Day 723 – A really good blog post

Driving down to Agulhas this morning, I had an idea for a really good blog post. One of those rare, engaging posts like this blog used to feature.

I knew I’d remember it, because it was really good and rare and engaging. So I didn’t feel that I had to make any sort of effort to create an aide-mémoire. Also, I was driving, so this might have been dangerous.

Safety first.

But then I forgot it. I forgot it because I’m old and tired and forgetful. So I’m sorry that you’re getting this instead of a really good, rare engaging post.

But on the plus side, I’m sitting by the braai, listening to some decent music, and drinking a good beer.

So at least I’m not losing out.

Day 648 – Bloggery on 6000 miles…: an explanation

As regular readers will know, the ten year anniversary of a post every single day on 6000 miles… came around just a few days ago, and lo, there was much jubilation and dancing and the citizens did celebrate in the streets and slaughter the prodigal son.

Or something.

It was actually a rather diluted event for me, given that I took something of a break from writing (if not delivering) blog posts over the Christmas and New Year period. So the post in the first line up above was not written on the actual day, but rather a week or so beforehand. That might seem a bit sad and maybe even a bit of a fraud for such an auspicious occasion, but it did mean that while the blog continued in pre-written form, I was able to step back and relax a little.

That last sentence does make it sound like writing here is a chore, and there are certainly times when it does feel that way. But generally, it’s a positive experience. For me, at least: you’re the poor buggers who have to read this stuff.

The anniversary and the break got me thinking (between beers) about this blog and why I write it. And before anything further is said on that topic, I will always go back to Brian Micklethwait’s wisdom which underpins everything on 6000 miles…

My most important reader is me.

Bit selfish, sure. But I have addressed that on several occasions, not least here. I can look back on what was happening in my life and what was on my mind at any given moment, much as someone who writes a diary could.
And so I guess I could actually write a diary, but how archaic is that in this so-called [checks notes] “21st Century”?
You can’t put cool photos or music videos in a diary, you’d literally have to tear a page out and post it to someone if you wanted to share your thoughts and read what you were saying, and then if you needed to look up that important thing you learnt about LEDs on curling stones in 2018, you’d literally have to flick through many pages to find it.

So, no. In this case, pixels are better.

But in actual fact, while that quote above very much represents the foundation of the blog, the bricks and mortar on top of it have brought me so much more. Writing here is often a cathartic experience: be it by sharing something I want others to enjoy or be aware of, getting something off my chest, directing anger at annoying people, directing ridicule at silly people, popping an idea out into the world or just momentarily escaping from a difficult period in real life.
I’ve been through deaths (not personally), illnesses (personally), various employments, holidays, parenting, relocation, education, political upheavals, historic events and – gasp – an awful lot of everyday life while I’ve been writing this blog, and yes, while it might one day be interesting to revisit my thoughts on each of these things in the future, sometimes it was the actual documenting of them that helped get me through those moments.

So sure, I’ll happily overlook the days when it seems like a chore to get something out on here.

But then, if those sort of days begin to outweigh the good ones for any reasonable period of time, I’ll definitely take a long hard look at whether I want to continue with this each and every day. Sadly for you, dear readers, I haven’t come anywhere close to that thus far. And it’s been 10 years. (Did I already mention that?)

So as the line from that song they wrote about me goes:

Here’s to the future ’cause we got through the past

Thanks for being here and thanks for reading. Let’s look forward to the next ten years together.

Day 645 – Ten. Years.

Hello, and thanks for joining me on this special day.

Why is this day so special?
Well, by my best calculations, it marks 10 years of continual blogging on this blog.

Yes, that’s at least one post a day on 6000 miles… each and every day for an entire decade.

Yep. 10 whole years.

I’ve been blogging here since early 2008 (and before that at the now defunct ballacorkish.net), but it was only at the end of 2011 that this ‘post a day’ nonsense began.

I’m not sure why I decided to start doing this on 31st December 2011 – in all likelihood, I didn’t make any conscious decision at that point to try to achieve anything other than putting pixel to screen for that day. It just continued from there until it became “a thing”.

It’s a bit sad that the very first post (of this series, at least) isn’t particularly exciting or remarkable, but I guess that’s what you get with this blog: the occasional flash of brilliance amongst all the disappointing mundanity. So a bit like being at a Michael McIntyre show, but with an occasional flash of brilliance.

Since then, we’ve been through a smorgasbord of football, music, parenting, history, geography, travel, photography, beagling, South Africanisms, beer, politics, microbiology, (hopefully most of) a pandemic, and of course, several (or more) lighthouses.

Yes, yes. I’m fully aware that other people have blogged every day for much longer. But they’re not me. I did this and that’s why I’m crowing about it. I’m quote impressed with this achievement.

And I haven’t been keeping track. I just spotted this upcoming anniversary when someone asked back in September – with some degree of incredulity and dismay in their voice – just how long I’d been doing this for.

But the real suckers heroes are you guys who come and read this stuff. Thanks for being here, commenting (when that was a thing) (you can still do it on the Facebook page) and just generally being supportive.

And of course, huge thanks to The Guru for all his patience, expertise and technical support. I couldn’t have done it without him, which gives you all someone else to blame for this.

Here’s to ten more years.

Possibly.

Day 576 – Sad news

Long time friend of the blog, Brian Micklethwait has died.

Brian was diagnosed with lung cancer late last year and died last week.

I loved that he blogged about whatever he wanted to: whatever had interested him that day, no matter how mundane it might seem to others. He blogged for himself, and his was a very personal blog, simply for that reason. And amongst his regular photographs of photographers, London’s Big Things, local statues or the bridges over the Thames, there were the occasional shop window selfies.

He was described in one of the tributes I read as:

a beacon of sensible thought…

And that’s pretty accurate.

While we didn’t always see eye to eye on some issues, we exchanged emails, blog posts, photographs and ideas for over 12 years. He is mentioned in no fewer than 58 posts (59 now) 6000 miles… and he will be sadly missed.