Saturday, March 14, 2009

THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL

I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the ways of the Cyberworld. I’ve written a blog for something over two years now, and I’m still not really sure why I do it.

I used to (and to the extent of working one day a week) still do have a job which majors almost totally on the analytical side of things. All through the 40 years I’ve been doing it however, I’ve had a parallel artistic streak in me which I’ve kept separate from my work. I like/love music, paintings, good writing, and am passionate about Photography as an art form. I give talks to local photographic societies almost as a release to some of this side of me.

Working where I do in the UK Manufacturing Industry (or what's left of it) has meant that very few of one’s work colleagues shared one’s interests. Unless it's football or sex, their eyes glaze over at the thought of anything "arty". The thought of telling most of them that I went to the Ballet last Saturday (which I did) would set them off wondering very seriously about my “soundness”, to borrow a word from “Yes Minister”. It’s grown up Billy Elliot, but in the real world.

It was only a few years ago that I started to write on a purely personal basis. There was no point to it other than to satisfy a desire I had in me. I then started occasionally passing a copy of something I’d written to a couple of special and trusted friends, who (and I don’t think they were bullshitting me) said they liked what they read.

But it was the death of Syd Barrett of early Pink Floyd which convinced me to put pen to cyber-paper and set my scribblings in front of a larger audience, and this has since carried on for some 300 separate postings. Occasionally someone puts a note down about something I’d written, but in the main, an average of 60 or 70 people hit the blog each day, although only a small number - you know who you are – felt the need to it with a formal comment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for sympathy here, but I assume that what I write has only a limited appeal. That doesn’t matter greatly, as I really do it for one person – me.

For various reasons, I haven’t put pen to blog now since mid December last year. I don’t feel comfortable that a blog, which reaches people in a very impersonal way, is the right place for intensely personal thoughts. It just seems uncomfortable, to me at least, to write down one’s innermost thoughts for examination by anyone who clicked on the link. Perhaps that’s why there has been limited feedback, I simply don’t know.

Since Christmas, I have been beset with a few family issues, culminating in the death of my mother a month ago, as well as one of my closest friend undergoing a massive and life threatening operation on the day that she died. These things take precedence.

In the meantime, it’s been intriguing to me to see how the interest in
42@60 has carried on without any further postings. It should correctly now be called 42@63, following my birthday (and 40th Wedding Anniversary) a few days ago. The title should change, but somehow 63 is not a number with anything about it, so we’ll carry on using a bit of artistic, numerical licence here.

Anyway, I checked up yesterday for the first time in a month to see if anyone was still looking at it, and was rather staggered to find that the hit-rate had blossomed in late January to a tad under 300 per day. Now this is not “set the world alight” stuff, but I can see no reason whatever for such a solar flare of activity on something which had been dormant for a couple of months. It would seem that the less you write, the more you are read. Perhaps rarity is the key factor here!

So, I thought I’d put something down, just to show I’m still alive and kicking. I probably won’t keep up the rate of postings from last year, but when I find something interesting (at least to me!) I’ll pass it on.

Belated Happy New Year. Oh, and have a Good Christmas!

2 comments:

Whitenoise said...

Sorry to hear about your mother. Losing a family member is never easy.

That's quite the hit rate! I've had my blog de-listed from google searches, perhaps that's why my traffic is a tenth of yours. In any case, we all write for different reasons. It's interesting to see the direction some blogs have taken.

Ali said...

I have been following your blog for about a year now after following a link from Mr Linfoot's site. I find your style engaging & the contact often tunes in along my own interests.

I have been checking back about once or twice a week & am glad to see you have returned!

I am very sorry to hear about your sad start to the year & hope that your friend is now making a good recovery.