My blog is in the Pinelands Muse!

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following comment on my blog:

“Dear Reggie

Really enjoyed your very interesting blog on your walk in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, particularly the photographs and the facts that accompany them, makes the story educational as well.
The editor of the MUSE magazine has asked if you would be willing to be interviewed for an article in our next edition. Please contact me on the email address supplied.
Many Thanks
Glynnis”

Once I had picked myself up from the floor, I re-read the comment and pinched myself. Nope, I wasn’t dreaming.

The venue of our meeting is the Millstone Farm Stall - with resident pig Milly May

The Pinelands Muse is a community magazine that is published once a month by Pinelands residents, Max and Glynnis Schutte. They also run the Pinelands Directory, which is an online directory of local news, events, people and places in our beautiful leafy suburb of Cape Town. And they decided to celebrate the 5th birthday of the Pinelands Directory by bringing out the first issue of what has become a monthly magazine in October last year (you can peruse the previous editions of the Muse here).

Around that time, Glynnis had left a comment on my blog, in response to a post I’d written about the Millstone Farm Stall in the Oude Molen Eco Village. She had been doing research on the Village for an article in the Muse.

It probably won’t surprise you that I did a little dance of excitement down the passage, to where hubby was peacefully reading the paper on the dining room table.

“Honey! The MUSE wants to interview me!”

“Who’s the muse?”

“The PINELANDS MUSE! They want to interview me about my blog!”

“Oh, wow, that’s excellent!”

“Yes, it is, isn’t it?” I beamed back excitedly.

And suddenly, I froze.

Hiding behind the camera (photo by Glynnis)

An interview? But that would mean people would know who I was. Did I really want that?

I liked being anonymous on the web… not that I’m entirely incognito, of course. Apart from family and friends, and some of the people from the Defence Reserves who read the things I write about military events, there’s fellow-bloggers from around South Africa and the world who have become blog-friends and loyal followers over the last few months and years. But most of the people who visit don’t leave comments, so I never even know who they are.

Similarly, most of my readers don’t really know who I am, and I’ve kinda liked that. It felt safe. I could hide behind my camera, floating around the edges of events, observing and taking photos, chatting to people, and just being me. I didn’t have to live up to expectations, or perform on cue, or be really clever or insightful or knowledgeable. Because I often wasn’t any of those things. Sometimes I just felt unsure, nervous, out of place, shy…

I was in a quandary.

Should I politely decline, and retreat into my safe zone? Or should I email her back, and say yes? I vacillated for a couple of days. Privacy? Or publicity?Β  Yes? No?

Eventually, hubby cornered me, sternly: “Have you contacted Glynnis yet?”

I ummed… Hung my head in shame… And sent off that email.

Investigative reporter Glynnis in action

A couple of days later, she and I met face-to-face for an interview over tea and chocolate brownies at the Millstone Farm Stallin Oude Molen. It seemed a fitting venue, as it was the Millstone that had connected us in the first place. And to my great relief, we talked as easily as though we’d known each other for ages.

Two hours later, the informal “formal” part of the interview was complete, and we took out our cameras (discovering that we both used a Canon EOS 550D!) and ambled around to the back of the farm stall to check out Milly May’s six piglets, which I had first written about at the start of November last year. I hadn’t taken any photos of them since mid-November, when they’d already grown quite a bit, and I was curious to see how much they’d grown in the last months.

One of Milly May's feisty young'uns

When we arrived at Milly May’s sty, there was only Milly and one lonely piglet left. And you really couldn’t call the black girl piggy a piglet anymore, by any stretch of the imagination. However, she was a thoroughly affectionate piggy, who promptly came over for a tummy-scratch… and naturally we obliged.

I found out later from Linda, who runs the Millstone Farm Stall, that the girl piggy is called Bella (though the school kindergarten teacher calls her Snowflake, and the guys behind the tills call her Shirley) – so take your pick! Linda also confirmed that four of the piglets were given to good homes (vegetarian – or at least non-bacon-eating! – homes) and the fifth was given to the Congolese owner of Sebastian, the precocious and naughty Daddy pig who had caused the whole debacle in the first place!

Bella, Milly May and Holly (the Jack Russell) pose for a group photo

We walked around to the horse paddocks, and took some photos of the horses being fed, before reluctantly saying goodbye and heading our separate ways once more.

Today, I picked up the latest issue of the Pinelands Muse from Glynnis. Here is the article she’d written about my blog (in PDF format): PinelandsMuse-March2011. If you’d like to read the rest of the March edition, click your way on over to here.

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27 thoughts on “My blog is in the Pinelands Muse!

  1. Hi Reggie

    Guess who ran down the passageway exclaiming “we’ve been blogged!” πŸ™‚ Max had to think twice as to whether I had said blogged or robbed because I was quite excited. Thank you again for the interview and photographs. I know many Pinelanders will find the article interesting and I hope they visit your lovely blog too.

    I look forward to being a regular on your blog site.

    All the best

    Glynnis

  2. Congratulations on the interview and article! I think it’s great that Glynnis persuaded you to come out of hiding. I agree with your blogging tips – especially #1.

    To Glynnis: Great article! You’ve got a very professional looking magazine with interesting content.

    • Thanks, Alison.

      To turn the spotlight right back on you, I see with great delight that you have finally come out of hiding too – well done with the launch of your new blog! May you rapidly accumulate an enthusiastic following. I just *know* you’re going to love sharing your writings with the world. Hugs.

  3. Reggie, this is fabulous! I am so excited for you (and it looks like others are as well…) Interesting about your nervousness. When the reporter interviewed me about the outdoor commitment my first response was similar to yours. But it was amazing how easy the interview flowed. I’m sure it was the same way for you. Congratulations again! Smiling toward South Africa with happiness…

    • Thank you, Al. It was a wonderful validation of what I’ve been doing these last two years – really nice to know that people enjoy reading my ‘stuff’, and it’s even nicer when it nudges others to explore the world outside the internet, wherever they’re located in the world.

      I feel just as proud to have a talented artist, musician, composer and singer like you in my blogroll!

  4. Congratulations Reggie, this was a wise step to take. I think you are doing a great job by posting serious and interesting articles combined with informative photos from your area. Your work deserves to come out to as many as possible. I have learned a lot myself already, and think of South Africa in a new way.

    The portrait is very nice. πŸ™‚

    • When the weatherman announced a heat wave with temperatures up to 37Β°C, I promptly closed all the curtains and shut the doors. And gave the garden and the potplants a thorough soaking in the early morning hours!

      Yes, the feedback has been wonderful. It’s nice to be appreciated. πŸ˜‰

  5. Pingback: The Pinelands Muse celebrates its first anniversary: Looking back over the last 12 months « Grains of Sand

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