I have been blogging away, here in my dusty corner of the internets for about eight years now, which is a fairly long time for me to sustain interest in anything, even my children.
I have always loved blogging, right from the start. I cannot imagine not having a blog as an outlet for my ramblings. If I have a few days away from it, even if it is for nice things, I start to get twitchy. Jason used to exhort me to have time off from blogging whenever we went away on holiday. After a few holidays without the blogging he made sure we took a lap top with us on every trip. He says it keeps me saner, and by extension, nicer. I cannot argue with this.
A diary is just not the same, for reasons that are entirely unclear to me, given that really they actually are. Anyway. I used to be a committed diarist until the mid nineties. Then I burned all my diaries in a fit of hubristic self importance (like anyone would care), and not a small amount of shame.
Diary entries varied from the early years:
I got up. I brushed my teeth. The school bus took ages. I got my copy of Smash Hits so everyone wanted to sit next to me. I think that’s the only reason people like me. I have no idea who half these people in Smash Hits are because Dad hates Top of the Pops and I can’t listen to the Top Forty properly because my brother is a moron and is always interrupting me. Still, there’s always Black Type. I love Black Type. I hate Hugo. For a start, he is called Hugo, and he is stupid. He shut my finger in the desk hinge last week. Now I have to wait for the nail to drop off, and I have a black finger. What if it never gets to be unblack and I look like a weird pirate all my life? Who will marry me then? Jane is not my friend again. I had fish fingers for tea. Why is mashed potato so lumpy? Top of the Pops was excellent. I danced round the living room when The Lion Sleeps Tonight came on. Nobody will ever want to kiss me.
to the teenage years:
Sylvia Plath had a point. Life is rubbish. I want to say shit, but mum might find these diaries and she will kill me if she finds out how much I swear. I love Dominic. I wonder if he will be at the party on Saturday. I hear that Jane snogged him at the party I couldn’t go to last week. I hate my life. I bet mum and dad won’t let me go to the party on Saturday, so it doesn’t really matter if Dom’s there or not. I ate six Wham bars today. They are awesome. Nobody understands me. I hate Hugo. What a stupid name for a boy. He is the only boy that wants to kiss me, and he makes me feel sick when I look at him. Nobody’s eyebrows should do that. Why is he in my life when Daniel Day Lewis isn’t? That’s because I live in a shitty town (eek – more swearing) in the East Midlands. I bet Daniel Day Lewis doesn’t even know this place exists. Lucky Daniel.
to the ones I kept while I was pregnant with Tilly:
I don’t look pregnant but I can’t stop throwing up everywhere. I hate going on the tube. That man smelled of milk and it made me want to throw up. I sneezed on the way home and wet my pants. I want to know when I’m going to start to glow. Everyone else glows. I just look like shit. I’m sure I’m doing everything wrong. It’s probably because I ate that Feta cheese last week by mistake. It is so depressing that I don’t like chocolate any more. What’s the point of being pregnant if you don’t get to eat chocolate? Apart from having a baby that is. Even then she will probably be a devil child, who hates me. Certainly she will if this pregnancy is anything to go by. Why didn’t I just breed guinea pigs? God I moan a lot. Tiffany died on Eastenders yesterday. I cried. I don’t know why. I fucking hate Eastenders and I hate Tiffany more. My body and mind have been hijacked by an Eastender’s loving, chocolate hating alien haven’t they? God help me. This birth will be more like Close Encounters of the Third Kind than anything in Steel Magnolias. What utter rubbish my life is. The only good thing is that I looked up Hugo on Friend’s Reunited and he’s still a twat, and he isn’t the father of my child. Go me.
You can see why I felt I had to burn them. How can I leave that legacy to my children? Instead I am leaving them this. I feel it is better. I may be deluding myself, but hey, it’s my blog.
People often ask me which blogs I read regularly. I try to keep up with new bloggers when they cross my path, and some of them become regular reads. There is some fantastic writing talent out there. My favourites, however, remain pretty much the same as the years go by.
You cannot go wrong with a bit of:
and when they update their blogs (which they do not do often enough for me):
Little Red Boat
Whoopee (who blogs at Yet Another Bloomin Blog) whose site is sadly down at the moment, or I would provide you with a link.
People also ask me if there are things I don’t like about blogs, or if there are whole blogs I don’t like. Of course there are blogs I don’t like. There are millions of blogs out there. There are bound to be some I loathe. I am pretty good at loathing things. It’s a skill I have. Fortunately for me, if I don’t like a blog, I don’t actually have to ever read it again, so I tend not to go back to something that didn’t grab me the first time around, thus saving myself the torment of having to actively hate something. Time better spent browsing the biscuit aisles in Waitrose I think you will agree.
There are however, two things that really put me off blogs, without me actually having to go to the extreme of hating them. These are:
Blogs which are actually all about the advertising revenue but which claim to be about the life of the blogger. If a blog has a very high proportion of sponsored posts I find it quite bothersome. It’s a bit like going to watch a programme to find out that 95% of the programme content has been replaced by adverts. I know that some bloggers make their living from their blogs, and all power to their elbow, but I really like a mix of non sponsored and sponsored posts, and if the sponsored posts get too prevalent I find myself rather frustrated. It’s a bit like reading a blogging version of Which magazine.
Blogs which rely too heavily on photo content, and are more like a series of self congratulatory ‘look at me’ photos rather than words. I am a wordy person. I like words. Mostly, words are why I read blogs. A few, well placed photos can be excellent, but endless photos that make up the majority of all the blogging content don’t really do it for me, unless I am completely in love with the blogger and their photos undeniably add masses to the posts which mere words would never do. I guess what really annoys me are lots of selfies of people out there enjoying themselves and having the confidence to photograph themselves looking happy. Bastards! How dare they?
As I am a miserable harridan with no social life to speak of, and all the photogenic qualities of Herman Goerring I suspect that this last point may be a case of extreme sour grapes. I mean, look at this:
You don’t want to see this frolicking on a beach clad in a string bikini with a £200 blow wave do you?
If you do, there are specialist blogs out there who will probably cater to your needs.