During my younger years I was quite shy and found making new friends a bit scary, but I loved writing and had quite a lot of penpals I wrote to over the years. Reading this post recently by Bee, who recently rekindled a friendship with a penpal she used to write to, made me think about the penpals I had over the years. They included a Welsh girl named Vanessa (met via the penpals page on Ceefax of all things), a Friends-obsessed boy named James (who I met up with once to see Alanis Morrisette!), an Irish girl called Karen who made me the most amazing mixtape (where i first heard Radiohead, heh). This was all in pre-internet days, and I still love to write letters to this day.
In the early days of the internet, around 1999 (hello AOL messenger!) I made three new friends, through a shared love of the same bands - namely Blur and Weezer! At the time I was on a Blur email-list, and it was through this that I first met Caroline and Gerdien, who I still consider good friends to this day.
Ooh look! ..Caroline on a trip to London
The first time I met Caroline we had arranged to meet and interview DJ Steve Lamacq, back in his Radio 1 days, for a slot we did on Kic FM (which stood for errr, 'kids in communication'!) It was a really fun day which kick-started a good friendship (and numerous trips to see Idlewild together..)
Me & Gerdien in Hyde Park, July '09
Gerdien lives in Holland and when she came over to London one summer I got the train down to meet her and her friend, and we had a fun day going around Camden Market and picking out records. I have been to stay with her and her boyfriend a couple of times now, and Gerdien also came over to see Blur play in Hyde Park a few years ago which was really fun!
Liz, Adam and me in Hamley's in London, 2005
Finally, I met my American friend Adam via a shared love of Weezer, and we used to swap letters and mix cd's which introduced me to lots of new music, from Of Montreal to the Postal Service. Tom and I visited Adam and his lovely wife Liz in their Chicago home a couple of years ago and had a great time exploring the city.
I am so grateful for all these friendships - which often bloomed through a love of music. Did you have any penpals when you were younger? Or meet any gig-going friends through a mutual love of Weezer?!