I'm a blogging virgin. I've posted a few words on other websites it's true, but this is my first date with my very own blog. So please be gentle with me...
Having been persuaded by my old friend, Shouty Dad www.shoutydad.com, that I should start a blog, the big question was what to call it. As usual, I was paralysed by the fear of not getting it right. To start with I liked friends with words, but realised Google would probably auto-correct anyone searching for my blog and redirect them to words with friends. And then they'd get so engrossed in a game of WWF they'd forget they were ever even looking for this blog in the first place. I went round and round in circles, trying to find something simple and easy to remember, that wouldn't get old too soon.
The week wore on and I started writing a story for Rendezvous en France magazine about plans to commemorate the centenary of the Great War in 2014. It reminded me of reading Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth, a book given to me by my mum several decades ago which moved me more than any other I have read. It's been 20 or so years since I read Testament but I still remember sitting on a bench in a lush little garden in Ubud discovering the terrible personal sacrifices and tragedies behind the famously bloody battles of WWI.
I was in Bali with my then boyfriend. It wasn't a serious relationship and we were often irritated by each other. One thing he found particularly galling was the fact that I was more interested in Vera Brittain's book than I was in him. I would sit and read in silence, a huge lump in my throat and salty tears dripping from my cheeks. I guess it wasn't what he'd come away with me for and perhaps I should have been sorry. Truth is, I remember thinking at the time that if he'd asked me to choose - 'the book or me' - I would have chosen the book. No question.
So that's where the name of the blog comes from. Sometimes there is simply no better companion than a good book.