NOTE - There WILL be swearing in this post, so if it offends you please don't continue to read (Noelle would expect NOTHING less from me)
I don't often write Blog posts that are not related to books, but this one is for my friend. Noelle Holten. Now this may sound weird but I have never met Noelle in the flesh. We became friends over our love of books, and she subsequently started as a guest reviewer for me here at BCB, before finally starting up her own blog (insert proud moment here). I have had many people ask me how I can be friends with someone I haven't met. My response is normally to tell them to fuck right off as they have no clue, but in all honesty it's very simple. I don't have to have actually met the person, you spend time sharing posts, commenting and before you know it emailing and before long you consider them friends.
In the last few years there has been a small cluster of us 'book nerds' and I consider them all to be friends. I really feel like FB is generating its own Book Crew which I am very proud to be part of. Some of the people involved are Amanda Oughton, Vicki Wilkinson, Sarah Hardy, Alexina Golding and Joseph Calleja (just to name a few). There are also avid followers of our Blogs who are also a part of this little group (Angela Lockwood and Beverley Hopper instantly come to mind). In addition some of the authors we read such as Mel Comley, Angie Marsons, Caroline Mitchell, Steven Dunne, Mike Craven and Col Bury to name a few actually chat to us and before you know it you you have another few friends to add to that crew. Some people may look and think we are crazy, but in my mind my experience of making friends and interacting with these people regularly whether I have met them or not is irrelevant. When you are feeling like crap you can easily get picked up by a few kind words.
Noelle has been a very good friend to me in the time I've known her and I am so excited that we are finally ( a few of us) getting to meet up next year at the next Harrogate event. One thing I know about Noelle is that her 2 pets are her babies. Pebble her cat and Buster her dog are a constant source of amusement and I feel like I know her animals as well as I do her as she regularly updates us with their antics. I was absolutely devastated for her last week when her cat Pebbles passed away. If you saw the comments that her friends posted on Facebook you would realise it's totally irrelevant whether Noelle had met each one in person, we were all there with a few kind words or just to tell her that we were thinking about her.
Noelle sweetie, I am so sad for you but I'm sure that Pebs is stalking around with attitude wherever she is. I hope that the outpouring of support and kind words made it feel like you had people behind you at a horrible time. No matter what anybody else says, I will always count you as a very good friend. I thought it only fitting that I use my blog as a way of saying thank you for being my friend and being so supportive of me.
I also wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to all my other Facebook pals. No I may never have met you, and yes I know I'm a potty mouth etc etc, but sometimes it's a great feeling to know that people are willing to put themselves out there with funny posts or a nice comment just to cheer you up. It also helps that 99% of you are as book crazy as I am, It may seem strange to others that don't use social networking, but for me this is just an addition to my friends I see regularly. I am always grateful for each and every comment, like, or just the general chit chat that goes on.
I can only hope that I get to meet as many of the Book Crew as possible next year as it's always nice to put a face to the name, but if not... he constant banter and book related chat will hopefully continue. Noelle, I also wanted to say I am SO chuffed you finally went out and did your own blog, as it's awesome (now we have to work on Amanda:-)). For the people that bother to read this post, if you are at all book crazy like we are, then check out the Crews Book Blogs in the links to the side of my Blog.
Noelle...you're a star!