I don't believe I had an imaginary friend as a child. I had an imaginary chimp. OK, he only materialised on train journeys, and was due entirely to Southern Railway posters advertising Chessington Zoo. He always slid down the handrail (holding my hand) when we got back to Haywards Heath and disappeared at the bottom of the steps; forgotten by the time we got to the ticket collector and back to the real world. I can't recall that he even had a name. He was always waiting at the bottom of the steps next time though, ready for another trip. Oh dear, it's all coming back to me now. He had to have the seat by the window, and I'd sit next to him. Perhaps that's why I still like an aisle seat. Or perhaps that's just in case a chimp (or city equivalent) comes and sits next to me.
Virtual friends are not quite the same as imaginary ones, although it might be quite imaginary that they are one's friends. Most virtual friends really exist, although not necessarily in the form that one knows them. Some of mine are people I interact with on Canalworld (I have a number of virtual enemies there too. Most of them though are blissfully unaware that they have made of me an implacable foe by their sanctimonious attitudes and/or bad spelling).
Mainly though I'm thinking of other bloggers I find simpatico. First port of call is always Granny Buttons, mainly because he posts so often and interestingly that there's usually something new to read. Also, his was the first narrowboat blog I ever heard of, recommended to me by Mike of the splendid but sadly defunct (the blog, not the boat) Globetrotter. I don't have a long blogroll because I reckon a link to Granny's is enough. He lists over 65 - some of which are fairly or utterly inactive, but lots, I'm sure, are great, but I haven't read them. Two I do pop into fairly frequently are Cosmos and Mortimer Bones; I think I could be friends with them. Bones of course is a fellow academic (but one of those scary scientist types) and Jaytee of Cosmos appears to be something in the pedagogical line from what I can tell. Anyway, I like the cut of their jib(s).
The first blog I ever read regularly was Pharyngula; a strange choice for a sciencephobe, but I read it for the atheism. (British atheists - you don't know you're born till you read what it's like in the US). But the science blogging community has annual awards for science blogs, and there are others for political ones. Wouldn't it be nice to have some prizes for narrowboat blogs? For example, best writing, best picture, best new blog, best travelogue, best build/restoration blog ... We could call them 'Grannies' in honour of the doyen...