The first I saw was Alex Halavais, at the IIPC meeting. I didn't talk to him though - there's that natural Scandinavian shyness (OK, I hear people cracking up all over the world at the concept of me and shyness, but it's there, I swear!) which kept me from talking - until I cornered him at the campus in Sussex, shook his hand and told him his remarks at the meeting made perfect sense.
Lisbeth, Anders and Lilia were already old friends. Lilia slipped into the "honorary Scandinavian Gamer" category seamlessly. The next totally new face to me belonged to the woman behind Planned Obsolesence. Kathleen Fitzpatrick confused me, as her physical presence had nothing to do with the blog. Alex Halavais skirted close to these dangerous waters as he said to Lilia and me that we were not like our blogs. When pressed, he said he could no longer tell me how the woman writing "thinking with my fingers" was like, as I had become three-dimentional. Nice save, Alex. But now, thinking about it, I know what you mean. Planned Obsolesence has compressed from my image of a tall scandinavian woman, kind of like - umm - me, to the dainty dark and vivacious Kathleen. An improvement, really.
There were others. Kaye Trammell both looked and talked like her blog, and her presentations confirmed the impression. No, I don't mean Kaye Trammell is orange, khaki and pink, but she appeared tidy, together, and straightforward. Somebody whose appearance did not surprise me at all was Netwoman Tracy Kennedy. OK, she did surprise me a little, she looks much better in real life than in her blog picture. But I had time for nothing much more than a quick "oh, so NICE to see you". Or perhaps I had time, but that Scandinavian shyness kicked in.
I think Mia Consalvo was there too, but I didn't manage to track her down. And on the list of rants on the AOIR conference in Brighton, add the small print on the nametags. Putting my nose all the way up to an other person's bosom, trying to locate Mia Consalvo is DEFINITELY over the limit for that Scandinavian shyness.
I know there were other bloggers, but I really could not recognize them. The reason may have been, as Alex was daring enough to mention, because the blogs and the persons were so different. Lilia spent an evening trying to drag out of Alex his pre-face-to-face impression of her, failing. I have to say, the real Alex Halavais is a lot more daring and also a lot more diplomatic than I had imagined from his weblog. And he needed it that night.
I have to admit, I have looked more carefully at my blog since I came home, trying to figure out the woman behind it. To me, it looks like a mess of different interests. Hopefully, my appearance in the flesh is a little more together than the blog image. Or perhaps just - rounder?