Month: <span>February 2006</span>

I mentioned this at the blogmeet at the weekend, early on, and thought I’d expand on my thoughts here.

Whilst I can’t remember how we got onto the topic and admittedly I might have leaped from something completely unrelated, I do recall mentioning that now and again I’m still taken aback when I read something on a blog that I hadn’t previously considered. I don’t mean a radical new political stance, or a wonderful way of getting ink stains out of shirt pockets or anything like that. I mean when someone, as part of a post, mentions something specific about themselves that I hadn’t previously noted.

The example I gave on Saturday was NML who writes Tired of Men. I’ve read her site for a while now, although I don’t comment very often, and recently, in the middle of a post, she mentioned how you “didn’t often hear that kinda thing from a black girl..”*.

Similarly, despite having read Clare’s blog for some time now and having bought and enjoyed her book, (which I do recommend) her recent mention of an ex-girlfriend had the same effect.

THIS is what I love about blogs. As you read you start to build mental pictures of people, their opinions and their pet peeves, yet we don’t know the person at all. Now I know this isn’t a startling exclamation, and know that I’ve KNOWN this all along, but it’s one of those things that you start to forget as you aren’t constantly remind about it. This is probably because my regular reads haven’t changed for quite a while, so I’ve had less exposure to new blogs where this kind of “revelation” is expected as you gradually learn about the person behind the blog.

Obviously, the two examples I’ve cited weren’t (and shouldn’t feel any need to) hiding these facets of their life. Rightly so, it’s part of who they are, and I’m not… ohh look.. I could lose myself in a statement assuring you of my political correctness, so let me cut to the chase and say that it is NOT the details that NML and Clare posted but the fact that they are so fundamental to them and to who they are, and yet so startlingly new to me especially, and this is the crucial bit, as I’ve been reading their sites for quite a while. It’s a most odd situation, and I don’t think you get the same kind of thing happening in real life.

Or maybe it is just me. Again.

I’m quite sure that someone much smarter than I will have dissected and examined this behaviour, and I’m certain that one of you will know of the correct anthropological term. Regardless it forms one of the key reasons I enjoy reading blogs. It’s a constant reminder of a larger world, a place to experience differing viewpoints, to try and better understand my own take on the world through the eyes of others.

So to everyone I read, thank you. Thank you for posting about your day, your experiences and your thoughts. Probably without realising it you’ve made my life and my experiences all the richer.

* My memory is awful, so when I say recently, I could be referring to any post in the last six months or so. In a similar vein, she may not have used those exact words, but it was the fact that she had mentioned her colour that stuck in my head.

Post post update: I’ve swithered about even posting this, for fear it would taken the wrong way. I have contacted both Clare and NML to assure them this is not meant in any derogatory way. I guess it’s a lack of confidence in my writing ability that has me slightly wary. This post may be edited based on feedback.

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Another day, another blogmeet. After spending a couple of hours wandering around Edinburgh, I had the pleasure of meeting some old friends, and some new faces, in the Jolly Judge pub. Amongst a lot of laughing we discussed all sorts – politics, blogging (why?), stats, Edinburgh, and a lot more that I can’t remember. It’s always a bit odd meeting with, essentially, a bunch of strangers, but for some reason it works. Granted there are now a few familiar faces, but this was no different from the last two blogmeets with the conversation leaping all over the place, to a fascinating degree.

Anyway, for the record, I’d like to thank the following people for taking some time out of their weekend:

Unfortunately I had to head off for the last train around 8pm, but it was an excellent afternoon, in wonderful company. If you couldn’t make it along this time, keep an eye out for the next blogmeet.

Some photos taken by Will (on his rather fancy phone).

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I’m on the train, heading for Edinburgh and wondering if I should have charged the spare battery for my camera. Oh well, too late now.

My ultimate destination will be the Jolly Judge pub, and I should be there from just before 2pm until… well… sometime much later. My last train back is at 9.20pm, and there is every chance that, once again, I’ll JUST make it and spend the first few minutes of the journey trying to catch my breath. Ohhh OK, I’ll probably just be recovering when we chug into Motherwell station an hour later.

If you are in Edinburgh and are free anytime after 2pm, feel free to pop along. Bloggers, non-bloggers, friends and family. All welcomed. The pub is near the top of the Royal Mile on the right, and well signposted (it’s between two shops and down a lane).

Hope to see you there and remember, mine’s a Guinness!

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What a lovely start to the day. Stepped out of the station onto a pavement strewn with litter, foodstuffs, bottles, wrappers, newpapers all trampled and matted underfoot. Very much like the aftermath of a big concert which, as it happens, was apt because the rubbish had been generated by a large queue of people all of whom I presume are desperate to get their hands on tickets for this years T in the Park. They could’ve used the bins though. Young people today. *tut tut*

Apparently some of them had been queueing since 8pm last night. I didn’t realise The Who were that popular (you’d better you bet!).

Back at work today, having spent the last couple of days at home shovelling antibiotics down my throat. Nice big 500mg ones too, not the namby-pamby 200mg ones we get prescribed here, brought back from Spain where you can buy them over the counter. It’s nice to visit a country where you are treated like an adult capable of making responsible decisions. A couple of days (and only a couple of tablets) of those and my scratchy throat and ‘lively’ tonsils were back to normal. Unfortunately I seem to have swapped those symptoms for a runny nose. Win some, lose some.

Silver and gold are all the rage at the moment and little Britain have managed to secure one of the former in an event named “Skeleton” (no I have no idea why either). Apparently throwing yourself, on little more than a baking tray, headfirst down a curved ice track, will be the next big thing. After all, tennis gains popularity during Wimbledon, so why not… um… Skeletoning.

I just wish I could stop my brain conjuring up images of Peter Skellern.

The Metro (the internet, printed) offered a handy little medals table this morning, showing the lofty position the United Kingdom now holds. What I still don’t quite get is how Australia have managed a Gold medal. What in?

Postcards and Bankers appear to be the new spam. I no longer get requests from Nigeria, promises of a longer, more erect, schlong, or even a good piece of complete nonsense. No my email spam is no largely of the “You have a postcard!” or “[Insert Name of Bank] Security Update”. It’s both depressing and downright insulting.

Blogging News Work

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I hear mention that Mr. Connelly has mentioned my site in his randomly regular email newsletter thingy doo-dah.

If you’ve arrived here from that email, then clicking this link here will take you to my review of his book.

Ohh and feel free to have a poke about the rest of the site, plenty of waffling nonsense to keep you occupied for.. ohh.. minutes.

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Yesterday, during my experiment with Odeo – experiment, mucking about on the ‘net; potAYtoes, poTAHtoes – Richard asked “if you could only ask one… from anywhere in the world.. which blogger would you invite along to the blogmeet on Saturday?”

My initial reaction was to look overseas, and at one of the better known bloggers. Jason Kottke, Heather Armstrong or such like. People I’ve been reading for many years now. Then there are those who I admire for their work in a particular area – mainly web design – and from there I thought it would be best if I could at least decide on what “type” of blogger I would want to invite.

Would I prefer to meet one of the über-smart, cutting edge bloggers? Or one of the more ‘writing’ focussed types? For that matter there are a number of celebrities who blog, maybe one of them? Neil Gaiman, Moby?

And then I realised that I already HAD a pre-filtered list of bloggers, it’s on this very site (down there on the left). But how on earth do I choose just one? I’m completely stumped.

So, I’ll pass the question over to you (rephrased slightly).

If you could choose to meet one blogger, from anywhere in the world, who would it be and why?

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Just for the sheer hell of it, ask me a question and I’ll answer it in the comments. Or just say hi.

    Send Me A Message

Have fun.

(I’m trying to figure out if I can ‘share’ the messages with you all, let me know if you can hear Clair’s question here)

Blogging Work

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I’m notoriously bad at this kind of thing, so whilst it’s in my head let me update you on a few things that I’ve mentioned in the past few weeks.

1. Selling my old phone on eBay.

Thanks to you lot, I started the ‘dispute’ process and have since sold my phone to a ‘real’ buyer. The auction finished yesterday.

2. Bacon.
Thanks for the recipes and comments. I can happily say that it we’ve had no problems defrosting it, nor with the ‘use by’ date. We’re down to 19 packs, having given my parents some at the weekend.

3. Guardian vs Diamond Geezer.
I do watch my stats but whilst not obsessed about them (honest!) they did offer an opportunity to gauge which would have the largest impact, my printed quote in last weeks Guardian, or a front page link from Diamond Geezer. Some may say this isn’t a very fair comparison, but I say POO! to that. So which was it?

The Guardian quote was on Tuesday. Diamond Geezer linked to me on Thursday. (Green is page loads, Blue is Unique Visitors, Yellow is Returning Visitors).

Diamond Geezer vs The Guardian

And yes, I was surprised by that as well (the stats, not the quote… although that was a surprise as well).

4. Establishments wot have email but don’t check it.
Phoned them yesterday – to reserve a table for the blogmeet this weekend, and was told that “dunno where the email goes”.

Thanks to all of you who commented or emailed, it’s very much appreciated and one of the reasons I enjoy this silly little hobby so much.

And now some ground breaking news. I can now officially add coconut and pineapple to the list of foods I consume, with thanks largely due to Julian Graves Ltd and their bags of “Jungle Mix”. Chunks of dried mango, papaya, pineapple and coconut. Delicious. Find them at a train station near you (well if you are near Glasgow Central…).

Admittedly this may not class as “ground breaking” from where you’re sitting but it’s been a long hard battle, so I’m counting it!

Ohh yes, and it’s Valentine’s Day, but no, I didn’t spend half my pay cheque on a bunch of roses.

Blogging Life

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