The blog neighbourhood

2 December 2010
I had a phone conversation with Little Jenny Wren earlier this week. She contacted me via email about a fabric I'd commented on, she included her phone number in the email, so I took the opportunity to call her. There was no hesitation, no shyness or wondering about whether I should, I just did. I felt I already knew her.

Blogs are like that. When you read someone's blog over a period of time you feel you know them. We both agreed it was weird to be talking, but the conversation was relaxed, friendly and wonderful. We talked about the fabric, and our families. We didn't have to explain who, what and why, we already knew those details because we've been reading about each others lives for years. We've seen each other's kitchens, I know Jenny dries her washing in front of her wood stove in the winter, I know how old her children are. I know all those details because she's shared her interesting life on her blog.

I read the other day that sociologists have yet to agree on the meaning of the word "community". So far there are 94 definitions of the word, and "since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location."

I try to read as many blogs as I can and although I don't have much time and don't read every day, there are some women out there who I feel I know well, even though we've never spoken in person. For instance, I've been following Amanda's move to a new home and silently sharing their joy and excitement. I've just read how Farmama and her husband were lead to their own farm, and like me, how she picks up on the treasures left in her comments box. She's just tied her fabric stash in bundles, but I'll let you find out why. And I've been slowly reading through the archive at A Joyful Chaos - a blog about growing up Amish, and I'm keeping up to date with all sorts of delicious food at Food in Jars. If her food is half as satisfying as her photos, she would be setting the finest table each night. And speaking of good food, Almost Bourdain captures me with thoughts of Anthony Bourdain as well as her thoughtful and innovative approach to food. Who could forget her Tiramisu with laminations and Anzacs and her Balinese spicy fried chicken. Mmmmm.

I learn so much from my blog community. I learn from those I read and from the wonderful comments made here every day. These computers of ours are powerful things. They stretch us across our own countries and into international lands. They take us by the hand and help us wander through kitchens and barnyards, we see tomatoes growing and being put into jars, we watch and learn as cardigans are being knitted and skirts stitched; we see how others live. Blogs, unlike magazines, are written without filters, they're showing real life, not a set stage. Blogs, especially the good blogs, come straight from the heart and they record everyday, ordinary living. And best of all, blogs, while telling their daily stories, teach us what we didn't even know we wanted to learn.