Tuesday, 8 January 2013

An Accidental Friendship

One of my favourite ever books is 84 Charing Cross Road. It's like a loveless romance story, a beautiful friendship that develops over correspondence over time and distance. Imagine my surprise that I now find myself somewhat like Helen Hanff in that wonderful book, having a found a friend that I can confide in, laugh with, and chat to.

Too often we can close off to friendship. We can make assumptions, or have biases. We can think, hmm that person is the wrong gender, has a disability, whatever. I have learnt in my life it always pays to keep an open mind and friendship can be a powerful thing. 

On paper/screen we look like unlikely friends, a single, male, somewhat geeky chap and me, a chatty, nutty wife, mother and premmie blogger. Daniel and I "met" on Twitter some time ago, we think it was February 2012. One of the things I like to do on social media is work with charities, and I had been doing some tweeting about Batten disease, and was curious to see what the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy guys were doing. I found Daniel and was really interested in his blog about his fight with the NHS, I was also interested because he had such a matter of fact way about him, and never made a fuss about his condition. I have met a couple of people with Duchenne and it's no walk in the park.

We got chatting from time to time, and I realised we had quite a lot in common, and Daniel is also blessed with being very calm and objective. He is also very funny too! We started becoming close friends, and he helped me to write my post Jimmy Savile is Dead, and since then has been one of my rocks. My husband has nicknamed him my Twitter husband, my own husband having no interest in blogging or the internet, or anything remotely geeky apart from Star Wars.

Recently Daniel and I met up, I travelled to see him at his home and took Joseph with me, who had a ball. It's very important to me that Joseph gets used to mixing with a range of people. He was most interested in Daniel's ventilator, and asked sensitive questions.

Daniel has changed a lot since we started talking, as have I, and its exciting to see him change, and become more open to new experiences, and getting out there again and grasping all that life has to offer. 

In Daniel's words

I 'met' Kylie earlier this year on Twitter, it was just one of those strange things, we run in totally different circles. She's a Wife, Mother and Premmie/Mummy blogger, I'm a single geek who blogs about health/disabiliy issues or geeky stuff.  Something strange happened though, we started chatting and found we got on great, this evolved and we found out we actually had a lot in common. Eventually around the time she wrote her 'Savile is dead' post I realised how much I really cared for her, despite only ever speaking on Twitter I found I totally trusted her (and her me), we had become best friends!  

Since then she has helped me a lot, with encouragement and just by inspiring me with the way she has coped with her own problems, it's an amazing thing, I am more confident, my panic attacks are more under control and I'm finding new meanings for my life, Kylie is a big part of this change, there are other factors like getting a new wheelchair & having to be in newspaper articles, but she's been there for me throughout and gently encouraged me when I needed it.

We decided last year that we should meet, I hadn't really met anyone off the internet before, it was strange thinking about it but I knew we had too, I'd left meeting a friend too long before and he had sadly died before we had chance. I knew nothing was going to happen to either of us but there was still a fear I'd lose another friend before meeting them.

We met in real life at the beginning of this year, she brought her son Joseph with her and it was great, we spent hours chatting and Joseph was happy playing and talking to me too, if anything it has made our friendship stronger, now when we Tweet I see a person not just an avatar.  I feel so lucky to have become friends with her, I think it's a friendship that will last a long time, hopefully I will meet her husband in the future as well and we can all hang out, me, my best friend and her family.

I hope you have enjoyed our story, and next time you are on Twitter keep your eye out for a new friend!


  1. Aww what a beautiful friendship! It's so great the support you can get from friends on Twitter x

    1. Thank you, it took us both by surprise! It's been great so far!

  2. I so agree! Me, @daren140 and @beccaspeaks met via Twitter when Daren was giving a presentation at a conference. I tweeted Becca to tell her she got a mention and that was it - we've been friends since. I've met up with Becca in person - I was terrified she wouldn't like me - like my in person version of me was different to who i'd been on twitter but she loved me and we're pretty much besties - if either of us is having a bad day we'll drop each other an email and chat it out - sometimes it's a bit more ranty that a chat but it still works!

    I've also made friends with @rubyam - she lives in Australia and I don't think we'd have ever come across each other had we met by other means. I've not met her in person but she's introduced me to her friendship group who are all techy/nerdy/geeky people and I feel like I'm part of their group. I even met @Jellybeansoup and his lovely fab wife @melissasavage when they were here in the UK for their honeymoon.

    1. Twitter is amazing, I think the 140 character format means you have to get your personality across succinctly. It's so busy too that to make an impact you have to stand out. I also think people who tweet how they talk are the ones that do the best.

      It's awesome that you have met in person and are friends with Becca. I will check out the tweeps you mention! Maybe I'll make more friends too!

  3. Oh I find this so incredibly touching.

    So glad to see you are blogging again.


    1. It has been wonderful! We've both been amazed at how much we've grown through knowing each other.

      I have really missed blogging, its lovely to have a fresh start.

  4. That's a lovely story. It is weird making and meeting friends who you first met online but some of my friends who I've met online I'm proud to say are my best friends.

    PS Great new blog xxx