The great Balmoral blogmeet

A historical slice of time…

Damian Clarke
Apr 2 · 4 min read

We’re to the right of the bandstand, over near the path. You can’t miss me — I’m sitting alone on a blanket, wearing a hat and some rather ridiculous sunglasses.

Balmoral Beach Rotunda (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

OK. I’ll be down in about fifteen minutes.

We are doing the family thing for Easter — a few days in Sydney, a few in Brisbane, then home to London. We have one day on the weekend to catch-up with our friends — Sunday — the day we arrive. We land before 6am, go out for breakfast, home for a snooze and a shower, then down to Balmoral Beach by 2pm for a picnic.

We are exhausted.

One friend we have invited is Tokyo Girl — a friend we hadn’t met yet.

She arrives.

She is lovely — bright, witty and knowledgeable. We discuss blogging, then talk shop about writing, publishers and agents, and our book groups. Thirty five seconds later we give up and start to gossip about Petite’s book deal — we know nothing, suppose a lot, hope the rumours are true and agree that she deserves it.

Twenty minutes later, I am surrounded by guests and feel that I must mingle. I ask Uncle Phil to take a photo of us — a very specific photo that protects our secret identities. Never give your camera to someone who is an amateur photographer and camera collector . Four photos later we have three very nice head shots of Tokyo, and the one shot I asked for. Allowed any more time with the camera, he would have been on the ground, the shutter on rapid-fire, shouting,

Work with me baby, work with me — this could be on the cover…

I left Tokyo to her own devices.She proved remarkably adept at fending off my mother’s advances,

Would you like some cheese on a biscuit?

Oh, no thankyou.

A chip then — just a chip.

No thankyou, really, I just had lunch.

Mum turns to another guest

“This is Tokyo — she’s a blogger, and she doesn’t eat anything”

turning back,

“would you like some flavoured mineral water — it’s diet?”

I fell into the warm embrace of family and friends.

Later, after a dinner of fish and chips on the beach with my supremely talented cousin and his lovely girlfriend [she’s now his wife], Mrs Albion says,

Tokyo stayed for a long time — she seemed to be enjoying herself.

Well, she was talking to Roman.

Roman is enough to keep you at a party — it’s not every day you meet someone who has inspired a film.

Despite the absence of The Beautiful Revolutionary, Capitan Anna, Petite and Cheerful, I declare the Balmoral Blogmeet a great success.

Copyright © Damian Clarke. Originally posted on the Our Albion blog, April 2nd, 2007 under Out of Albion.


Comment from Tokyo Girl
Time: April 3, 2007, 11:09 am

I ate three grapes, so I’m set up until next Christmas now.

Comment from Cheerful One
Time: April 7, 2007, 11:29 am


Glad to hear you had a good one.
I think it’s about time someone organised another blogmeet.

Comment from Tokyo Girl
Time: April 8, 2007, 9:42 am

Thanks for the photos; they’re great. It was lovely meeting you and Mrs Albion last week. Enjoy the rest of your time in Australia.

Comment from Will
Time: April 9, 2007, 3:21 am

Oh, but I do. If you think you understand my writing so clearly, then you clearly misunderstand my writing.

I suppose the same must be true of me for you to take such offense, but all the same, such creative rudeness is hardly necessary.

[These comments from Will leaked across from a conversation on Tokyo Girl’s blog where a Will was trolling her writing]

Comment from Damian
Time: April 9, 2007, 9:17 am


I don’t really care how you write, or what about. But when I saw your comment on Tokyo’s blog I couldn’t let it rest.

Bloggers are amateurs, we’re writing without fear or favour, and giving it to you for free. While I think it’s reasonable to take issue with a blogger’s views in their comments box, I think it is totally unreasonable to take issue with their writing — unless they ask for it. So I thought I’d see how it made you feel to cop the treatment that you were dishing.

That you bothered to respond to me says as much about you as Tokyo not bothering to respond to you, says about her. The fact is, she’s a good writer — and an easy read. Your criticism was unwarranted.

I meet a lot of writers, I spent a lot of time with other unpublished writers, and I have seen hardened professionals deal with unpublished writers. The common thread among all these people is the recognition that an unpublished writer is an unpolished jewel, with a fragile talent that should be nurtured and encouraged. Criticising someone, as you did, is unwarranted.

There are over 30 million bloggers out there. If you don’t like the blog you’re reading, read another. Don’t stay around and criticise the writer. They’re not doing anything aggressive towards you, so don’t be a bully by being aggressive toward them.

Comment from Sally
Time: April 12, 2007, 10:21 pm

Love the sound of your mother!!! It’s a generation thing. They worry about people not eating in their presence. Makes you feel wanted though as a guest!

Comment from Julia
Time: April 19, 2007, 12:14 pm

My mum is just the same — if I don’t have a third helping she’ll accuse me of being anorexic! Blogmeet sounds fantastic.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old…

Damian Clarke

Written by

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old house to use them on.

Damian Clarke

Written by

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old house to use them on.

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