Monday, August 28, 2006

The blessings of friendship

Those of you who read Sylvie's blog probably know already that we finally met in real life last Thursday, after a year's correspondence and blosoming friendship.

When one gets to meet "for real" someone one knows through the Internet, a little anxiety is usual - what if we were disappointed in each other? What if we didn't connect? Wouldn't it be best to stay on one's good impressions?
Yet when Sylvie suggested she came to Paris during her holidays, I didn't feel any of those scruples. Our friendship has grown so steadily and happily since I met her through Becky's SBEBB board at the end of last Summer; we've always found ground for deep understanding, never for disagreement. Actually, the closer our meeting date was getting, the more thrilled I was growing.

I was so afraid to be late at the station that I arrived 30 minutes early (Paris has four main train stations and I don't know the gare Saint-Lazare too well). But the chill of that rainy and cold day vanished when Sylvie finally appeared amongst the travelers from Normandy. Her luminous face and sweet smile were even better than anything I'd imagined.

Once we were home, Violette first affected coyness: after she enjoyed a few cuddles, she decided it would be more dignified to go sulk under the bed. Fortunately, Sébastien made a round trip from his lab just to meet Sylvie and take our pictures - and he took Violette from under the bed. Little Miss Cutie (a translation for P'tite Mignonne, which is how we actually call Violette) decided to stay with us from then on.

Just look how enraptured Violette was with her new friend:
Sébastien told me later that we looked like sisters...

Sylvie didn't come empty-handed: she'd brought a pretty blue bag (which Little miss Cutie dutifully searched) from which she took a delicious cake for dessert, and lovely gifties.
She gave me the stitching of a kitty inserted into a box which she'd also decorated, and an adorable fabric cat sewn from Tournicoton's pattern. Both gifts match perfectly the flat's colours.

I gave Sylvie her birthday gift a couple of weeks in advance:

Even Violette was spoiled: she got a catnip toy.
She has hardly left it since last Thursday...

(this picture was taken on Sunday)

After lunch, time just flew away. I still haven't figured out where some of the afternonn's hours went. I looked at my watch, thinking we had still plenty of time left before leaving - but we were actually running late!
We talked about so many things - stitching of course (Sylvie showed me her latest work, all lovely, including her Celtic Banner whose length is truly impressive); but we did not merely chat about stiching or cats - our kinship ranges far beyond either topic, although they did initiate our relationship last year.

I rarely saw time passing so quickly. Sylvie even missed her train... I was so so sorry about that, since that meant she'd be home late. I would gladly have her stay overnight, but Plume (her cat) had been left alone... As Sylvie remarked, though, this gave us at least time to part properly before she caught the next train.

Just as Sylvie does, I find it truly difficult to fully express the profound happiness this meeting - as well as her continued friendship - have brought me; but what matters in the end is that she senses it too and that we understand each other.
I cannot thank Becky enough for allowing us to "find" each other. If it were not for the SBEBB, I don't know whether our virtual paths would have ever crossed.

I can't wait for us to meet again!