‘Tis our Blogiversary today. We are two years old.
I truly didn’t think ahead two years. There was no master plan, merely a terminal boredom with the forum wars and most of all with the forum furies. If I couldn’t find a forum to make the odd sardonic comment on the fat controllers who rule our life from parliament without getting enmeshed in conspiracy theories, bogged down with circular arguments, or moderated for not following the prevailing view of the owner of the forum – then I figured I was not alone.
I wanted a virtual pub, an arena where you could eavesdrop on the debates; join in when you wanted; learn something new every day; keep the brain cells ticking over; and laugh uproariously at the antics of those who consider themselves our betters.
I wanted to keep alive my love of the English language, even as I mastered French. I wanted to remember the best of England, even as I fled its shores. I wanted to entertain and be entertained in a land where I knew no-one and doubted that I would ever learn the language sufficiently to joust and pun, explore double meanings, and reminisce over a way of life that was once acknowledged as the finest in the world.
I wanted to be argumentative and challenging; to explore other viewpoints than the prevailing wisdom; to learn the answers to questions that had always puzzled me.
Positively the last thing I wanted was to write. The second to last thing I wanted was to enmesh myself in a world of technology of which I knew absolutely nothing – even less than I knew about writing.
Not that ‘knowing nowt’ had ever stopped me in the past from trying something new. There is a peculiar freedom associated with starting an enterprise that you have zero knowledge about – things can only get better, for a start, and you have no fear, for you are ignorant of the pitfalls.
So I blundered into a new career as ‘Blogger’ – although I see myself as head barmaid – starting the conversation each day when the bar is still chilly, there are too few customers to create an atmosphere, no one has put anything on the juke box yet. Each blog post is the equivalent of the hairdresser’s ‘have you booked your holiday yet?’ – something to break the ice and get everyone talking.
And do you ever talk! I have been educated and entertained in equal abundance. Google became my friend, to understand the references that I had no knowledge of. I have learnt more in the last two years than I had in the previous 60. I’ve been corrected and sub-edited on a daily basis – for which I am eternally grateful. I have laughed till I cried at some of the exchanges in the comments. I’ve made good friends amongst people I might never have otherwise met. I’ve been rewarded by a standard of debate rarely seen outside of universities – and, I suspect, rarely there these days. I have been overwhelmed when requests for help have resulted in an outpouring of highly qualified assistance. I have been humbled when you have stepped forward to sort out problems – Sheila Martin, Nick Hogan, and Steven Neary – that I had described on these pages.
There have been down days too, when the technology has nearly defeated me, when my eyes were red raw from reading up on slow SQL queries; when that destructive band of negative individuals known as trolls decided that this blog was their target practice for a while; when I was ill and really didn’t feel like venturing outside of the duvet. They passed, chased away by the many e-mails from that band of folk who have become friends – the commentators on these pages.
I have been tagged with the ‘my blogging desk’ meme – and ventured out to see the response of others. Subrosa – what did I expect? A purposeful desk of style and elegance, immaculately maintained, stylish, efficient. Just like her blog. DearGodMakeItStop, managing to entertain us all and hold down a full time job, four computer screens! There’s multi-tasking for you. ManWiddicombe, surrounded by technology. The Filthy Engineer, living up to his name (that is one impressive mess!). Julia M – she took that picture the day she got the desk, no one can be that busy and that tidy!
Fuelinjected Moose – whoa technology central! Huh! Outdone by Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs – great name and great taste in blogs that he was reading when he took the picture – I see Anna Raccoon on the screen there! Wrinkled Weasel, who seems to have started this meme, cops out with a picture of G B Shaw’s study, not a bad thing to emulate – but you all seem to have dedicated yourself to blogging in a way that my haphazard approach can never emulate.
A lap top, sitting to the right hand side of my inspiration pit – only accessed when I have spent enough time stabbing a needle through the holes of my tapestry, in between making the bread, cooking dinner, endless cups of coffee and entertaining visitors…..technology central it is not.
In the summer the lap top sits on a table in the garden, and is attended to in between snipping bits off various plants, and cleaning out the mill stream…..
Still, it’s kept this blog going for two years. Correction. It’s kept this blog publishing for two years, ably assisted by Guthrum and Gildas and Gloria and SadButMadLad – it’s you lot out there who have kept the blog going.
Thank-you, woman cannot live by tapestry alone.