Well one whole year of blogging has quickly slipped by and I did not even remember to celebrate the day (that is what happens when you head off to the seaside for a couple of days). 30 March 2011 was the date of my first posting. Since then I have published 243 posts and have had nearly 32 000 hits. This is an average of 131 readers a day (but not really). My most read post is "are you ready for another royal wedding?" with 1 542 hits. A silly one really but that can perhaps explain where I suddenly was being read by people in Sweden and Russia (your "stats" page gives you all kinds of interesting information about who is reading your blog). I think lots of people were googling to get pictures of that very ugly bride so the came upon my site.
I have just re-read my first post on the 30 March 2011 and not that much has changed. In my "reflections" post at the end of last year, I summed up from a personal view where things were going together with the ups and downs of 2011 (I hate to be reminded that the Christmas present from Gareth is still not in operation (but will be soon)).
Looking back on the year I often get questions from friends about how I find the time to blog and is there pressure involved? It has never become a chore and it is something that I enjoy and never feel under pressure to deliver (even after calls from Aunty Norma). It tells about what is happening in my life and is at times more personal than other times. It is a creative outlet for me. It is a little space of my own (in cyberspace) that makes me happy and I can focus on the things that amuse and delight me - usually my family, friends, my garden, my home, food and wine (in no particular order). That is really the purpose, to focus on the happy, delightful and positive things in life. I don't pretend to have the perfect life, be the perfect wife or mother or have the perfect family - everything is pretty damn ordinary in suburbia but pretty marvellous to me.
I do find myself sucked into other blogs (there are so many wonderful things to read and so many beautiful blogs around). I try hard not to compare my blog to anyone else's and I hope it does offer a bit of everything. I am trying to limit my time on the internet and not get too hooked on aimless surfing (Pinterest is addictive) mainly because I am not reading enough books (and I miss it). On the occasions that I have been struggling finding something to write about, I have found that it is far better to make up an obscure topic or write about "Winnie the Pooh" or to relate a tale of your day than look for inspiration on other sites. Once I start writing, the words come easily and I sometimes find it hard to be brief. I do babble a lot.
I am not a professional writer and will not ever make money out of blogging. I enjoy the feedback that I get and am touched by the comments I receive. I do get excited when I get a new follower or a stranger makes a comment on the blog but, at the end of the day, I am doing it for myself. My aim to write was firstly for myself and what fills my heart (and sometimes what breaks it). I am in my happy place. Whether sitting alone (in my nightie) in the study on my computer (with a cup of tea) or in front of the television (with a glass of wine) working on my laptop while Michael reads the paper or whether I sneak some lines and pictures onto my site while at the office (supposedly working and without wine), it is my time. Time on my own, with my thoughts (be they happy or sad), time that I could be (and perhaps should be) doing so many other things but I try not to feel guilty about it because it is good to do what makes you happy (isn't it?).
One year on, I thank you for the support. Please feel free tell me what you like (and what you don't like). The poetry vibe is something that I have recently signed up for, I have not linked the poetry to my Facebook status updates as I am not sure that it is everyone's "cup of tea". On my new site I will be able to put it into it's own category and everything will be much cleaner and easier to read and hopefully it will be easier to follow and to make comments.
At the end of the day if it makes you happy, and is true for you too, then it is a win-win situation. And we all like those.