Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy, happy, happy....Anniversary!

Today, 29 January, 2011, marks the two-year anniversary of Pond Parleys, and the collaboration between us - authors Mike Harling and Toni Hargis.
And here's Mike with a cigar and a few words:


And they said it wouldn’t last.

This blog was the natural extension of our inaugural collaboration: a Radio 5 Live debate in January 2009. Oh, we had seen each other around in cycberspace before—Toni was even responsible for the publication of my book—but the debate put us together for the first time and, finding we liked it, we determined to keep the excitement alive.

So Pond Parleys was born, and we became a team. And like any partnership, there have been some ups and downs. Firstly, during the radio debate itself, there was a bit of jealousy when I was offered a limo ride to the BBC offices in London to sit in the studio with Richard Madeley while Toni had to schlep herself down to the local studio in Chicago and link up via satellite. (Honest, Toni, it wasn’t that great; they never actually sent the limo—I had to drive myself—and Richard was a bit up himself and never even said, “Hell-o” to me.)

In the heady, halcyon days of our relationship, we thought the good times would go on forever, but like any long term partnership, you have to take the valleys with the peaks, and over the years there have been times when we were close to calling it quits. We kept on, however, and eventually arrived at that peaceful stage that can only come with familiarity, where the passions of old are replaced with security, comfort and dependability, much like an old quilt.

When I asked Toni if she was expecting flowers and candy for our anniversary, she said an e-card would do, so you can see our relationship now is built on mutual respect and abiding esteem (but if she leaves the cap off of the toothpaste tube one more time, I’m outta here!).

And to mark this occasion, and spice things up a bit, we are introducing a new feature: The Mid-Week Mention.

Henceforth, in addition to our usual Sunday offering, we will post a brief mention of a website, news article, movie, book, service or product of interest to ex-pats. It may be something you might want to buy or see, or it may just be something to make you chuckle. But whatever it is, we hope it will be entertaining and spark some debate. (If anyone has a suggestion, please don't be shy.)

So, see you on Wednesday, and, of course, here on Sundays, where we will be looking forward to many more years together. Although I may have to cut if off before our silver anniversary; I can’t afford anything that expensive.

Toni :

I'm not even going to attempt to follow that, except to say a big Thanks Y'all to our readers and commenters. Look for the MidWeek Mention this coming week - and a chance to win something gorgeous!

Got something you want us to address? E-mail your suggestion to:

MHMail55-MT AT


or just pop it into the comment box.


  1. Congrats you two. Two years with many a thought of packing it in I'm sure (not unlike myself.)That's an accomplishment in the blogging world.

  2. It wasn't so much thinking of packing it in, because we both love to write, but "What are we trying to achieve?" and questions like that. Not sure we ever found the answer but we like to write and think about things.

  3. You two never fail to make me chuckle.

    Mike, it was nice to see you and your wife today at NFAH's house. Looking forward to our next meetup!

  4. Often thought-provoking, always entertaining. Thanks for two years of Pond Parleys, your individual blogs, and your books (yep, I bought copies of both). From a fan in frozen New Jersey.

  5. Happy anniversary Mike and Toni! Long may your collaborations continue. (I can't believe it's been two years though - seems like yesterday you launched this blog. )

  6. Happy Anniversary and may there be many more!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. Congrats on two years and may you have many more.

  8. Congrats to PP and may there be many more. I look forward to the new featurette.

  9. Ah - you two are rapidly becoming the "Terry and June" of Transatlantic Cyberspace! Congratulations on 2 sizzling years together - and all the very best for many happy years to come!

  10. Who the (heck) are Terry and Ju...

    Never mind; Wikipedia to the rescue ;)

  11. Terry and June eh? Better than erm Darby and Joan I suppose. Slightly.

  12. Ha! No offence meant folks - I meant that you were like a long-suffering middle aged couple - and growing up, I was a big fan of Terry and June!

  13. Ha ha, like the Terry and June comparison! I was a child when they were on, but I liked them.

    Congratulations M and T. I enjoy this blog.


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