Despite butterflies in my tummy and the heart-stopping panic I felt when waiting outside WH Smiths at Euston station for Kev and Mercedes the Wannabe Meet-up was everything I thought it would be, and more.
This morning, the experience has left me kneeling at the feet of the power of the written word more than ever before.
None of my fellow bloggers looked like their photos, and I don't suppose I did either. I now realise that photographs are two-dimensional images and no more; it takes the talent of a real artist to bring them to life. However, the multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and multi-coloured human personality can be captured precisely by the power of the written word.
Caz, Denise, Fiona, Jane, Lane, Linda, Mercedes and Mother X were every bit the lovely women I admire in blogland and in Sunday chats for their skills in showing us, through words, aspects of life we can all identify with and yet never seem to see for ourselves. Their personalities exactly mirrored those I had conjured up in my mind, even though I don't think anyone looked like their photos. This phenomenon can only be down to one thing, and that is their considerable skill in manipulating the written word.
Kev is the only man I felt I had come to know through cyberspace - as, poor bloke, he is outnumbered by us nattering women in blogland and in the chat room. I recognised him immediately from his photo, and yes, he was every bit the perfect gentleman I imagined him to be. Quiet and yet perceptive and creative, he came out with some little gems during the day.
Liz, Barry, Wayne and Mike I'd never communicated with before yesterday, either in blogland or in the chatroom. By the end of the day I felt an incredible affinity with them, because, just like all of us, they were writers.
I don't know how to say thank you to all of you for the lovely day I had yesterday. I only hope I didn't talk too much, as once I start I find it difficult to shut up! I hope our friendship endures throughout the coming years and we can celebrate together as we all, one by one, become published authors.