30 June 2020

Fifteen

I first began blogging fifteen years ago. I didn't really know what I was doing or why I was doing it or whether or not I would be blogging fifteen weeks or fifteen months later. But here we are. Fifteen years of my life have passed under the bridge - much of it documented via this blog.

Here's my very first post:-
As you can see, I even attracted one comment. It was from someone called Hadashi in Japan. To receive that comment from faraway was kind of magical. Encouraging too.

Four days later I posted a picture of myself being interviewed at work and the first verse of a poem about work by the late Philip Larkin who spent his most productive days in The East Riding of Yorkshire.
That post also attracted a single comment - from Zandrea! in Brookline, Massachusetts. Zandrea! was in fact two people - Zara and Andrea. Perhaps they were lovers or someone with a split personality. They or she stopped blogging four years ago.

In fifteen years I have created 3421 blogposts, receiving 1,822,114 visits. It has been quite a journey - something to look back on with a degree of satisfaction. I did that!

Only sometimes do I pause to think: Should I have done that? All those hours of blogging and reading other people's blogs, perhaps I should have saved up that energy and poured it into writing - stories, novels, poetry. Precious time has slipped away like sand in an hour glass. Fifteen years older and the end is nigh. What is there left to say?

64 comments:

  1. I have been at it now since 2009 QP. There has been times when I have almost given up but after a week or two I always come back and am glad that I did.
    As you say, it's good to look back on in a way but not when I see how the time has flown.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Eleven years is also a long time Briony. You were just a young lass when you started.

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  2. That sand would have been slipping away whatever you were doing YP but I am sure that you must have enjoyed blogging or else you would possibly have stopped before now? Time is not wasted if you are living your life the way you wish. Just look at the pleasure you have brought to us all!

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    1. You are right. I have enjoyed it JayCee but in a way it's easier and lazier than proper writing. That's my only regret.

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  3. I started my blog in 2010. I look back at the images and it's a Chronicle of life in rural Ireland. You are a prolific blogger YP.

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    1. For "prolific" please insert "terrific".

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  4. You're the Dixie Dean of blogging.

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    1. You are the Nobby Stiles.

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    2. I'm a world cup winner if that is so.

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    3. It also means you have got no teeth and can dance like a lunatic.

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    4. And I would know George Best.

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    5. But you'd know Bobby Better.

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  5. I started blogging years ago too, not sure how many but Katie was still young. My blog back then was called Tired Mummy because I was, tired all the time.

    My husband doesn't understand blogging, thinks it's a waste of time and it bugs him that I do it but it helps me get my thoughts and feelings out and it feels like having pen pals around the world.

    It's so nice to see your face.

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    1. You are right. It is like being in penpal world.

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  6. Fifteen years well spent, Big Man. (In Glasgow strangers address me as Big Maun.)
    Blogging is like keeping a journal that talks back. You shared the adventure, reaching more people than the average good novel ever does. Poor Larkin, the glum toad settled on his soul: There are four YouTube videos about him, one titled *Love and Death in Hull*. Alan Plater, born in Jarrow but a Hull resident since the age of three, was a character more like yourself. As for the end is nigh, hearken to the word of the Lord: *I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.*
    John


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    1. Good knowledge about Messrs Larkin and Plater John. Have you ever had a Glasgow kiss?

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    2. Lucky to have escaped the violence of this city, YP. No Glesca kiss, but in my youth I kissed some nice wee lassies. As Burns said, *The sweetest hours I ever spent were spent among the lassies-o.* Mind ye, there's also the great pipe bands, and a pint with my mates in The Cafe Royal, Edinburgh.

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    3. I didn't think that Glaswegians were allowed to visit Edinburgh. You must have sneaked in in the dead of night.

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    4. Wegians (Us Scruff as Tom Leonard joked) have a problem with *Embro* as we cry it. We've missed out.
      Richard DeMarco said you can see the whole of Europe from the top of the Scott Monument in Princes Street. He was talking about the European Enlightenment of which Edinburgh was the capital, embodied in the Georgian *New Town*, but also in the medieval city on the other side, which embodies the Ancien Regime. Scott, hostile to Whiggery, wrote a fair book about Napoleon Bonaparte which has been reissued in an edited form.

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  7. Congratulations! Yours is one of the most consistent and regular blogs I read, and I am so glad about that, as it adds consistency and regularity to my own life, too. At the same time, most of what you write is both entertaining and informative - not every writer can say that about their work.
    Here's to the next 15 years!

    PS: Blogging has definitely enriched my life, allowing me to "meet" new people, make a handful of new friends and learn a lot about daily, ordinary (and less ordinary) life in places across the world. I would not want to miss it and do not see it as a waste of time.

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    1. Thanks for being a good blog friend Meike. You are one of the best.

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  8. I often have the same thoughts. However, here we are and this is how we've done it.
    And your blog has brought much pleasure and you have shared your world. For that I thank you.

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    1. I have loved your blog and you intimate way of writing Mary. The respect and the enrichment is mutual. Like Meike, you are one of the best.

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  9. Congratulations Mr Pudding, that's a whole lot of blogging!

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    1. Reminds me of a song - "Whole Lot of Blogging Goin' On!"

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  10. Congratulations on 15 years of blogging. When you consider how many books go unread and then consider how wide an audience you reach with your words, it seems to me that you have not wasted your time. Yhen there is your photography. Something you clearly love to do, and where better to share your gift of catching just the right scene/mood/light than on your blog where we can all appreciate a glimpse of your world and your talent. So, I for one, thank you.

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    1. That is a lovely and most gracious comment which I very much appreciate Mary. Thank you too.

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  11. Congratulations on your fifteen years of sharing your travails, your observations and the visual. A generosity of heart. Also count into your favour (and forgive me for the side dig at some bloggers) that you have more interesting thoughts and other to share than what you have had for dinner (lunch for some of us), tea, the number of Scotch eggs you are trying to slim, cleaning off dog snot or where your cats rest); not to mention the waterworks - one blogger in particular in urgent need of a plumber to stop the drip.

    I haven't been reading you for that long though do, occasionally, delve into your back catalogue. Long may you continue.

    On a general note re blogging: It's a balancing act. Yes, to some extent, keeping a blog is a journal. And, in good faith hopefully met, be it in a blog post, be it in a comment we leave, we lay ourselves open to people we don't actually know. There is good will out there and there is ill will out there.

    I hope disenchantment hasn't set in. It'd be a great pity for your readers (talk about being selfish - mea culpa).

    As to sand and time. Well, YP, one way or another life appears to be some sort of sieve. As Lidle warns us: Once it's gone it's gone. We should have learned that slogan early on - you know, there you are having built a magnificent sand castle, then the tide comes in. Isn't a reason to not build another castle another day.

    Hug,
    U

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    1. Such a kind, intelligent and supportive comment for which I thank you Ursula. The sandcastle metaphor is food for thought... though I wouldn't want to actually eat sand.

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    2. Stick a scotch egg up yer arse Ursula

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    3. Life is too short for anyone to make such an ugly and unmanly remark.
      Ursula writes with intelligence and moral discrimination.
      You should be ashamed, John.

      The other John (Haggerty)

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    4. I am tired of her jibes
      You wait and see

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    5. The ladies will make their cutting remarks, John. We either grin or pretend we haven't heard. The truth is, they are superior to us. Think of Bette Davies and Monty Wooley, Katie Hepburn and Spencer Tracey. Hemingway just smiled when Lady Astor put him down. I follow your blog with great interest.

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    6. John is many things, Hamel. A gentleman he ain't. He is a simple soul. Obsessed with his and other people's behinds and plugholes. His colour vision doesn't extend further than black and white. Without wishing to be racist - he deems himself white, unblemished like the driven snow, a saint. And I am black. Somewhere in Tennessee or Mississipi, circa I don't know - just scroll back the years to Uncle Tom's Cabin when lynching a black was perfectly acceptable. On account of nothing. Other than, in John's case, an amazing dislike of me. If world peace were up to John & Co we'd be done for.

      Love you, John. As to your suggestion re Scotch eggs. I make quails' ones. Small. Tasty. They might just about fit to accommodate your wish.

      U

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  12. I feel there are many ways to make connections. Some of them are unique and special in their own way. I have enjoyed reading your blog for the last couple of years. It's given me ideas to chew on, added to places I'd like to visit and, in some small way, allowed me to get to know your neck of the woods. Cheers

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    1. Thanks for dropping by this cobwebbed corner of the blogosphere Linda.

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  13. Congratulations on reaching this anniversary, though I have only come recently to your blog. It is very uplifting and positive and the subjects mused upon go far and wide, though I am against the use of statistics ;)

    "it's easier and lazier than proper writing. That's my only regret." No, that is not so, we all have the chance of writing freely in a blog, how many books would have appeared in those 15 years I wonder?

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    1. Two or three at least. But then you have the massive challenge of finding a publisher. Even J.K.Rowling struggled with that one.

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  14. A respectable achievement for which you have my respect. I've managed 198 different posts (excluding reposts and book reviews) in six years, during which I have mentioned at least three times that I once stood on Philip Larkin's foot.

    I hadn't noticed until Mr. Brague mentioned around a week ago that you always use one-word titles. How do you avoid the same word twice? Do you have a dictionary with the used words underlined, like in a trainspotter's book?

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    1. Some titles get repeated like "Poem" for example but it was a little challenge I set myself from the start - one word titles. Did Mr Larkin swear at you? "Gerroff me foot you clumsy clot!"

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    2. "I got the full-on, forehead-focused, withering laser-glare, directed through industrial-strength frames and lenses. Bits of my brain were crisped and frizzled and any hopes I had of becoming a proper writer were clinically extirpated."

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    3. Anyone who can comfortably use a word like "extirpated" must still have a writer inside him.

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  15. Fifteen years, eh? That's a grand achievement.

    I enjoy your blog, YP. I first clicked on it a couple of years ago and found the warm, northern spirit and the wicked sense of humour.

    May you continue for another fifteen years. (Grandpa duties allowing)

    I shall raise a glass to your success tonight.

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    1. Will it be Mackeson? Thanks for you lovely comment Christina. Cheers!

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    2. Now you should know me after two years. It will either be a New Zealand white or a gin and tonic. 😉

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  16. Fifteen years is a long spell. Well done.

    Personally I feel blogging is more rewarding than writing a book would be, because of the interaction with readers. Having said that, if you still feel you want to write a book, what's holding you back? You're not dead yet, man!

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    1. Blogging seems to reduce my appetite for fully-focused writing. That's what I am saying woman!

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    2. Understood, but then the only thing left to do is to decide whether you're going to have regrets or if you're going to do something different :)

      Or maybe you were just sayin'. As they say.

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    3. You may be right at the end - just sayin'.

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  17. Wow! I've been reading here for a while but now even close to 15 years. Happy Blogoversary! Yes, you could have been writing other things for the past 15 years, but you wouldn't have created a record of your life that I suspect your family will enjoy reading far into the future. Just think, you're about to become a grandfather! That alone is reason enough to keep on blogging. :)

    I realized after reading this post that my own blog will be 10 years old in August. That seems crazy!

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    1. You must have been a teenager when you started blogging Jennifer.

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  18. Congratulations on 15 years! I have always been impressed by your ability to post as often as you manage! Although I am still new at this, I have had questions about keeping it up but I do really want to continue blogging. I do not have the blogging "muscle" to post as often as you and some others post. It is a nice way to look back and reflect on your life though, isn't it?

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    1. Yes it is a nice way to record and remember. Perhaps you should aim for one post a week Bonnie - to keep visitors connected to you.

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  19. Good on you, Mr. Pudding. You have gladdened my heart numerous times, taken me down muddy paths and I have visited many places through your words and pictures. I am grateful and thankful for our visits together. Here's to another 15 years. By the end of that time, you will be taking the little babe to come on walks with you. How wonderful!!!

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    1. Frances had a scan in London today. The babe is two and a half inches long at the moment and the possibility of Down's Syndrome is deemed very remote. You are going to be great aunt! Fingers crossed.

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  20. My grand niece is blessed with a severe case of Down's. She has made her single parent, my nephew, into a wonderful man! They live in Ohio on a wonderful place with chickens, goats and horses and dogs. She is a delight to him and to my sister even tho she, at seven, is just beginning to walk. I hope for the best for Frances and I know you will be the most loving, generous, engaged grandfather ever!! How I envy you and Mrs. Pudding for your expectation of this wee babe!

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    1. How fabulous that your nephew emanates such love for a child who never asked for such a struggle. What happened to your grand nieces mother?

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    2. Oh, she is around and sees her daughter a couple of evenings a week. But, my nephew has sole custody.

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  21. It's a lot of blogging! But then, that is your charachter, isn't it? Long friendships, one long, single career, a lengthy marriage....

    Not real writing? I disagree. There are different styles of writing and blogging is one of them, as evidenced by the annual Laughing Horse Blogging award

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    1. You know Kylie, I had never weighed myself up as you did in the first paragraph. But you are right. That is the kind of human I am.

      I have always had dreams of being a printed writer - in the old-fashioned way.

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  22. Well done on 15 years. I have not quite reached that number. Many times people have said I should write a book, but that seems more like a chore and requires discipline, and who would read it anyway. Blogging is more fun.

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  23. Congrats on your blogaversary! I'm coming up on fifteen years as well, but unlike you, my first posts attracted no attention whatsoever. I wondered for a while whether anyone was out there at all. (Admittedly they weren't very interesting posts! LOL)


    In any case, it's not as if you've wasted all that time. You created something wonderful here, and built a community around it. In some ways it's better and more alive than a novel that may or may not have been published and, even if published, would eventually be a dusty book on someone's dusty shelf.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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