In this digitized world of ours it is easy to forget the benfits of real, face-to-face communication. So when fellow-blogger Janet Blyberg told me she would travelling from Washington to London on business it was a great opportunity to meet the person behind the blog.
I met her in Richmond, and we walked along the Thames to Ham House, exchanging news and gossip from our respective organisations – Janet works in the museums and heritage sector too, as you will have noticed from her blog.
We walked past Petersham Meadows, which was once part of the Ham estate and is now owned by Richmond Council. In October 2010 the National Trust took on the management of it, a kind of joint venture that we will probably see more of in the future.
Although both Janet and I had visited Ham before, we joined one of the short guided tours which allow visitors to see some parts of the House before the proper open season has started.
In the garden I tried to capture the first forsythia blossoms in a Janet Blyberg-style close-up photograph, but of course I failed utterly – you will have to keep an eye on her blog to see if she is going to feature her own, true ‘Blyberg’ images of this jaunt.
It was great to meet Janet, to match the blog persona with the real person.
But thinking about the often flimsy boundary between what is real and what is virtual, it occurs to me that if I was a really clever Borges-style narrator with access to the latest imaging technology, I could in theory have completely made up this post.
Indeed, I might even have fabricated the existence of ‘Janet Blyberg’, ‘Petersham Meadows’ and ‘Ham House’. Perhaps this whole blog is just a reflection of my endlessly inventive imagination? You will have to visit Ham to find out for yourself.