Monday 19 November 2012


There you are. There's your clue: for me, 'Blogfest' becomes 'Conference'. When you reach my grand old age, keeping up with developments is not easy. At my age, a 'fest' was something that happened in, say, Germany and was to do with sinking enormous quantities of beer. Last week, it applied to a gathering of bloggers and was one of the nicest and most fun days I've had in a long time. Mind you, I think I highered the average age of participants by at least a decade. There were distances and stairs and low chairs and all the impedimenta which roll off the eyeballs of the young and younger and make my life harder. But there were also friendliness, and croissants and delicious buffet food. Above all, there were seriously interesting people with seriously interesting things to say.

In my professional life I attended more Conferences than I have kept memory of. I have written papers for them and travelled many miles to them. Giving a paper is one thing: one just pretends one is at home reading it through to an attendant cat or a long-suffering partner. One may also picture one's Mother, proudly drinking in every incomprehensible word. Asking a question is another. Dear Reader, that's just what I did. I gave it almost no thought - the act, not the question - so spoke before I could settle back on to the bed of nerves known to paper-givers everywhere. The subject around was, more or less, confidentiality. Now, kind followers will know that Liz's blog is based on her experience of being more  than her allotted three score and ten in the actual world and around about forty in the inner world.. This means, inevitably, making use of daily happenings and interactions with the rest of humanity. Mostly, the interactees are total strangers and I can address them as such even if they are not. The most relevant exception is the Guru, whom loyal followers will know is very real and very significant in Liz's life. He knows. He reads the blogs. He is totally compliant and very encouraging. People who know Liz off the page, so to speak, may well identify him. It seems unlikely that kind followers in Mountain View California could do so. What is more important is that this is alright with him. But do let me know if you know who  is the jerk who said to his companion as I stumbled on ice walking passed them; "That old girl shouldn't be let out on her own".

The reason for telling you this is that I did ask a question. When I was actually forty I doubt I would have had the courage. Well, not exactly a question in the QA sense. I aired the question of the need for the use of personal material which could be done discreetly and anonymously pointing no fingers and hurting no feelings as a sort of 'Why Not?' Thank you all for greeting it so supportingly and warmly and also the learned, dissenting professor who was so incensed I lost track of what she was actually saying for fear of the blue flames which emanated from behind me where she sat. Later,when I was surrounded by well-wishers she came and shook my hand which I took to mean one of us could and should forgive the other. I'm not sure which who was which. Wonderful! Nearing three score and twenty, (must be four score) and still being dressed down by the professor. Bore da.

1 comment:

Eliza Gray said...

Hi I've been meaning to read your blog, so nice to find you via the Mumsnet bloghop.

I shall go and read some more, but meanwhile I thought you might be amused to read mine today. I'm only 50, but given that inside I feel about 30, it still feels an affront to be losing things like one's energy/memory/eyesight. I guess after about 45, each birthday brings new horrors. Hopefully some joys too (have you read Hilary Boyd's piece
Must work on Acceptance!