Tuesday, April 24, 2007


As this blog limps into its fourth great year, I thought I'd assess what I should and shouldn't be doing from now on.

OUT go long rambling posts, leaving too many inane comments on other people's blogs, spending long hours at the blogging coalface, getting upset if I don't get many comments, taking it all too seriously, not getting on with other stuff and definitely NO to "a beautifully realised and moving eulogy to etc., illness etc., awful upbringing etc., funeral etc., oh poor poor me, etc., wotsit" confessional posts in which I try to hint that y'know, I might be a *REAL* writer (not that there's ever been any danger of that ... I hope ...)

IN come short, easy to write and read posts, less networking, not taking it all seriously, actually getting to reading more than four books a year instead of blogging, part time blogging (ie, if I want to do three posts at once, then disappear for a month or so - then so be it), being even more stupid and superficial than before, nicking ideas from other people, spontaneity, ignoring the stalkers, nutters and abusive comments that are part and parcel of blogging ... just trying to make blogging take up less of my time. Which is the way things have been going anyway over the past few months, don't you know.

Basically, then, there will still be the same poorly written and ill thought out crap here, just less of it.

Like Val Doonican, however, I will still be using the spellcheck facility.

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Aww, the new Utility Room doesn't sound half as good as the old one.

Bring back the old one!
I had big ideas about changing my blog - after all that stuff though it's pretty much the same. Don't be tempted to change just for the sake of it.
You say that now, but what would you rather read, Turgenev or Geoff?
Betty, this is a remarkably moving and painfully piquant Eulogy to the inherent transience of Web 2.0. You have highlighted the conflicting meta-dynamics of creative infusion versus artistic expression, and touched the very life-pulse of our New-Blogger zeitgeist in an astonishing and life-affirming way.
Just do what I do Betty - get someone else to write it for you. I haven't looked back since Jonathan Sashenfasherashen Cohen took over.

The blog's been a bit shit, mind...

Keep up the good work everyone!!

L.U.V. on ya,


oh and happy 4th birthday!
This may be just the excuse I need to finally subscribe to Bloglines so I'll know when you've posted.

You've opened my eyes to Val Doonican and British snooker players for starters. Where else would I go for a look at the UK way of life? This ignorant Canuck relies on you!
Patroclus - but the new Utility Room is full of easy wipe surfaces and I've painted it magnolia. Not very exciting, but much easier to deal with and to more marketable. Er, actually, what I'm really trying to say is that I couldn't be bothered to make much effort with it any more.

Billy - it's not so much that I want to consciously change my style of writing - just that I want to write less often and do shorter posts. It's more a timesaving exercise than anything.

Vicus - Turgenev of course. Mind you, Geoff's post about monks and nuns is slightly better than Dostoevsky's The Idiot.

Murph - that was indeed the intention of the post. In fact, this is just a short version of a 400,000 word article I've submitted to the new poncey Thursday colour supplement with the the Wolverhampton Express And Star. I'll be blathering on about PoMo this and meta that, if anyone's interested.

Robert - I've tried having guest bloggers before (local gossip columnist Polly Witterings, James Blunt's dad, some bint called Maureen). Mind you, I might get Carole Malone to write it all in future and see if anyone notices the difference.
MJ - well, I've opened your eyes to the lowbrow end of British life. Nobody in Britain cares about Val Doonican or snooker anymore. This is probably why viewing figures here are sinking like a stone.
I know exactly what you mean about the magnetism (!) of blogging. I've only been doing it for 2 or 3 months - inspired by petite anglaise - but I'm always looking to see if I've got any comments, thinking about what to write to see if I get any more and thinking of the funny side of life (wish there was more) to write about. Equally I don't want the abusive ones so I try to keep everything a trifle low key! I don't think I am a brilliant writer but it is fun to fiddle around with photos and links ... I can never let anything just stand and keep editing all the time!
Also, I think it is very important to remember Val Doonican as well as Andy Stewart (have I got you there?)
This bounced back after first post so if you get 2, sorry!
personally i just can't get enough of snooker. more snooker please!

dizzy broad; your blog is fine.

there's a big glob of lint under the dryer and you're almost out of fabric softener though.
Heart says: I empathise, go for it.

Head says: yeahright.
Belle - yeah, blogging can be very addictive in some ways. Problem is, you start to take things to heart if you don't get comments or your stats go downhill. I went through a stage of being disillusioned by all that stuff but I think I'm over that now and am trying to step back from it all a bit. It's meant to be enjoyable, after all! Anyway - Andy Stewart. A friend once said to me "on New Year's Eve, the only thing on the telly is all those people like Andy Stewart, Moira Stuart and Jimmy Stewart". Eh? Why did she miss out Ed "Stewpot" Stewart?

First Nations - I'm sorry, I can't help you with the snooker. I'd rather watch paint dry than watch snooker. As for the lint under the dryer - you don't want to know what else is under there.

Hg - well, the blog has been heading that way recently. I've not been posting or commenting as much. I suppose I had to go public to force myself to do what I intended to and not back out of it!
Have I missed the "abusive comments"? I hope that Tears For Fears lady hasn't been round again.
You shouldn't do it if you're not enjoying it - but if you've got a minute I'm really desperate for inane comments.
I'll still be checking in Bettser. I agree - I think you should do what you want and not be beholden to blogging - I've been there many times over the last couple of years. I've almost forgotten how to read a real book - with pages that you can turn and fold down on the corner when you want to keep your page. And my eyes hurt all the time. And my brain hurts for thinking of witty/interesting/scintillating posts for no one to read. Ha ha. As Bob would say. Luv on ya Kidder xx
Arabella - the abusive comments tend to be back in the archive, because those sort of commenters usually find you through Googling something they're obsessive about. They can't bear people having an opposing view to them and just have to unleash their wrath. As for Fear Forever, there's a period of mourning over on that blog at the moment :( - http://fear-sforever.blogspot.com

Beth - there are so many issues about blogging which I won't really bore everyone with here, but it's not been as enjoyable of late because of them. I do think that people who think it's all about the "writing" are missing out on the importance of the communication side of blogging. Perhaps I'll just send loads of inane comments everywhere after all (except the sites that I feel that I'm not "in" with the rest of the clique ... I tend to lurk a lot, but that's another long, boring story).

Rockmother - yeah, the fact that my book reading has been reduced to virtually nothing really annoys me and I'm determined to reverse the slide. Using the internet reduces your attention span. I don't want to end up like a toddler, flitting from one thing to another! As it stands, I've had ideas for some very short posts, but I think I'm done with writing anything "profound". Too much effort involved, and nobody's really interested!
'stalkers, nutters and abusive comments'? I want some!
Mangonel - well, you can have mine if you want, preferably if you can sort them out with some sort of firearm.
Perhaps you need to shuffle your Regret into a New Order

Maybe I've forgotten the URL and the address
Of every blogger I've ever known
It's nothing to regret
Save it for another day
Don't worry if comments fade away

Don't get upset Bet-ty
Happens all the time
No need to change dear
You're doin' fine.
Well, without sounding like a weirdo stalker - I'm interested but I quite understand shorter posts etc. I'm worried I might be blind by the time I'm 60 and have to dictate my blog posts at this rate - too much screentime!
HE - well, if I was in a surly, resentful teenager mood, it would be:

How does it feel
To treat me like you do?
When you posted up that comment
That said I hadn't got a clue?

I thought you were mistaken,
Had you really read my blog?
Frankly, you can piss off
And stick your head down the bog.

... erm, but I'm a much nicer person than that. Probably.

Rockmother - I'm already about ninety per cent blind. Hopefully, by the time I'm old we'll be able to plug computers up to our brains so that we can "see". Can't guarantee that I'll be up to typing with my arthritic fingers though.
HE - by the way, that comment wasn't aimed at you, it was aimed at abusive commenters (various)
I write my rambling posts in spare moments (lunchtimes) and save them in a file to be used later.
Is Val Doonican dead yet?
Llewtrah - hah, I've got a few old posts filed away that I intend to flog out when I've run out of ideas actually. Hopefully no one will notice that they were written in January 2006.

Realdoc - well, if he does die it means I'll have to be forced out of semi retirement to post about it. I almost did an Alan Ball tribute yesterday but didn't give in to the urge.
betty - I opted out of having my blog searchable on Google etc - maybe that's why I don't get those funny emails you write about.

I had a look at the fears blog but feel I am missing the point! As a latecomer to these things, sometimes I reckon someone gave me the rulebook with a page missing!

I'm fifty-something - how long before I go blind and get arthritic fingers - a couple of months? Ouch!
Belle - I wouldn't worry about the Fears Forever blog. I think whoever writes it has missed several pages out of the rulebook and must have made it up as they went along. There really is a lot of rubbish out there on the internet ;)

I'm forty three and as well has having terrible eyesight it takes me about ten minutes to tune up like an old television set first thing in the morning before the aches and pains go away. I'll probably expire long before you do.
Dearest Betty,

I actually find now that I read books and spend time doing things like making stuff and having really long conversations and bore the pants off people. Well, I did that before...but now I can do it more! I really miss the people more than anything. But they know where I am...I hopexxx

So, it's what you want to do and how you want to do it. Everybody loves your site. You'll always have my support mateyxxxx

Oh year, I eat more pork pies now too.*

*Last statement of unknown relevance.

*Stuffs Melton Mowbray down in one gulp*

And just for old times sake....yummers....as Billy would say...
I've also started voting Tory.

No I haven't.
R - well, I'd like to think that the extra time will free me up to read loads of books and take up exciting, fulfilling new hobbies but I'm such a lazy cow it's unlikely to happen. Anyway, of course we all know where you are - you're much missed and are welcome here any time you want to visit m'dear.

I've started canvassing for the Liberal Democrats and have had a lobotomy. It's great.
Can I resist the bottle in front of me joke? Oh, the old ones are the best.

Or you know, a very large native American could save me at the last moment by throwing an MFI sink out of my window with some strange whiny music playing in the background. Now where's my beany hat?

What's the chances of Jack Nicholson coming to save me instead?

Have a great Saturday you two. Give Geoff a big hug too.
Hmm, I don't think I'd want to be saved by Jack Nicholson as far as I could throw him (I could probably throw him about as far as I could throw an MFI sink).

I would give Geoff a big hug, but the poor dear is such a frail, sensitive soul that he'd probably just break in two. Especially if West Ham lose this afternoon. Thanks anyway, and enjoy your weekend duckie.
Dear Betty,

There! That'll learn ya'! Never say you get worried about no-one commenting again. You've had more backchat than JC did after the Sermon on the Mount!
Your blog is brill. Don't go changin' - but I am with you on getting more of a life. As someone once said damningly but truthfully about my job: "Why don't you just do something with your life instead of writing about what others do with theirs?"
Keep going and keep in contact.
Reg - thanks for the compliment. Mind you, cutting back on blogging is more to do with stuff like reading books and getting more housework done than actually "getting a life". No one over the age of thirty five should think about "getting a life" because it invariably means hanging around clubs, going to parties, having a year round suntan and all the other stuff that goes with having a mid life crisis.
As a blogging baby I am currently enjoying all your "before experiences" am slightly worried it will take me 3 years to get to "after" - bugger it
Blogging is very addictive but I suppose there comes a point when you stop worrying about things like stats and comments. I don't know if there'll be an "after" and why should there be? You can always return to your blog if you get fed up of it - er, unless you delete it of course.
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