Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Another perfumista path crossing - Tamsin visits Bonkers Towers!


Regular readers of Bonkers will know that I have historically travelled a lot on business and for pleasure, and that I have tried wherever possible to combine those opportunities with meeting fellow fumeheads, Natalie of anotherperfumeblog being my most recent meet-ee (did I just make that ghastly word up?).  But then yesterday, in a completely new departure, a perfumista came to me(!), to wit Tamsin, whom many people will be familiar with from her active Facebook presence, hilarious cat cartoons, and latterly her heartwarming montage of kitten pics, in which she documents the development of semi-pedigree fluffball Plum in tiny incremental steps.

I first met Tamsin on a swap board.  She may even be the very first person I swapped with, or one of the first, certainly.  Tamsin has been living in the USA for the past 14 years, though she is British and hails originally from just down the road from me.  Which explains how, as part of a European grand tour of relatives and friends - including several blind dates with perfumistas (I was the fifth in the UK!) - she and her husband wended their way to Stafford yesterday, which also happened to be Tamsin's birthday.

And so it was that five years on from our original swapping contact, Tamsin and her husband had dinner with me, which segued seamlessly into another session of Cake Club, at which they were guests of honour. Tamsin even managed to make a cake on the hoof the day before - a rich chocolate mixture with a sleekly glossy yet rugged texture like an alligator - which turned out to be a delicious hybrid of biscotti and Brownie.

Tamsin and her husband K were easy, funny and charming company.  It really was as though I had known them both for much longer, a phenomenon those of us who have had blind dates with fellow fumies consistently report.  K deserves a special mention for helping to arrange the place settings and kindly popping out to the local shop to procure Diet Coke, the signature drink of my friend Clare.

By a curious coincidence, there was an existing connection between Tamsin and several of the Cake Club members, namely that the house in which her father was born is in the village where two of them live, and where Clare used to live.  There was therefore talk of extant relatives and their doings - I heard a reference to a windmill and a crow - though I was out of earshot some of the time, rummaging for extra cake forks and the like.

Tamsin and Clare - oh, she's finished her Coke already!

And of course, with it being Tamsin's birthday, how fortuitous that cakes were on hand, several with candles on them. All night long we sampled cake and Tamsin blew out candles till we could eat cake no more - so we ate trifle instead, whose candles had miraculously not subsided into the cream by this stage.  We washed the cake down with Cava of various hues and Earl Grey tea, until it was that time known as 'Tupperwares at midnight' where we find our original receptacles and divvy up the leavings to take home.

I have kept Tamsin's quota here, as she is coming back this morning for us to sample some perfume together. For as I am increasingly finding with these newfound Internet friends I have met through our shared interest, it may be fragrance that has brought us together, but then we find we have a ton of other stuff in common and that perfume is just the icing on the cake...

Hmm, shall I try scented icing next time?  Okay, maybe not.

Plum!

24 comments:

tara said...

This was lovely! Perfumista meet-ups always make great reading and Tamsin sounds like a perfect meetee. How amazing that she managed to make a cake while travelling around the UK. I can't manage to make one in my own home. How fortuitous that it was Cake Club on the night of her birthday and there was so much in common to chat about.

I do love "Tupperwards at Midnight".

Vanessa said...

Hi Tara,

I enjoy reading about other people's perfumista encounters too - we must have so many permutations going now.

And what is also happening in my circle of friends is that I am gradually mixing them up with my fumie friends. Hence Freddie of Smellythoughts met my mate Gillie at a jazz club in Birmingham recently, and now Tamsin has met my friend Clare.

It was such a bit of luck to have so many cakes on the go for the occasion - we nailed that festive bit for sure. :-)

AustralianPerfumeJunkies said...

One of the best things about the WWW is that though we are separated by distance we know so much about each other and have some links already. we are friends, though cyberly so. Meeting fellow fumies is always fun. In the UK in Jan or Feb next year, can I be on your meet list too?
Portia x

Asali said...

Sounds like you had a great time- and all that cake...
Yup, parfumista meet-ups are the best and on that note, weren't you planning a Scandinavia-tour? ;-)

Vanessa said...

Hi Portia,

That is a very good point you make about us having a lot of prior knowledge about one another before we meet. I'm sure that must enable us to skip much of the usual preamble of normal blind dates, in addition to having our shared interest. And I love your coinage of 'cyberly so', hehe. You are coming to the UK in the New Year? - ooh, do keep us posted. x

Vanessa said...

Hi Asali,

Sooo much cake, it's true. I just gave a Tupperware full to my ex's mother, plus one of the trifles, and I still don't know where to start with the rest of my leftovers!

So far my Danish tour (yes, it was that specific!) is still only in my mind's eye, but I do hope to make it happen before too long. With a bit of help from an early bargain on Ryanair.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful... new friends, perfume talk and too boot...CAKE!!! Does life get any better?

Vanessa said...

Hi thescentedhound,

Thanks for stopping by and you are quite right - those are surefire ingredients for a great night - or even a special occasion, as it was. ;-)

lovethescents said...

Oh how wonderful! I wish, wish, wish, wish I could have been there to hug you both and drink with you....and to have cake as well. One day, I hope! Happy birthday, lovely Tamsin!

tara said...

That's nice to have some crossover going on.

Vanessa said...

Yes, it's lovely, and I may try to make it happen some more, if the opportunity presents itself.

Vanessa said...

Oh Sam, you would have been so very welcome! We even had a favourite tipple of yours on the go ie bubbles. Some day...x

Lavanya said...

A visiting perfumista's birthday on cake club day?! What are the odds. I would love to gate crash one of your cake club meetings- they sound delightful. As does your meeting with Tamsin!

Vanessa said...

Hi Lavanya,

That settles it - I am getting more chairs... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I was fortunate to meet the lovely Tamsin at a Sniffapalooza in New York last year, and have been connected to her via Facebook ever since. I have avidly followed the growth and antics of Plum! Maybe I'll get the chance to meet you too someday...? ;-)

Vanessa said...

Hi Patty,

Sniffapalooza sounds like a great place for getting maximum perfumista bang for your bucks, and I am glad you got to meet Tamsin there. Plum is growing up so fast before our very eyes. T's montage of kitten pics reminds me of those nature documentaries where they chart the grown of a plant using a slo-mo camera over a long period of time, then speed it up again...

I would very much like to meet you some day - yup, I would most gladly surrender to that chance. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ha! I get the reference, but I'm not that Patty, of Perfume Posse and Surrender to Chance fame. Just another Patty who loves perfume!

Vanessa said...

Hi Patty,

Haha - my mistake! And why wouldn't there be multiple Pattys in the fumisphere indeed? :-). Or should that be Patties perhaps?

Undina said...

I'm so envious! Perfumes and cakes?! And a peek into your new house? Give me two! I mean, all three :)

Vanessa said...

Hi Undina,

With pleasure - I have a guest room! Soon there will be curtains too! There's just the small matter of you being at what I could best term... some remove. ;-)

lovethescents said...

<3 <3 Darling friends!

Vanessa said...

:-) x

Suzanne said...

Lovely! I never realized how homey you are, Vanessa, until these more recent posts where I get glimpses in your house via your photos (not only these, but also the one that went with the beauty survey at Lavanya's blog, where you were standing next to a magnificent plate of tomatoes topped with mozarella, I think). Maybe it's simply that you have more time to spend at home now?

Very nice to learn about Tasmin - and so cool that she arrived on her birthday and Cake Club day (and even baked a cake for the latter ... impressive!)

Vanessa said...

Hi Suzanne,

Thanks for describing me as 'homey' - I think this is a newish departure for me, and is partly related to the fact I am spending more time at home now my foreign work assignments seem to have dried up - for the time being, anyway. Which in turn means more leisure for cooking and entertaining - though in fairness that salad was merely 'assembled'. ;-) And I think this older house is more 'me' perhaps, so I am enjoying fixing it up just as I want it, though it is a slow process...

Tamsin's visit was timed perfectly, and her en route cake making was indeed a bit of a coup!