thalys with a bottle of red at the drop of a hat!

    Never been to Belgium (unbelievably), but I understand I would be able to indulge my crispy french fries and mayo fetish to the full…

    Comment by petite — September 19, 2005 @ 9:20 pm

  28. Does anyone who wasn’t there feel a bit of a wallflower? My teenage years all over again…

    We should have a B-list blogmeet of our own, and anyone who gets over 50 hits a day can’t come.

    Comment by Hannah — September 19, 2005 @ 10:54 pm

  29. Oooh, I’d be up for a Brussels or Paris based blogmeet in future too!

    Fab to meet you p’tite

    Comment by anxious — September 19, 2005 @ 11:06 pm

  30. Petite, Yes, you can, My parents live in the great town on Brussels, ok, not in Brussels more the outskirts. A lovely town and I know you would like it.

    Comment by Andy — September 20, 2005 @ 2:32 am

  31. I must have missed an episode, wasn’t the IRL scheduled for the 21st ? Is this an other one, if yes, where did this one happen ?

    Comment by Miss Pink — September 20, 2005 @ 4:36 am

  32. If you are meeting in Belgium you may as well come to Norfolk, it is just across the water and would be a lot easier for me.

    Comment by JonnyB — September 20, 2005 @ 10:28 am

  33. Jonny – if you can see your way to splitting the proceeds of the sale of my stolen pants on ebay, then I might just be able to afford a ticket to Kings Lynn.

    Just a thought.

    Comment by petite — September 20, 2005 @ 10:57 am

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