My date with Kate – how blogging has made me a serial blind-dater

As you know, earlier this year, I did the Blog With Pip course which enabled me to get I Give You The Verbs off the ground – yay! The next intake of BWP is coming up in May, so if you’re wondering, ‘should I?’, let me give you a tip – you should!

One of the unexpected, and very pleasing benefits of the course has been meeting some of my classmates in real life. I wrote about my first bloggy blind date here, and this week I went on my second. I’ve never been on a ‘real’ blind date in my life, but it seems blogging has me expanding my horizons, in more ways than one!

So, to date number two: Kate is a BWP classmate from Brighton, England and we clicked early on in the course. When I heard she was visiting Melbourne I thought it would be nice to see if we could meet up. Plus, I LOVE showing visitors around my home town, it’s kind of a sick lifelong obsession of mine. I love this city!

Kate and I texted, Facebook messaged, and emailed back and forth, working out what day of her short stay would suit her best, where she was staying and only getting as far with specifics as that  I could pick her up from her hotel. When I looked up the address of her Melbourne digs, I knew it rang a bell with me. Sure enough, the secretarial college that I attended in the mid-1980s is now a hotel! Kate was likely sleeping in a (hopefully modified) room where 30 years ago, I struggled with basic accounting, or blitzed shorthand. I’ve still got mad shorthand skills, FYI.

I was running early, a lifelong habit, so I idled illegally behind Federation Square, where I noticed a giant kangaroo. Do you see it?

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A few minutes later, I pulled up outside Holmes Secretarial College Kate’s hotel and after a moment of scanning the crowded street, Kate’s smiling face appeared in my window, she jumped in the car, I made a lame joke about Pip going to a lot of effort to start an international white slavery ring, and we were off!

We decided to drive across to Fitzroy, and after taking an inordinately long time to find a carpark, we went for a wander, stopping to take photos, and chatting easily about work, where we live, this and that. I think I was a bit nervous, because I regaled Kate with stories about my dad’s predilection for wearing really loud orange socks, how I suspect Our Tone is doing the Locomotion on the global stage and other weird things, things I drove home thinking why did you say that?, but hey, I’m a newbie at this dating game!

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I guess if I was really dating, I’d be pleased as punch that conversation flowed freely, we chatted about how much we had enjoyed Pip’s course, had other things in common, and both stopped to take lots of photos. It was an easy, relaxed afternoon, and Melbourne turned on a pretty nice autumn day, phew!

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How beautiful is this building? A bit neglected, yet its beautiful craftsmanship is standing the test of time, and the faded, almost illegible sign-writing on the sides of buildings like this – I’ve definitely got an architectural crush on this city. Click, click, sigh, click.

We popped into Arcadia for coffee, and treats. As evidenced below by the mandatory food shot for Instagram, it was a Portuguese tart for me, something for Kate, and a brownie for Kate.

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When we’d all introduced ourselves at the start of the Blog With Pip course, Kate had mentioned books she’d written, so I knew she was on an upward trajectory in her career, but I confess I didn’t ‘look her up’ again prior to our date – to me she was my writer-y classmate Kate, not an extremely successful author, with books on the best-seller list.

It’s funny how we associate people with the way we meet them, if I’d gone out with ‘Kate the author’ I think I would have been a bit of a wreck, but because I went out with Kate my BWP pal, I was able to be myself, and enjoy pointing out great buildings, parks and other landmarks as we meandered around to funky Fitzroy.

I’d call my BWP blind dates a real success, I think I’ve made some ongoing connections by stepping outside my usual comfort zone and meeting new people. There’s another meet-up for Melbourne BWP chicks in my diary, and I got to show a groovy bit of my beloved hometown off to a first time visitor. I’m proud to say Melbourne had bewitched Kate by the time she’d been here half a day, so I’m sure my tales about my dad’s blinding sock collection haven’t completely undone her fondness for my favourite place.

So, thanks Kate, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of your Australian visit. See you online again soon, and now that I’ve met you in person, I must get my hands on one of your books, maybe this one? And upon reflection, I’m glad I googled you after our date, not before, or I could have made a real nitwit of myself! You’re lovely, it was a pleasure to spend an autumnal afternoon with you.

For those whose curiosity I’ve piqued, I think you’ve probably heard of this one of Kate’s books.

If I was a gambler, I’d say the odds are 5:2.

 

Thanks Melbourne, you’re still my one true love.