Actually, I felt I already knew her, because five years ago Easy Living magazine asked us to write a pair of blogs. Kate, a sassy journalist living in trendy west London, was City Wife, while I, then living in the depths of Oxfordshire, was Country Wife. I was a bit of a fraud because I didn’t keep hens or grow my own vegetables or do any of the things you’re supposed to do in the country, but for the next two years we posted our blogs a couple of times a week.
I really looked forward to reading Kate’s accounts of life with her two young children and photographer husband.
As she described trips to the park, children’s birthday parties and dressing up for book days at school, I felt a wave of nostalgia for the past. My children were teenagers by then and I seemed to spend most of my time watching my son doing scary bike stunts at the skate park and marvelling at my daughter’s newfound passion for black nail varnish, make-up and Topshop. Every time I read Kate’s blog I marvelled at how the years had whizzed by in a flash.
Fast forward a couple of years and Kate has written her third novel, the insightful Seven Days One Summer, and started a new blog. We’ve stayed in touch by email and on Twitter over the years but we’d never actually met in person. Then last weekend, a dark-haired woman I didn't know tapped me on the shoulder and said tentatively “Emma?” It was Kate!
We both grabbed a cup of tea and didn’t stop talking for the next 45 minutes. Our City Wife and Country Wife days may be over but there was an awful lot to catch up on.