‘I’ve started up a blog,’ I announce to my friend, M, over the telephone.
‘A blog!’ he thunders. ‘Who told you about blogs?!’ He had the same response when I got a laptop and a microwave. He likes to think of me as some type of quaint Edwardian lady, wearing crinolines and reading poetry in the parlour. (Admittedly it’s an impression I rather cultivate by travelling everywhere in a horse-drawn carriage.) I resisted getting an MP3 player for nearly a year because I wasn’t sure how he’d take it. He still gets upset when I answer my phone when we’re out to lunch: ‘I can’t believe you’ve got a mobile. It’s just so wrong,’ he bemoans.
However, ‘Nobody told me about blogs,’ I say now indignantly. ‘I knew about them already. There are five or six I read every day.’ (This is true: I read Literary Minded, A Pair of Ragged Claws, Not Quite Nigella, Bookslut and some vegan cookery ones with embarrassing names. Since I’ve discovered these blogs, I’ve had to get up two hours earlier to allow time for my morning procrastination routine.)
‘Do you even know how to edit a template? Or create a hyperlink? Or switch on a computer?’ M asks somewhat patronisingly.
‘Of course,’ I say (although I often encounter difficulty with the latter.) ‘I even know how to use spell-check.’ M rolls his eyes in disbelief (at least I imagine he does.)
‘So what are you going to write about in this so-called blog?’ he asks.
‘I haven’t really decided yet. Books I’m reading, mainly. Observations about life. Restaurants. Movies. Maybe some stuff about politics,’ I finish up lamely. (I have no intention of writing about the last but feel it gives me more credibility. M realises this and snorts knowingly.)
‘You should write about the cat,’ he decides. ‘The cat’s fantastic. Everybody would want to read that.’
‘I’m not sure,’ I venture doubtfully. ‘It might be a little limited.’
‘Are you kidding? Everybody loves the cat! What’s she doing now?’
I look across at her. ‘Umm, she’s just drinking her water.’
‘That’s so cute!’ he enthuses. ‘Have you taken a photo? Has she still got her red collar on?’
Hmmm, maybe he’s onto something after all…