A couple of weeks ago, I received the following comment on my blog:
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.
Once I had picked myself up from the floor, I re-read the comment and pinched myself. Nope, I wasn’t dreaming.
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.
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? Yes? No?
Eventually, hubby cornered me, sternly: “Have you contacted Glynnis yet?”
I ummed… Hung my head in shame… And sent off that email.
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.
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!
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.