Tuesday, 13 November 2012

What Tim would have wanted.

“OMG I’m in love with Tim Dowling!” I write on Facebook on Sunday morning after the Mumsnet Blogfest conference. “He has replied to my tweet - twice - and has just re-tweeted my blog. We will now have raging affair and run away to America.”

“That’s lovely darling,” replies friend, “But who is Tim Dowling?”

Ah! I forget. Not everyone is obsessed with journalists. Not everyone lives hermit-like existence holed up in terraced house in south London with three boys, reading all the newspapers and in particular all the columns and life-style pieces in the weekend supplements.

I reply: “Is sexy, American, Guardian columnist. Writes a lot about his three boys.” Then I include a link. As I do here…

Tim Dowling
Tim Dowling is a journalist and author. Dowling moved to the UK at the age of 27 and currently lives in London with his wife and three children.Wikipedia
Born: 1963


I owe it all to my friend V, the torrid affair I’m about to embark on with Tim Dowling, that is.

Everyone needs a friend like V: wise, kind, clever, dishes out spot-on advice. It was V who suggested I start a blog, “Because you love to tell stories,” which is true, I do. And it was V who said I should tweet. 

I ignored Middle One, who disdainfully told me only self-absorbed teenaged girls and celebrities tweet, and followed V’s advice. 

Unfortunately some of my early forays weren’t all that successful. I didn’t know what D M meant, for example. So when Marks and Spencer suddenly responded to my tweet about them: “So out of love with M & S - and it’s definitely them, not me,” asking me to, “D M them with the order number,” (they had refused to honour 20% off, that THEY HAD SENT ME, after online order crashed), I hadn’t a clue what they meant.

Worse, I mistakenly tweeted a friend’s husband late at night and he replied asking if it was a “Booty call”. I had to look that up and I can tell you now, it wasn’t.

I’d barely ever used a hashtag but did so before the Blogfest: “Don't know what to wear, thinking of tartan leggings...” (fascinating stuff this tweeting lark, isn’t it?), "Am I too old?” Then I added, “Don’t answer that,” for good measure. Heaven forbid someone might give me a considered opinion.

Later, I saw that Tim Dowling had written much the same, so I tweeted back suggesting skin-tight tartan leggings might work for him too. I didn’t get a reply. Or expect one.

So when I saw him sitting up there on the stage at the event, I tweeted: “You look lovely. Even more handsome in the flesh.” Which honestly he did - and younger too. (He also has an American accent! Duh. Of course. So now whenever I read his column I will have to read it with one. In my head. I’m not that mad.)

And to my delight and amazement he tweeted back on Sunday morning: “Yours was the first tweet quoted when I did my “HERE IS WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT ME” debrief for my wife.” 

As an aside I should add that, sadly, he is very obviously deeply in love with his wife. I know this because I read between lines and it is clearly all there in black and white between the lines in his column, and also because when he was talking at Blogfest he said he knows he’s got it right when his wife laughs.” The whole audience sighed at that. Me included.

I will tweet back, I thought, but must not look too keen so waited all of ten minutes before replying: “Great. Can I have that tenner now?” And I didn’t even put an exclamation mark. I was that cool. And I thought that was the end of it. It was enough for me. My cup was runneth-ing over all over the place, but there was more. 

He replied with: “Shhh, not here.” Which was really quite flirty and had me smiling happily to myself while scrambling eggs for the four unappreciative males in my life. But then there was even more. More more, you might say.

After I wrote my blog (see previous), I tweeted it out there into the blogosphere (see how I know all the lingo now?) and included Tim, with others, and he re-tweeted it. I’ll just repeat that in case you missed it. Tim Dowling re-tweeted my blog. And so did Mumsnet.

Which is why I’ve had loads more readers this week, about one thousand percent more. People who have absolutely never read my blog before are now reading it, and by the way, if that’s you, please stay. 

I think it’s what Tim would have wanted.

Thank you.

And please comment if you wish. Apparently google knows and it's good for the blog.

This is V and me in the playground at school... 



  1. Ha ha! But I'm sure there's a sexier picture out there... we await his shirtless one with bated breath

  2. Enjoyed your blog, I will be staying. hat's the great thing about the blogfest- you get to know about loads more brilliant bloggers.

    1. Thanks so much. Enjoyed yours too! Happy blogging. E x