Community

The word ‘community’ brings images to my mind of people stood talking over garden fences, children playing in the street together. It suggest to me people who share a common locality.

Community though, has become a lot less about locality, in the era of the internet, hasn’t it? It’s become more about common interests, or shared beliefs, or even just kindred spirits. It no longer matters where you are in the world, you can still find people who share the same outlook as yourself, and become part of a community with these people.

When I started Any Other Wedding years ago, I had literally no idea that it would grow in the way it did. I had not a clue that I would get so lucky, and that some how, this amazing community would grow out of this tiny blog. All of you who read here, and comment, and get involved are what makes it worth us keep AOW going.

The fabulous, and quite frankly, inimitable, Bex and Bella (and Nik and Fiachra, the respective husbands) came to visit me a few weeks ago. In KL. That that happened blows my mind a little. I know a lot of you meet up regularly. So many of you have met Anna and Aisling, but other than the very first AOP I’ve not met any of you. Being over here, in Malaysia, has its benefits, but it also has its downfalls, and one of them is that I can’t just nip over for a cuppa, or even pop to a wedding for a weekend.

I didn’t realise what I was missing out on. I mean I always really wished I could meet more of you, but meeting Bex and Bella showed me how stunningly lucky we got with this community. They are some of the kindest, most fun, most genuinely lovely people I could ever have hoped to meet. They came into my place, nosed around the apartment, played with Emmi, and we ate Anna K’s (via Smitten Kitchen) Baked French Toast, and drank All Of The tea. Just like seeing Emmi with Anna, Aisling and Lucy at the last GIAT meet-up, seeing her with these guys made me appreciate so much what you all have to give, and how having strong women like all of you in our children’s lives can only be a positive thing.

I know that some people still can’t get their heads around becoming friends with people on the internet. It’s still a bit taboo (I think?) to admit that you have friends who you only know through the internet. I know that the first time I announced I was off to meet ‘Anna, Aisling and Lucy, my friends from the internet’, Andy was vaguely concerned that they might not actually be Anna, Aisling and Lucy, but instead some dodgy truck drivers, named Bert and suchlike. Luckily, they weren’t dodgy truck drivers, and have instead become some of my very best friends, and I am so grateful that I made that leap, got on the train, and met those girls that day.

I’m genuinely convinced that anyone who reads and enjoys AOW could meet up with someone else who reads and enjoys, and get on well. Well enough to sit and have a cuppa and while away a few hours. I think that so many of us have come from a similar life story. Clearly we all have our own stories to tell, the things that make us different, but so many of us were not the cool girls at school, but have somehow blossomed in our own way as we’ve become adults.

So all of you lurkers out there, honestly, join in. The women who read this blog are some of the most open, genuine, warmhearted people that I have ever been lucky enough to meet. They are not cliquey, or bitchy, they welcome anyone. People here will attest to that. Not all of the people who you see chatting on twitter, or in the comments have been around since the beginning. Each one has individually been brave enough to come along to a meet up, or join in a conversation on twitter, and they’ve immediately been accepted into the group. Parties have been arranged. Presents swapped. Best friends have been made.

It floors me that we have been a tiny part of the process of introducing so many brilliant, wise, wonderful women to one another. If AOW has done only that, and nothing else, I think we can be proud. We are all so lucky to have this little place on the internet where we can all feel at home. But wouldn’t it be even more fun to meet more of each other in real life? Well watch this space… Bex has an idea, and we will have a post coming up about it very soon….

PS – We’re back to posting six days a week again from next week, so you can all go back to looking forward to your regular AOW with your cereal/on the commute/in bed every day.

Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Frippery, Life Experience, Wise Women, Written By Clare
152 interesting thoughts on this

152 Comments

  1. Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you to each and every one of you! I may still lurk a little and I know I don’t post all the time, but I love AOW :) everyone on here is just lovely and of course over on twitter. Thanks for making my world a better place.

    I can’t wait to see what Bex’s idea is and to be back getting my regular fix of AOW.

  2. Sandie
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Perfect. Well said Clare xx

  3. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I think it goes without saying now that I love this blog, but I really really want to reiterate Clare’s point that people haven’t all known each other forever, this time last year I hadn’t met one AOWette, and 6 months before that I had barely even commented. I remember feeling that everyone was so wise and awesome and hilarious and clever and stylish and oh my GOD, they will never want to talk to me ever, why are my thoughts all so UNWISE AND UNWITTY?! But this is the most welcoming place I have ever found on the Internet, and I’m so so glad I stuck around. i’ve rarely, if ever, felt so instantly accepted anywhere, nor so instantly able to be myself with people within moments of meeting them. So if you are lurking, come on in. It’s so worth it, this community had enriched my life, there is just no less wanky way of saying it. I’m all emotional now.

    I love you all. SQUEEZY HUGS TO EVERYONE.

    KL xx

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      PS: the photos in this have made me grin and grin and grin.

  4. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Yes!!! To all of the above. Well said that woman x

  5. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Aw. This is so lovely. So very lovely. Don’t really know what else to say (and that is why I guess I am a lurker) but it is so heartwarming to hear about friendships like these and the way they come about.

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Gwen! xx

      • Gwen
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Hi Clare! *waves*

  6. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait for Bexs idea…I would love to go to a meet up and meet some of you awesome people!! Xx

  7. Elsie
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I really hope what I write next isn’t the wrong thing to say, bear with my ramble! I think I feel very much like you felt Katie. I read all the AOW posts & go through fits and bursts of commenting or not depending on how clumsy my words are. (which they are likely to be in this comment) The posts & comments on here are so well written, knowledgeable & entertaining that when I am writing a comment the head niggles tend to kick in and whatever I’ve written gets deleted.

    I know that isn’t how anyone involved in AOW wants anyone to feel & it’s caused my nothing but my own silly head & is something that I should just stick the v’s up at & get over so please don’t think that it’s AOW, it’s not at all. AOW is ace! The meet ups & events like Race for Life all look so much fun and it’s a bit of a personal aim that one day I’ll take part ‘properly’. It feels like such a big thing. It felt pretty big when I first started joining in with comments! Sometimes I feel a bit like I’m not a proper AOW person because I don’t comment that much or meet people in the real world – I wonder if any of the other AOW-ers who aren’t regular commenters or who don’t go to meet ups feel like this?

    Errm so having put a massive downer on it maybe I’ll say something more positive…posts like this make me smile so much. It’s pretty amazing how friendships can be made with people spread out all over the world & I love the picture of Emmi with the globe – literally a mini AOW-ette with the whole world at her feet! :)

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      I think because I got to be part of a couple of online communities (or communities as I call them) before Any Other Woman I feel this a little bit less.

      In Join Me I think I’m still a bit of a newbie but one who is friends with a fair few of the original joinees as well so…

      I think the whole thing with this is people do like you and enjoy meeting people and are often nervous to meet new people too! I sometimes get too busy to comment properly on ANY blogs and then miss out on some great chat here and my comments are often rambly but I have virtually and IRL met some frankly wonderful examples of human beings through this to please dive in (and you are on the virtually met wonderful human beings list x)

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      You are so very much a part of this, Elsie! I’ve been longing to meet you in real life as you’re kind and supportive, and a heck of a lot of fun to chat to online.

      It is terrifying to take that first leap, though. I only did so last December, and I still get quaking knees, cold sweats (attractive!) and feel incredibly nervous when I go to meet ups now. But every one gets better, because it’s easier to remind your insecurities that nothing bad happened last time, so why should it happen now?

      Perhaps you could see if you could meet up with other AOWers who are closer to you? Get to meet them, and then the bigger meet ups mean you’ll at least know someone and it would be a lot less intimidating/terrifying?

    • Carly
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Elsie, I am also dying to meet you after your wonderful heart swap package! We could definitely bond over our questionable tastes in music!

      I was sooooooo terrified before AOP in September & I still don’t know what I’d have done had the lovely Anna not swooped in on me at the bar with tales about standing on Lego! It was great to meet some of the women who appear on here regularly.

      So thrilled to hear that the posts are going back to 6 days! I keep forgetting- I push the bookmark on my iPhone just after 7 every (work) morning and I’m always gutted when I remember there is no post that day. Talking of which, on my to do list this Summer is to write a post. About what, nobody (inc me!) knows!

      Big smushy hugs to all you lovely AOW

      X

    • Becca
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Please don’t feel like this. This is the warmest fuzziest emmi and stella toy filled hole in the interweb.

      Meet ups are great. Like you, I was crapping myself over the first one but you really do feel like you know more about these women than their PHYSICAL friends do and its so easy.

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Ok. Confession time. That feeling that a lot of you get when writing a comment, and feel it’s not good enough or interesting enough, and delete it? I get that with EVERY SINGLE POST I WRITE. Seriously. This post honestly nearly got deleted last night because I just didn’t feel it was good enough, or had anything valid to say. I didn’t have anything else to post though, so I kept it, and then sent apology after apology to Anna and Aisling for my ‘shit writing’ and for ‘letting down the blog’. I do this on almost every single post I write. Anna and Aisling nearly always get in there before me now and make a joke out of the fact that I will apologise for scaring off readers with my terrible writing, but it is something that I feel so intensely. I look at the amazing quality of the posts that we get sent, and that Anna and Aisling write, and I just don’t feel I can compare.

      So all of you who don’t feel confident in your comments…remember that the person who wrote the post might not feel confident in their post, and your comment might make their day.

      Oh and Elsie…you’re a real AOWer for sure! xx

      • Claire H
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        This is totally off-message re post but I just wanted to say that this made me laugh because every time I cook dinner or a cake, I say to my boyfriend ‘well it’s ok…it’s not great…X (or Y or Z) isn’t quite right’. Why do we all do this to ourselves?!

        Thanks for today’s post Clare, it’s lovely and brought a tear to my eye at my desk while scoffing lunch. I’ve returned to being a bit of a lurker due to a new job (and still the fear) but I really should comment more.

      • Elsie
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        What lovely words! Clare I have never read anything you’ve written & thought it was not worthy or good enough for AOW, I’m going to bear in mind that writing a comment on a post might make their day rather than over-think it, so beware there could be a lot of rambling nonsense being written from me soon! Oh and Carly, I refuse to accept we have questionable taste in music, the problem is clearly no one else is fortunate to share out amazing taste!
        I’m now sending out massive big huge grinning vibes to each and everyone of you & high fiving over the airwaves (or whatever it is that the internet travels on) to let you know you are all TOP!

  8. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I love this place. Thank you so much for making it. That is you and Anna and Aisling and every single person who is part of this community. Thank you. xx

  9. Fee
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I wrote a post here babbling on about how much I love this community – and once again this week, so many of you had so many kind words. Since my life has very much turned into a daytime soap type drama over the last year, I remain super grateful for this corner of the Internet.

    Looking forward to the meeting many more of you x

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      We love you Fee xx

  10. Megan
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Hello, lurker here :)
    I’ve been reading your blog pretty much daily ever since you changed over from ‘weddings’ to ‘women’ and always enjoy the intelligently written and thoughtful posts, it’s refreshing to find writing with real substance.
    Like Katie and Elsie I’m always a little nervous of commenting, everyone always sounds so cool and self assured, and I’m always worried I’ll say something stupid, or worse, inadvertently offend or upset someone.
    But I feel I know you all so well from reading about your adventures, I hope I’ll have the guts to join in with conversations a bit more and maybe pop along next time you have a meet up :) xo Meg

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I double dare you.

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I can assure that I am definitely very uncool if that helps.

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        I could not be less cool if I tried. Actual fact.

        KL x

        • Clare
          Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          It’s funny, when Bex and Bella were here we were talking about how Anna, Aisling and I have this sort of faux celebrity status amongst some of you who’ve not actually met us. I can happily assure you that we are seriously not cool either. That’s a promise.

    • Becca
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I am ridiculously uncool and ridiculously un self assured.

      • Fee
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Well, I am very cool. Pah ha ha!

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi Meg! Welcome to the least scary place on the internets! And we are not cool. Or self assured. And it would take an awful lot to offend one of us. Promise xx

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Fee isn’t cool. Don’t try and pretend Fi-bag.

        • Megan
          Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

          Aw you guys are all so sweet! And I’m sure you are much cooler than you give yourselves credit for! I feel much less scared commenting with so many lovely replies, will definitely stick my head above the parapet more from now on! X

  11. Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Ah you guys this is amazing! Loved reading this this morning.

    Sorry my commenting has slackened off recently – trying to juggle life means I read whilst on a spin bike at the gym often, and my phone doesn’t like commenting. But never fear – or do far maybe? – I shall hereby resolve to comment more again :)

    Also – fab pictures and hurrah to 6 posts! xxx

  12. Zan
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Awwwww – this is great! Love the photo’s and the joy. And the AOW community pretty much rocks, as does every single person I’ve met through via it. So to the lurkers – don’t feel you have to! It’s very nice around here :)

    And yay to 6 posts a week again!

  13. Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I always read but am not always great at commenting – sometimes I am just so in awe of the ladies that write and share here that I just can’t think what to add. But the awesome thing is that I know, in this community, that is ok sometimes too! I have had lots of support from this community in the very short time that I have dipped in and out of it and I would love to actually meet some of you so can’t wait to hear Bex idea! xx

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Emma I know for a fact that you have so much to say, because every post you send us is awesome! xx

      • Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Thanks Clare, that is really kind of you and means a lot :) xx

  14. Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    All I want to say is yes, and thank you… and I also wish I was in the UK to have a cup of tea and maybe go look for books with you girls :)
    I am so glad to have found AOW and to have been able to lose the fear and comment every now and then.

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Keep commenting Amanda! xx

  15. Morwenna
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Aw, this is SO lovely. Really happy to have found this blog – looking forward to more posts xx

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Hi Morwenna! xx

  16. Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness Clare you have had my blubbing into my coffee this morning. Such lovely words and beautiful photos (as always I should add!)

    This corner of the internet and the amazing community it has produced is my favouritest ever. Everybody without exception is so supportive and kind, but most importantly allows everyone else to have their own point of view. There’s no bitchiness, one up(wo)manship or anything like that – we are just all allowed to be who we are and even better are accepted (and dare I say celebrated?) for that. That’s pretty bloody amazing. Clare, that’s a fricking amazing achievement!

    One of the things I am most looking forward to about moving back to England – IN TWO WEEKS!! – is that finally, I will be able to meet some of you lovely lot in person. Don’t get me wrong I will no doubt be nervous wreck (excuse the rambling and inappropriate jokes in advance ladies), but I have no doubt that I will be put at ease in no time at all, because that’s just the kind of people you all are.

    For all you lurkers, new commenters etc please come say hi, there’s plenty of room for everyone here. And if it helps I am not wise, cool, sophisticated or any of those things… I’ll prove it to you at the next meet up ;)

    xxxx

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      We are ALL nervous wrecks before meet ups, particularly Anna, Aisling and I, so you will ever be alone there! xx

    • Zan
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Oh Hollie – you’ll be fine! In case I hadn’t made it clear, I’m instigating a meet-up as soon as you’re settled into the new place :)

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        I’ve already invited myself round…avec cake. ALL THE CAKE. x

        • Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          Me too! We need another Blen!

          Px

          • Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            Grinning like a loon at the thought of another Blen :D

  17. Bex (GingerBee)
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I love how supportive everyone is. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Crysta through AOW and I’d now consider her one of my best friends (stop running away C!). I would love to meet you all!

    Thankyou for keeping my chin up for me these last few months!

    Bxx

  18. Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Best. Post. Ever.

    Such lovely warm feelings :-) I guess I’m a bit of a freak in that generally I just mind dump in comments… So far no one has tried to chuck me out our even pointed out how badly I construct sentences. So my advice, peeps, is to just go for it! However well you write as long as the point and content is good that’s what people respond to! And if it’s terrible they’ll probably respond anyway..

    I have literally never found a more accepting and welcoming group of women. I have been reading for a year do definitely not since the beginning, and have found some really amazing friends. And I’ve put myself wide open and out there, and only got love back.

    So thanks AOW! <3

  19. Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    What a lovely post Claire! I’ve been lucky enough to meet quite a few of you in real life (even if I do feel a bit weird explaining to IRL friends how I know people – anyone else feel a bit odd having internet friends?!) and everyone is fab :) Looking forward to hearing your plans Bex…

  20. Alice
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Hi :-)

    I’m also a lurker – having only discovered this blog in the past few weeks. I’m currently stuck in a very dull job, and reading your posts keeps me thoroughly entertained, and keeps my brain ticking over when sometimes it feels like it may fall out!! The ‘Find me a random post’ button is literally the best invention in the world!!! The majority of the posts I read feel like advice from a very wise big sister, so I guess, thank you for keeping me busy and sometimes even a little bit inspired!x

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Welcome Alice! So glad you like the ‘find e a random post button’ – you can thank Anna for that little piece of magic! xx

      • Alice
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        I believe she may be an actual genius!!x

    • Hayley
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I do that too when I’m bored at work. ‘Find me a random post’ is a brilliant button (though not sure boss would agree!).

  21. Beth
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Ridiculously excited about the return to six posts a week! The times I’ve expectantly hit refresh on AOW in the last few weeks are too numerous to count. It is the only site on the internet that I absolutely have to check. Guilty of lurking though, so look forward to diving in to whatever it is Bex has planned.

    Lovely pics and great taste in sofas Clare – I have exactly the same one in the same grey cover. As does Carrie in Homeland. She does a lot more surveillance from hers though. (There, I’ve done it, risked a completely inane comment)

    B xx

    • Becca
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      I was just thinking I loved this sofa. Is it comfy? I was a bit worried about the hardness of those square edges?

      • Beth
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        It is super comfy with a few extra cushions! So much so I frequently fall asleep on it

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      She does! I always liked that. I do a lot of surveillance from mine though – mainly surveilling crap TV, but it still counts though, right?

      • Beth
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Certainly! I keep a firm eye on whether any terrorists pop up on Made in Chelsea.

    • Gwen
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I also thought “I have that sofa”…

  22. Hayley
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Ok, it’s the day for de-lurking!
    I echo what everyone has said above – I have always felt I don’t have anything witty/clever/profound to say, despite always wanting to chip in with my two pence worth. This is my second comment (the first being Zan’s AOP, a gorgeous photo that even got shy old me commenting!) and I promise to try harder to not be so self-conscious.
    I would love to come along to a meet up – I’m always whinging to the husband about not knowing anyone since we’ve moved back to the UK, but never do anything about it. Making new friends when you’re an adult seems a lot more daunting than it should be. So, I’ll apologise now for the rambling/nervous laughter/high levels of wine & gin consumption. I can bring cake if it helps?

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Where do you live?

      • Hayley
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        I live in Surrey now, just outside the M25, near the Sussex border.

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      If you bring cake you will likely be kissed by Anna AND Aisling, so if you can cope with that, do it! Welcome Hayley! xx

      • Hayley
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Clare!
        I am quite proud of my millionaires shortbread – do you think that would work?
        PS. Gorgeous photos – Emmi is just beautiful.

        • Clare
          Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

          They would kiss you with tongues for Millionaires Shortbread, I’m quite sure.

        • Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          I live in Surrey! Not the same bit, I live in Staines, but near enough that I am totally up for cake dates. Especially if they involve millionaires shortbread. I promise I’m very friendly.

          KL x

          • Hayley
            Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            A cake date sounds like a great idea! We could always find a halfway point in Surrey…

            • Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

              I would happily get on a train for cake in Surrey (or anywhere else for that matter…)

    • Zan
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Hello Hayley! *waves* I’m really touched that your first AOW comment was on my AOP :)

      And cake will always work!

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        I live in Surrey too!! Lets have a Surrey cake date!

        • Hayley
          Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Meant to add – Caroline – a Surrey cake date is something I would love to do. Where abouts are you?

          • Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

            I’m in Chessington, not far from Kingston. Was born and bred Woking but moved when I met my husband.
            Fee is just up the road and Katie isn’t far…..AOW Surrey branch is certainly adding members thick and fast. Yippee.
            Ps Millionaire Shortbread is my favourite!!

            • Posted July 31, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

              Please can this happen? Oh please, please?! I might tweet you all later, Surrey AOWettes! Sounds amazing.

              KL x

              • Becca
                Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

                Can we Londoners come out for it? I’ll bring a blanket and we can have a cake picnic in the country?

                And cheese. Lots of cheese.

                • Claire
                  Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

                  Totally Becca! Espec if you bring brie!! (Sorry, totally hopping on the cake/cheese picnic bandwagon please…I work in Surrey (Staines) five days a week so that practically makes me a resident right…?) x

                  • Claire
                    Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

                    See I knew that comment was there somewhere. Stupid phone.

                • Claire
                  Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

                  Erm I think my phone ate my last comment but apols if it didn’t and I now comment twice.

                  Becca – totally come, espec if you bring Brie. Though to be fair, I can bring Brie and you can introduce me to new and exciting cheeses!

                  Sorry for butting into the picnic convo, please can I be an honorary Surrey person…? I work there five days a week…(in Staines) and only live in Twickeham so can totally pop anywhere for cake (I’m easily persuaded to do pretty much anything by the promise of cake!) xx

                  • Becca
                    Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

                    Unfortunately I’m a string cheddar only type of girl. None of this high falooting cheese for me.

                    But I’ll bring Brie for you.

                    • Becca
                      Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

                      Strong.

                      Not string.

                      I am not 8

                    • Claire
                      Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

                      Oh phew. I had cheese fear (hate Stilton) but strong cheddar rocks. Espec with chutney.

      • Hayley
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        It was such a lovely photo Zan – the sheer joy just leapt off the screen at me. And the outfit…please please tell me we are going to see more of your day?

  23. Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    These pics are a delight Clare! As are your words and the beautiful sentiment. Am dearly hoping I can get involved with a real life meet up in the not too distant future so looking forward to hearing more about Bex’s idea. We love AOW! x

  24. Lottie
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    As a long time lurker and sometime commenter, I have to say two things. The community here is wonderful but like others I have felt a bit intimidated by the strong friendships that play out on these pages. This WILL make me sound like I have issues, but here goes anyway; I sometimes can’t believe that all these women can be so nice to each other. I guess I feel this way because I haven’t always had kind enough thoughts about myself, so I don’t know why other people are consistently so kind.butt it has been a heartening learning curve to see.

    In turn this brings me to my next point, over the last year and a half in particular, reading AOW has taught me how to accept becoming an expat, losing a job, getting a new job which didn’t look like what I thought I’d ever do, accepting an infertility diagnosis with the ensuing treatment, a miscarriage……..but I feel AOW has been instrumental in letting me know I am not alone and in helping me find ‘me’ again, and not losing sight of that.

    So in thanks, I pledge to become a more active member of this community. Any Other Party (US expat edition) any time soon? Watch out, I may even start a Twitter account and then you’ll never get rid of me!

    Please excuse typos, it’s six am here and typing in bed on phone!

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Get on twitter Lottie! Do it! I’m not as involved on twitter as I’d like to be because of the time difference for me, but honestly, there is such a great community over there, and it might be easier to send a tweet than to write a comment. To anyone who wants to get involved with AOW but doesn’t know where to start…go join twitter now! Or Instagram too – I’m much more active on there, and Aisling has just joined and posts delicious pictures of Stella. xxx

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Do it! Join Twitter, it’s the best way to get to know everyone better, we all post such random things but also have the funniest conversations! I’ve had the most amazing support on there when I’m feeling down and often worry that I couldn’t cope without tweeting :-/ I may be an AOW/Twitter addict! ;)

  25. Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    You’re like the most wonderful parent. You’ve created this community, you’re always there. We may not answer posts, or read posts but you’re always there & welcome us back as if we’ve never been away. You stimulate, educate, make us laugh & think and build up our self confidence. You give a platform for whatever we want to say, be it writing a post or commenting. You’re never arrogant or too big for your boots & you should take more credit for what you’ve created. Thank you x

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Rachel that is the most amazing comment. Thank YOU so much! xx

  26. Ruth
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic post, I needed a de-lurking day! I’m another one who reads and enjoys AOW but something has always put me off from commenting. Shyness maybe, sometimes it feels like trying to join in a conversation with lots of people who are already friends and I don’t have anything wise or profound to add.

    My husband is much more active online and always teases me for lurking but how to be brave and comment when often I’m not even sure what I want to say? I got married in Vegas and thought I should have volunteered a V is for Vegas post when you were doing the A-Z but I’ve never written anything online and wimped out. Maybe I should look back at my photos and do an AOP!

    • Clare
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Yes yes yes! I absolutely insist that you write your AOP for us! And we are always up for a Vegas Wedding story! Welcome Ruth xxx

    • Carly
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      A V is for Vegas?! That would be amazing!

      X

    • Elsie
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      If you do an AOP will it involve Elvis!?

      • Ruth
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Sorry no Elvis. That was my only condition to getting married in Vegas, NO Elvis!!

  27. Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Gah. Damn iPad deleted my comment.

    This post really got me thinking and all the tears followed. I feel so lucky to have stumbled across this wonderful blog almost 2 years ago and even more fortunate to have been accepted into the community of readers literally bursting at the seams with wise, talented, hilariously funny and just plain incredible women.

    I’ve not been as active as I was before The Peas were born but I’m still here and when I do have time time to come and have a read or, if I’m really lucky leave a comment, it feels like I haven’t missed a beat.

    I’ve no doubt that pregnancy, babies and all the gubbins that comes along with it would have been horrendously more difficult without all you ladies, especially those of you fellow #WideAwakeClub members. Because sleep deprived misery loves company too. It’s exciting to watch the next AOW generation grow.

    So a massive thank you to you, Clare, and Anna and Aisling for keeping AOW going because, honestly, at times I don’t know where I’d be without you all. Xxx

    PS absolutely gorgeous photos!!!

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      THIS. One of my friends was lurking on my twitter timeline (hunting for baby pictures I reckon) and said she couldn’t believe the level of support I had on there, where her other friends who have just had babies have found it sometimes isolating she could see what a huge help our network is. You ladies are truly amazing and it’s not just me who thinks so!

      Px

  28. Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow, the pressure of this idea now! I hope you are all as enthusiastic when you know what it is!! It could be SO AWESOME. We need the lurkers to join in too though so please don’t let the fear ruin it! ;)

    This was such an amazing day Clare, I couldn’t wait to see you and Bella and meet Emmi (could you tell, since we had just landed at 10pm the night before yet we’d planned this for our very first day in KL!? Haha!) We had an absolute ball and thanks for being such a wonderful hostess, photographer and now writing such a wonderful post about this community :) I can’t wait to write about this day from my POV and add in all those yummy pics of dinner and cocktails!!

    Love you ALL AOWers!!! xxx

    (P.S. I wish my comments were as amazing as Rachel’s above! Mine just tend to be over-exclamationed with excitement!!! Lurkers, take note of my less than eloquent contributions and join in!)

    • Elsie
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Bex when I read your comments I always think that you come across as someone who is very warm, genuine & enthused for life no matter how un-eloquent you think they are! Totally intrigued by the idea as well

  29. Posted July 31, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Not much more I can add really except that I think I’ve made pretty clear how much I love it here – to the lurkers, some of the wonderful ladies at my wedding I hadn’t met in real life before! I also could easily have added another 20 names in the 6 months since I sent invites but I thought my husband mightn’t appreciate our wedding becoming an AOP! This community has enriched my life enormously. And I was shit scared by my first comment and a WRECK for my first post!

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      I wake up nervous every time I post. I was nearly sick from nerves over my IWD post! Nervous people, you are not alone. And I love you.

      I love you all. I want to hug someone.

      KL x

  30. Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Ahhhhhhh excellent post (and photos) and even more excellent comments – I sort of go in waves of commenting; sometimes I can’t think of something to say that hasn’t already been said! But I still feel part of the fantastic AOW community, and having been brave enough to go to the AOHen earlier in the year it is really good to put faces and voices to names.

    I tend to be a bit of a lurker on other blogs too and don’t tweet very often, but AOW has given me much more confidence particularly after writing my AOP/FTMMM/A-Z (lots of acronyms). Just need to send in that post I’ve had drafted for weeks now…

    Hello to all the new people too!

    K x

  31. Sharon
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Love this post and the pics, and this little corner of the internet generally, and can only echo many of the comments above.
    I took the plunge and signed up to do the AOW race for life, as one of my new years resolutions was to comment more and go to meet ups. However, on the day morning sickness wouldn’t let me go anywhere, let alone get to race for life. In hindsight, I wonder if anxiety was also playing its part, and I felt awful letting everyone down.
    I am really looking forward to Bex’s plan, and hoping to meet some of you in real life soon.
    I live in Kent – are any other AOWers in this area?
    xxx

  32. Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    This is too perfect an opportunity to let pass me by… As a newly-married, I only recently discovered this amazing site whilst looking for something to fill the wedding-blog void. I have quickly become an avid reader (hurrah for the return of daily posts!) and devoured a large chunk of the archive. So I feel like I almost know you all, which means that not commenting is a bit weird and stalkerish. So hello and sorry for lurking.

    Internet friends as a concept is something I definitely still find a bit weird in a lot of ways (flashbacks to frequenting weird teenager chatrooms with my best friend in the late nineties under ridiculous pseudonyms…), but finding communities like this one, full of the sort of people I think I would totally get on with in real life had we met at school/uni/a party, completely turns that on its head.

    Enough rambling and having just started tweeting (yes, I’m behind the times…) I may hop on and say hello over there too…

  33. Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Awww I loved this day and I loved re-living it today, despite, as you know Clare, having soggy pants from an unfortunate boat “shuttle”. I have had to lean on this fantastic community quite a lot over the past 2 years and it never fails to amaze me how great all you ladies are. I can categorically say our husbands don’t understand it and, in a weird way, that makes it even more special! Lots of back-in-the-uk-in-7-days love xx

  34. Fran M
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Yup another lurker here (good job Clare!)…I have commented in the past but haven’t quite got stuck into the AOW community – probably a mixture of being a bit of a scaredypants (echoing fellow lurker posts above) and life getting busy lately and in the way of online time.

    Reading this post has given me the push to get more involved and to come along to an AO meet.. Any midland AOW-ers around by the way??

    P.s. I am on twitter (again intermittently – lame) and follow a few of you guys – I’m @frazzlemcdazzle so if any fellow newbies / lurkers would like to say hi that’d make me feel a little less of a stalker thanks… Oh and the twitter handle felt like a good idea in 2008 – no other explanation for that one :)

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      YES Birmingham – where are you? (and I follow you too I think!)

      • Fran M
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Ooh cool. I’m nearish Leamington Spa, so not far at all :D

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      I’m Leicester based, although I’m happy to travel, and already follow you as well!

      • Fran M
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        Ah yes, I’m sure we’ve tweeted in the past :) Leicester’s not far at all, no excuses for not meeting up and eating cake :)

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      I’m east midlands (Nottingham) and would love to meet up with any AOW readers around here.

      And like pretty much everyone here has already said, I am not cool either. And I feel like I have a borderline worrying tendency to feel like I know people I’ve ‘met’ on the internet, so if that sounds like you too, relax, its totally normal. And its ok. In AOW circles anyway.

      Twitterers, I’m @LucyStendall

      Xxx

      • Fran M
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Hurrah another midlander! I shall look you up on twitter. Definitely up for meeting up, my only conditions are that there is cake and … Actually that’s it :)

      • Carly
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Lucy, I’m near Retford. Not far at all!! X

        • Posted August 1, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

          That’s v close indeed! Cake soon ladies? Let’s organise this! If you are a Midlander email me lucy@lucystendallphotography.co.uk

          Baby Rory is always on the lookout for more AOW aunties though, so beware of his secret charming ways…

          • Fran M
            Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Baby AND cake? Yes I’m sold.

    • Liz
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Mine is @lizmcwhizz – like minds, ha ha!

      • Fran M
        Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Haha great name ;)

  35. Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I think Rachel put it beautifully: you created something wonderful, Clare. In all the years of reading all I’ve ever seen is a warm, welcoming community. Everyone’s opinions are respected, even if others disagree with them. It’s absolutely lovely. Meeting up with some of the community in “real life” has just confirmed this. Even though I’ve been rather quiet at the moment (life sometimes gets in the way of commenting!), I still start my day by checking AOW and reading whatever has been posted. I know I’m a happier and better person for finding this blog!

  36. Liz
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Ah, I love AOW! I leave semi-regular comments and have written a couple of posts but still feel like I’ve not immersed myself in the community…I’ve been a bit slow at joining the twitter party and am a complete newbie there- I always feel like it would be butting in on other people’s conversations and cop out! I should be braver!
    Also, I keep thinking how much my friends would love AOW, then wimp out of telling them about it as I think I’d feel a wally if they read my comments or posts (which ironically was about missing friends who had moved far away)
    So in short I guess I should get more brave and involved!

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Always butt in, always!

      I can’t tell you the number of times i’ve laughed out loud/ felt a rush of happiness or support from the conversations with AOWers from butting in. Do it, you won’t regret it and as Aisling told me when I was stressing about joining twitter ‘Twitter isnt fussy’

      Great advice Aisling.

  37. Amanda M
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I have discovered an obsession with YA fiction thanks to a post on here by Mahj, got some brilliant honeymoon recommendations via the AOW twittering community from Dizzy Girl and am now the proud owner of two maxim skirts because of Be Olive Dragonfly. Enrichment much?! Thanks AOW.

    PS My husband also harbours a suspicion that you’re all burly truckers! I tell him this is the modern equivalent of a pen pal.

  38. Amanda M
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    PPS Great frocks Bella and Bex (although I think someone else may have stolen the show!)

  39. Amanda M
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    PPS Great frocks from Bella and Bex (although they may have been upstaged by a blonde bombshell!)

    • Amanda M
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Sorry for the almost duplicate comments – v hard from mobile. Predictive text wanted to call Emmi a bookshelf rather than bombshell!

  40. Posted July 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    My husband just referred to you all as “the Internet women” It made me smile!

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      My mum and dad are a bit obsessed with ‘the Internet girls’ – my mum wants to be one! She’s even emailed Bex!

      • Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        It’s true! I was so chuffed :) I remember her coming up to us at the wedding and asking, are you the internet girls?! :D We all proudly and excitedly screeched – WE ARE! I’m surprised we didn’t scare her off entirely! ;)

        • Posted August 1, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          Ah yes how ace is Amy’s mum, I love the term the internet girls :D

  41. Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Can I also apologise for promising and failing to arrange Any Other Karaoke – I promise I will!!

    • Gemma N
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Ooh yay. I will be brave and come, would be lovely to meet some of the London crowd before I leave.

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Do it! I will come! I’d love to come xx

      • Posted August 1, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        I may have to gatecrash the London meet up as well as going to the Surrey one as I work in London and live in Surrey.
        #allthecake

  42. Gemma N
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I read this post this morning on the train and got a little teary (blaming the hormones!). But have had such a hectic day haven’t had chance to comment. Now on my way home I’ve read all the lovely comments and wanted to add my own. 

    I’ve been reading and occasionally commenting for a few months, and joining in some of the twitter chat. As it seems everyone does am still feeling a bit nervous and think those who respond to me on twitter are probably just being too polite to ignore me. In particular if I haven’t commented for a little while I start to stress again that I’m not part of the gang or think I need to apologize for not being around. 

    Think this all comes from a previous experience of ‘internet friends’ – I used to frequent a wedding forum a few years ago when wedding planning. There was a group that I chatted to regularly on there that then migrated into a Facebook group and eventually met up a few times. It was all nice to begin with but then it became the norm that everyone was posting in the (private) group every day and I didn’t always have time. It also started to feel very cliquey and I realised that post wedding I didn’t have that much in common with some of the girls, particularly the one who was the ‘loudest’ if you know what i mean online. So I felt I needed to be apologetic if I hadn’t been in the group for a couple of days, and then because of this I went in less and less and it was a vicious circle. I realised I was actually stressing about it quite a bit and that was a bit weird considering these were supposed to be my friends so I decided to just leave the Facebook group and be done with it. Just as I’d decided this and was going to tell others why I was leaving I had a message from one of them basically kicking me out! All sounds a bit ridiculous now I write it down, like being back at school. Anyway think its made me a bit nervous about ‘Internet friends’ and meet ups even though on the face of it you all seem lovely and not at all cliquey. 

    But this post and all the comments have made me think not to tar everyone with the same brush, I’ll comment when I feel like and have time and not stress if I haven’t been commenting for a while for whatever reason. I don’t think you’re keeping tabs on us all??!! 

    Also I’m starting maternity leave, and moving to a new city in a few weeks so think I will be spending a lot more time online. I’ll also need the friends and company as I know no-one there!! If any AOWers are in Southampton drop me a line, I need some new friends!! 

    Ok that’s enough rambling, thanks Clare and you all for being lovely. Xx

    • Becca
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Pfffffft.

      We don’t do that here.

    • Gemma N
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Mmm, other reason I stress about commenting is they always end up mega long. I’ll try and keep future comments shorter than the actual blog post. :)

    • Rach
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Gem! I’m in Southampton :) We MUST meet for lots and lots of cake! (mat leave rules btw, I’m currently 7 months into mine!)

  43. Flick
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Great post Clare – I particularly love Emmi’s frilly knickers. I need to get me some of them – they do them in adult sizes, yes?!

    I am also a terrible lurker. I keep meaning to comment more and excuse myself by saying that the time difference is too hard – I live in America and by the time I’m reading everyone has already posted. But really, I think I just have the fear, and need to be brave and just post anyway. And we definitely need an expat group – if anyone is ever coming to San Francisco I’ll feed you all the cake in return for supplies of Robinsons Orange Squash!

  44. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Late to this as ever but just wanted to add my thanks to you Clare, and to Anna and Aisling, for this amazing place. I was very nervous before coming to AOP last year (Gemma was warned she might have to drag me in off the street!) but I had such a great time. As for Race for Life recently I felt BEYOND honoured to be part of such a fabulous team of women and can’t wait to do it again. Thank you ladies for all that you have made here.

  45. Jen
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Good to know there are other lurkers! I read regularly but have been anxious about commenting – this is a fab post (and comments too) and I’m going to be commenting more from now on.

  46. Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve said it before, but the community you guys have created is wonderful and you should be so proud. I could list a million reasons why, most have been mentioned above by woman I am lucky enough to have met in real life. The simplest is reading this blog makes me smile time and time again, even when life has been shit. Yay to more AOW meet ups!

    Xxx

    ps Lurkers come join in please :)

  47. Rach
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Love this post, the comments and the incredible AOW community SO HARD.

    I’ve been so very lucky to have met lots of you lovely ladies already and I marvel pretty much every day at the amount of support, love and encouragement that we all have for each other. It makes me very happy :)

  48. Sarah
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been reading since the beginning, through my own wedding, pregnancy and baby amongst other life events! I comment when I feel I have something worthwhile to add and even got brave enough to write a post for the A-Z of being married, and took part in Bookswap (best.idea.ever) but still not managed to brave a meet up. I feel like I know lots of people but still not always brave enough to join in Twitter chats etc.
    But AOW is my favourite place on the Internet, so maybe I should! There’s always a post that resonates with me.
    Thanks to the three of you for keeping it going
    x

  49. Fletch
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Late in to this post (and, um, a couple of months late in commenting in general!) but this post and all the lovely 120 odd comments just sum up what an incredible community AOW is…. Supportive, welcoming, kind, genuine. I’m not sure of any other community – online or otherwise – where anyone is welcomed so warmly. Although all us newbies seem to be arriving with the promises of cake, which always opens doors ;-)

    Think I’ll stick in a cheeky Any Other Photo as a way of saying hi properly!

  50. Aisling
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I have no computer at the moment – stupidmovinghousestupidpackingstupidstupidgrumble – and my phone always behaves very strangely when I try to comment. HOWEVER. It occurred to me that writing my comment in the Notes section of my phone and then c&p’ing it in would work. I’m a genius. (No need to tell me if you knew that trick already. Really, no need.)

    So.much.to.say. It has all been said already and I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but each and every one of you is welcome here. Each one of you brings something amazing and unique and wonderful and AOW would not be what it is – this crazy, oversharing, magical community – without you.

    For those of you who’ve mentioned feeling overwhelmed by the close friendships you see on these pages, remember that none of us (with, I *think*, the exception of Caroline and Fee) knew each other 3 years ago. Literally. It was 2nd August 2010 when I met my first ‘Internet friend’ – one Anna K – and almost 3 years to the day she is my best friend. I met Rach later that year, now we speak every.single.day and our beautiful babies play together. Clare lives on the other side of the world, we’ve been in the same room maybe 5 times, yet she’s the most supportive constant in my life. I could say similar things about so many of these ladies and it’s my hope (dream? Too passionate?!) that I can meet more and more of you and introduce more and more of you to each other; watching more incomparably brilliant women meet and forge amazing friendship bonds would be sensational.

    Am waffling now. I blame the ridiculous heat of my bath (hiiiii, brilliant mental image! Commenting from my bath. Yes.) and my moving-house-tomorrow-wine.

    You’re all brilliant.

    • Posted July 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      I love the oversharing, Aisling in the bath thoughts and all (hmmm, that sounds creepy, ah well!), oversharing is how I discovered about double panting!

      • Posted August 1, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

        I love that no matter what the topic we always end up on double panting. It’s quite an amazing feat. Like how my brother in law moans because every time me and my sisters are together we always end up talking about boobs. Uncanny.

  51. Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow – how have I missed this all today?! I love this place and what you ladies do here. I don’t always comment that much at the moment due to new job etc, but I love that everyone is here and that I can drop in and out. Whatever is going on in life, there’s always someone else here going through something similar – job hunts, marriage, moving house and everything else. This little corner of the internet and the wonderful women here have make me laugh, cry and think more confidently about issues I might not have really considered before, for which I say thank you to you all. The few AOWers I’ve met made me feel at home right away and I can’t wait to meet more of you. My husband is just disappointed there isn’t a men’s branch!

    Also, for any lurkers, I live in London and I will bring cake. When are we meeting?

    • Alan
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Kitchen – five minutes? ;-)

      Seriously though … I found this site immensely useful to get some wedding advice from people who had been there and done it, even if not written from the male perspective!

      I do still plan to do an AOP for our wedding too :-)

      Mr F

  52. mysparethoughts
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Always read and mean to comment but my stupid phone seems to make it soo much harder than necessary. When I finally get near a computer it is three days later and everything has been said. Will try harder to comment so apologies in advance for the spelling mistakes and randomness. Love the AOW Twitter community.

  53. Posted August 1, 2013 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Well, I think I’m commenting the latest on this, sorry!

    I’m definitely guilty of being a lurker, and generally feeling that I don’t have anything much to add to other comments that people have made, but I will try and make an effort to comment more, even if its just to say hello!

    • Posted August 1, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      No such thing as just a hello! But hello Emma *waves*

      People love to get comments on their posts even if it’s just to agree with a points that made, to send some hugs or to laugh out loud…

  54. Emily
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Ok so I am definitely going to be the last one to this party! I have probably made about three comments in the time that I have been reading this brilliant blog. I should probably get working on increasing that number as there are so many posts that get me thinking and have me nodding my head and getting excited, especially books and cake (I feel a running theme developing in the community)! I’m another one that sees all the amazing friendships developing here and wishes I had more friends like that but you know, at the age of 30, I should be able to attempt to do something about it!
    I am definitely going to try and get involved in the next London-based activity. I was so sad to miss Race for Life (so sorry I never replied to any of the emails) but the loss of my beloved grandma took me offline for a while.
    Keep up the good work ladies! You appear to be keeping a lot of lovely people smiling!

    • Emily
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I should also add that I am another London-based reader and had the pressure of sending books to Olive Dragonfly Bex for Book Swap! Seemed to do ok with that. Also got extremely heart-in-mouth nervous when my review was posted here. I’m @EmilyDiprose – might try and say hello when I’m feeling brave. And now I’m going to stop rambling!

  55. Sarah
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Ok, de-lurking here too. A day too late, but better than never eh? I’m a frequent reader but very infrequent commenter, and I really need to overcome the fear! Often it’s because I’m just not sure what I could add to the conversation. Today that’s true too, so will just add a big fat ditto to all of the above, and leave it at that! Keep up the good work all xx

  56. Rach M
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I’m incredibly late commenting on this one, sorry guys, been a busy week with moving back to London from Hong Kong. But I’m starting to sit down and catch my breath again and I bloody loved reading this post. You put it so beautifully, Clare, that is just how this community is. I was a lurker until I wrote my first post and realised how great it is to get comments. After that I vowed to comment (and go through with it! Not delete. I was a real deleter one time). This community means the world to be and was a real anchor and inspiration for me during my recent year away as an ex pat (post about this coming, promise!). I haven’t been to any of the meet ups but Bella came to Hong Kong and we got on like a goose on fire. I’m mad keen to meet everyone now I’m back in the UK. Had an actual physical pain in my guts over missing the KL meet up (school hadn’t finished yet- bah!). This community is so wonderful. Thank you Clare, Aisling & Anna for creating it, and everyone else for taking part and for making my day, most days. Xxx

    Ps-thrilled there’ll be 6 posts a week again soon! Woop

  57. Rach M
    Posted August 2, 2013 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    A house! A house on fire!

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About

Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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image by Lucy Stendall Photography

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