Thursday, 4 November 2010

Casting the runes…

A friend of mine dropped me a mail this morning; it read-

I probably don't read your blog in the way it's intended, but to me it's like clues in a complex puzzle. I love trying to piece together who you're referring to in this blog, or who this follower is, or what the inspiration was this time...

Well this time my inspiration is you my friend and you are reading my blog the right way. Beneath the words, hidden in the runes, the real blog lives; and despite the seemingly random nature of the posts, despite the variety I attempt to inject - it only has a couple of themes and both of them are about me. I try to consider my audience, I’m aware that what I write has the opportunity to offend, amuse, puzzle, disgust, annoy, bewilder, confuse, enlighten – but ultimately, although I don’t write this for myself, it is my diary, my memoir, my showcase, my philosophical treatise, my joke book; it IS all about me – the surface text and the sub-text of the runes that lay hidden inside.

Today is my 600th post. I blog most days (rarely on a Saturday), getting up early, staying up late, jumping out of bed in the middle of the night to jot down an idea – and finding myself still jotting an hour, sometimes two hours later. I’m constantly looking for things to blog about, photograph, doodle, drag from my memory bank. I dread to think what 600 posts means in terms of time, but over the last couple of years I’ve spend at least ten hours per week working on my bloody blog, sixty if you include pure thinking time. Maybe even more than that. Even at just ten hours a week that means that over the short time I’ve been a blogger I’ve spent six weeks of my life on Wonderful Life - and that’s working with a twenty-four hour day calculation so it’s probably closer to two months minimum.

One month a year blogging! Sheesh! Get a life AKH!

I usually write my posts up front in word, sometimes two or three at a time, usually at the weekend. But sometimes like today, I write in real-time (by the way it is (was) ten to six in the morning when I wrote most of this and I haven’t got my friends e-mail yet so I’m time travelling). Sometimes the words come first; other times the words are prompted by an image – a drawing or a photograph. Occasionally they both arrive together, the words popping into my head with an image that I then have to make. Often the posts are prompted by a post comment, an email, a tweet, a FB conversation string, a nightmare.

And I unashamedly advertise my blog. I put it out there on Facebook, on Twitter, in e-mails, even the occasional SMS. I’m not proud, I want it to be read - I want to know what people think about what I’m thinking.

No wonder Gaynor says I’m obsessed. I am.

Over my almost two years and 600 posts I’ve had a lot of comments from my 48 (for a while 49) public followers and all the others who’ve dropped in from time to time or follow anonymously. According to the stats I’ve had 11,628 page reads since the start of June this year, 2,741 last month, 124 yesterday alone.

7, 340 of those reads have come from the UK, 2000 from the US, 177 from Australia, 140 from Canada, 123 from Russia, 92 from South Korea, and the rest from Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, France, and a few other European countries (unlike Alphaville I’m not big in Japan, or India, or China).

I wonder if the Russian reads are KGB. I know who reads me in Romania, France and Australia – but South Korea?

I’m viewed in all sorts of browsers including OneRiot, Opera, Safari; and on various devices - PC’s, Macs, iPhones, Blackberries, quite a few iPads, and even an iPod, although I have no idea how that works.

The post that seems to have generated the most interest is ‘Mecccano’ posted on the 7th of April this year with 664 page views and 17 comments, and Misty’s Last Post back in August comes in second with 148 page views and a bucketful of my tears.

Maybe I blog too much, Gaynor certainly thinks so, she never reads it, she isn’t in the page view stats. Sometimes, quite often these days, I think about stopping blogging completely, or at least cutting down; doing something else to get this creative vomit out of my system – fling some paint at a canvas, build a giraffe from driftwood, write a novel – spend my month a year on something useful, tangible, something to cling to as I drown, something to be proud of. I’m sure that sometimes the people viewing my pages must think me ridiculous, or pretentious, or just plain weird. I hate it when I don’t get comments, love it when a new follower turns up. I don’t know why I do it. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t do it…

The clock in the lounge just struck six – my friend’s e-mail will arrive in a three hours and fifteen minutes. I’m done.

Another post written; more runes cast. My 600th post and (who knows) it could well be my last.

I might not even bother to post it.

We’ll see.


  1. Looking forward to the next 600....please don;t stop

  2. I wish I got as many reads and could creative vomit like you...

  3. happy 600th birthday!

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  5. Thus far, I have been amused and enlightened but I have yet to be offended, puzzled, disgusted, annoyed, bewildered or confused therefore the ASA might chase you if you stopped now. I have been bemused at times, concerned, cheered but mostly grateful. Your blogs, even those written from under the covers, are a reminder that, cruel, grey and dark as the world is, it is filled with wonderful things and wonderful people. Please tell the lovely Gaynor that there are people out there whose lives are better for the reading of your blogs. I consider myself one such and lucky so to be.

  6. 600-up! Congratulations! So much catching up to do...
    Of course, the eloquence and imagination of your flights of fancy are an inspiration to us all, and even if we are left feeling a tad pedestrian in your wake, I'm sure you will remain an inspiration for a long time to come.

  7. Flora Marriot tweeted:

    Read it!!! And have been inspired myself to have a go recently.

  8. Your in good company...
    Even Norman Wisdom had a fan base in Romania.
    Happy anniversary... Your an inspiration to us all

  9. Ive not read every one of them - as you know I was a little cynical at the start of this 'blogging shit' - but now will happily say your blogs are thought provoking/informative/smile inducing and sometimes very emotional.
    Do not stop my friend - 7340 reads says it all.
    Do not underestimate the impact you have.
    When people are going through tough times [and even good times] they need something to relate to.
    Cant wait for the next 600.

  10. If you give up blogging AKH, you will lose a good friend that you have created and nutured and we your followers will be bereft. You have a real skill that we can only admire and enjoy. Where would we be without your creative way with words, your vast imagination and your drawing skills? Doesn't bear thinking about. You'll soon be HUGE in China.

  11. You'll never give up! (I hope)
    Today's time-travelling muse. X

  12. Della Roberts commented on Facebook:

    Glad you did ..... you can never blog too much ..
    Sister Della in Australia

  13. Phil Morgan commented on Facebook:

    Like the 1983 hit by Echo & the Bunnymen you must 'Never Stop'. I find your blogs inspirational (I aspire to writing blogs like them), funny, bizarre, uplifting, challenging and downright odd. They're a tapas of the sublime, complex workings of your accumulated existence.

    I love them more than I love pies and I'll 'Never stop' readsing them.

  14. Phil Morgan commented on Facebook:

    Like the 1983 hit by Echo & the Bunnymen you must 'Never Stop'. I find your blogs inspirational (I aspire to writing blogs like them), funny, bizarre, uplifting, challenging and downright odd. They're a tapas of the sublime, complex workings of your accumulated existence.

    I love them more than I love pies and I'll 'Never stop' readsing them.

  15. Phillip Yeadon commented on Facebook

    ‎... measure by measure, drop by drop ...

  16. Tony Payne e-mailed:

    Pull yourself together man and get a grip!
    What's all this nonsense about stopping?

    It's part of who you are now.

    It may be that you are sat alone in the office most of the day and don't have the interactions you're used to, which must be really hard, but that doesn't mean you're not appreciated.

    The stats you collect tell you that!
    Only a tiny percentage of your readers comment but that doesn't mean you aren't a read and valued writer.

    P.S. thanks for doing the JJJP piece

  17. Lummox. You did this with your painting just stopped.

  18. Maybe until the two years is up then.

  19. Alan Spence e-mailed:

    Congratulations, on the 600th blog. Keep it going, it is well worth the immense mental effort you devote to it.

  20. Congrats on your 600th blog, here's to the next 600!