As a freelance feature writer, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed interviewing many people over a period of some years. It is sadly a rare event now, but a few years ago, I interviewed a lovely local lady and cake maker extraordinaire, Claire Potts. What happened next explained the power of the interview. We met to discuss promoting her phenomenal cake business. After a while, I was struggling to find something fascinating to hook my article on.
As is often the way, the interview steered off-piste; we also talked about her travels and her obsession with one Mr Robert Pattinson. My first thought was that, while she seemed perfectly normal and indeed, very pleasant, maybe she was a little odd. However, it helps not to judge on our first prejudice, but to listen to what a person has to say. I asked her to write an article about it. She did, and while this is now old, it really helped me to totally get it the power of obsession and Twitter!
Over to Claire:
As I write this, I have not long returned from a week in New York with two of my best friends. Nothing too unusual in that I hear you say. Well no, until I tell you how I came to be friends with these two lovely ladies, and many more.
Two words. Robert Pattinson. Yes that’s right, the actor. And yes, I’m old enough to know better, having turned 40 this year, married with a child.
But that’s how I’ve become friends with several wonderful ladies, who have become my best friends. And it’s why I’ve travelled. And boy have I travelled! All to see Mr Pattinson, at least that’s how it started. Now he’s just the icing on the cake.
November 2009, I first set out to a red carpet event in London, on my own. Something I’d never done. Six months before I wouldn’t have even considered travelling from Cornwall to London, staying there and going to an event, alone. But then I was given the Twilight books to read, and was hooked. I rushed out and bought all the books and the DVD. That’s how this all started.
I watched the film, and as soon as ‘Edward’ walked in I was mesmerised. “Who the f**k is he?’ Straight to Google! And that was it. I was suddenly a giddy school girl all over again; it was crazy!
I already had a Twitter account, and so I started posting a few Twilight things and soon found a whole community out there. Fan sites and other grown women trying to make sense of what the hell was happening to them!
It was through Twitter that I found out about the event in London. It was to promote New Moon, the second Twilight film. And the cast was going to be there, which meant Rob. I got all the details, I booked train tickets and a hotel. Just like that. And I was more excited than a kid at Christmas; I was 35. I was at the front of the barrier for 11 hours. In the cold. And it was so worth it I couldn’t wait to do it again.
That’s how things started, with an obsession with Robert Pattinson. And that’s what it was. Everything became about him and Twilight, to my husband’s great amusement. I’m very lucky that he thinks this whole thing is hilarious and just rolls his eyes at me a lot. He also looks after our son when I go off on my travels.
The travelling started in April, 2010. By this point I’d been talking to a group of girls on Twitter for several months; most of them were from America or Canada. And they decided they wanted to meet up. Trouble for me was I was here, in Cornwall, a very long way from America. I was gutted, as I didn’t consider it an option. They were planning a week in new York, a twilight/Rob get together. It sounded wonderful, and I so wanted to go.
I mentioned it to my husband, saying what a shame it was I couldn’t go. ‘Why can’t you?’ came his reply. I was amazed. He was telling me to go? Yes, apparently he was!
Now you need to know that my husband is considerably older than me, and had a whole other life before we met when I was just 16, something he’s always been very conscious of. It’s always bothered him that I didn’t really have a life of my own. And then when our son was diagnosed with several conditions, my life shrank even more. So he told me to go. Live, experience things.
So I went. I went to NYC on my own to meet people I’d never met and only knew via Twitter. I knew how bonkers it all sounded. But I had the best week, met some amazing ladies, with whom I’m still friends.
The trouble was it gave me the travel bug. Couple that with the addiction that is Mr Pattinson. I needed to see him again, I needed to see my girls again, and I needed to spread my wings again.
So a year later a film premier came up, in NYC. This time I didn’t need to think about it, I just booked flights. Hubby eye rolled some more and took me to the station.
To cut a very long story short, I met the girls and once again spent many hours in the cold, and the wet, the mother of all thunderstorms, in fact! But spending hours together like that you get to know each other, you talk and talk. You bond, not just over your mutual obsession with a hot actor either. Although that was the reason we were all there, to see HIM. And we did, up close. But that was only the start, we had the rest of the week exploring New York.
It’s not just New York though. Later that year another premier came up in LA. So we all met up again there. 2012 came a premier in Berlin, the Cannes film festival, the Glasgow film festival and more trips to London. All to see Rob yes, but by now it was as much to see each other. In between I went to Atlanta for thanksgiving, in the home of a friend I met on Twitter. People still look at me funnily when I tell them that’s how I met my best friend, but it’s true. She’s from Atlanta, and there would have been no way we would have met other than through the internet. I can’t imagine life without her. Or without the third cog in this wheel who I met at the Berlin premier. She’s from Nottingham and again we would never have met had it not been for Rob and Twitter.
Being asked to write about it all, I really didn’t know what to say or where to start. To someone on the outside it sounds crazy. A grown woman obsessed with an actor travelling all over the world to see him, and doing it with people she’s only met online. Saying it like that it does sound crazy. But the reality is that Rob and Twitter have just been a vehicle for discovery. He’s been the excuse to travel, and Twitter was the means to connect with like-minded people.
This year we again went to Cannes, and again saw him several times. But it was really more of an excuse to have a few days away with very special friends.
And NYC the other week? No Rob involved. That’s right, it was purely three best friends having a holiday together, perfectly normal, until you find out how we met.
What started as fans getting together to get all giddy and silly has turned into life long friendships. It’s opened my eyes to the possibilities within myself. I know now that I can do things, that I don’t need to be scared. Because of the support from these wonderful Robsessed women I now run my own cake making business. I wouldn’t have taken the leap if not for them, and I wouldn’t have them without Rob and Twitter.
I now have a life beyond home, I go out and do things. I’ve found out so much about myself, things that I like. I’ve seen places I would never have seen, and long may it continue.