When I started this blog, a year ago today, it was a really effective way of getting myself through a bleak mid-winter. It was also a learning excercise and a way of trying to get into a personal writing habit. I still need to push myself further with developing the habit of writing – mainly with getting things finished and getting more of my notebook scrawls onto the online page.

A year ago today, I couldn’t imagine my blog in a year’s time. A year ago today I had no idea what an encouraging place to blog WordPress can be. Don’t you just love the system of trophies and progress notifications – I switched on and logged in to find this today:



Along the journey it’s been reassuring to hear from more seasoned blogger’s that it can take up to two or three years to really settle into a blog. So far, I’ve never really worried about stats and numbers as I think they have their limitations –  I selfishly blog for my own enjoyment and don’t really worry if no-one at all reads my posts. I’d often think ‘I don’t blame you!’ Besides, there so much stuff out there in virtual space to grab our short attention spans.

Now that I have been blogging a whole year – albeit inconsistently – what do I want to have achieved here in this next year?

  1. To have made at least one post every week, consistently, with no big gaps.
  2. To use images more often.
  3. To have retained most of my blog’s followers and maybe have some new ones too 🙂

More immediate goals include a new pic for my gravatar profile(!) and a theme change… when I have a chunk of time to be ready to iron out the crinkles that are bound to arrive with a new set of clothes!

A few days ago, I reached the 100 followers mark and this was quite a surprise! Although that’s slow in comparison to many other blogs, I’m a snail and slow suits me just fine 🙂


Here are some links to some great posts from some of my earliest followers:

A wonderful flash fiction story in response to a Sunday Photo Fiction challenge from Prakash who also enters poetry challenges and posts other writings.

Ann at Grubbs’n’Critters shares her great sense of humour and is always making me smile with her fine mixture of posts 🙂 Visits to her blog also make me hungry. This cookie recipe looks easy to make, fun to do with the young’uns and the results look so tempting – as do so many of Ann’s recipe posts!

I’m so behind the times that this is the first news of the 2015 Turner Prize I’d seen! ‘Sculpture Everywhere and Anytime’ is the title of Steph’s blog, offering a feast of visual delights and interesting art-inspired posts.

Among more recent followers, here’s another small helping of noteworthy posts:

Ngobesing Romanus blogs at Success Inspirer, sharing writings and motivational poems such as this one.

If you like cats you’ll love this group blog dedicated to those feline friends. With fun posts like this, it’s easy to see how this blog has grown such a huge following of over 28k!

Sally Burr’s latest post about private renting will hit home for many stuck with landlords who fail to provide a decent home while reaping the profits. Sally is  a ‘Learning Technologist’ at the University of Sussex and her writing covers many topics of social, scientific and cultural interest.

Thanks again to all followers and readers of this blog 🙂









Neighbourhood – part 1b

Having ventured out to visit existing neighbours in my previous post, I thought I’d also take on the challenge of finding five new-to-me Blogging101 neighbours.

Hallo again Blogging101 !

(N.B. I am skipping class this month and reviewing past material… tagging along – or gate-crashing, if you prefer… but at least I’m walking the walk … and that’s definitely not ‘crash-tagging’!)

Along the way of ‘Meet the Neighbours’ task for today, I bumped into ‘on and off’ blogger Gerry Wilson’s introduction post and look forward to reading more there, soon – and being seen as a ‘veteran’ blogger by some, there appears plenty to dig into in the archives, as Gerry started blogging in 2009.

Thanks to intrigue and curiosity generated by IgneousIdol’s latest post I now am familiar with the term ‘boondocking’ and what it means! I also empathised with the title of that post – exactly how I felt during November’s Blogging101 when I attempted the task as given and was completely overwhelmed with new-to-me reading.

A.L.A.S. at Lifetime of gratitude shares five linked blogs which look appealing – and I do enjoy these kind of posts for finding blogs I’d probably miss otherwise.

I really like Jansenphoto’s blog title and tagline and this post offers five recommended blogs found in their search of reader tags – I’d never thought of searching that tag and look forward to checking out those blogs too.

Finally, my fifth target for this post became Rants and Ramblings exploration of today’s assignment activity. I empathised a lot during reading, although he won’t have heard, because similarly, I tend to avoid commenting – or rather put it off for a return visit I might not get round making.

That’s another good reason for writing these little link-up posts, the handy reminders of must-go-back-to …

So, from checking out the blogging101 tag in the Reader today, there are five latest new-to-me choice reads. Happily away now to elsewhere, real-life awaits. I enjoyed my visiting spree and will have to do it again sometime sooner! Bye for now…





Neighbourhood – part 1b

Neighbourhood – part 1A

[N.B: If you’re looking for my poetry101rehab entry it’s in pre-formatted text box way down the page – but isn’t yet my entry proper…]

Today’s Blogging101 task focusses on reading and engaging with the blogging community and encourages seeing the blogosphere as ‘neighbourhood’… I’m currently refreshing on the November2015 Blogging101 class and so, like many others, am ‘tagging along’ without actually signing up for the class this time round.

The first wordpress class I joined was Blogging201, almost a year ago, just after starting this blog – I should have waited and taken Blogging101 first, but didn’t get around to that one for a few months, having taken a couple of the writing and poetry classes in between.

I encountered lots of fantastic bloggers with already admirable blogs during last February’s Blogging201 class – and plenty more since during other classes and generally around the blogosphere. Unfortunately, I’ve not had time to keep up with reading in recent weeks / months, so I’ve been catching up quite a lot while at home for a few days.


So, rather than seeking out only new blog’s today, for my blogging101 refresher, I’m revisiting existing ‘neighbours’ that I already follow and having a good catch up with some of those. (Some of my fave blogs are already linked up in my 3days,3quotes challenge posts as nominees for the challenge, otherwise they would have featured here too!)

I’m always fascinated by a visit to Suzi’s blog, even though it seems written for women and even though I don’t stitch. I know plenty of females who do and perhaps that’s the original hook – but I suspect it’s more to do with the surprise in (thrift) store with her posts and Suzi’s originality and inspiring creativity. Happy recent first bloggiversary at too Suzi!

from Suzi’s latest post at bluecarpaintedgreen:

“If we all planned our days around core desired feelings, how might our lives improve?

And so I ask: How do you want to feel this year? Pick a word. Then choose three more. What actions can you take to feel this way, at least more of the time? Consider how you can arrange your time to make it happen.”

In answer to the first part of these questions, this year I want to feel enlivened, enthused, enabled and enriched (I don’t mean financially, although that would be a bonus!) … and I’ll maybe spend some time thinking about this in finding some answers to those other questions.

New Year seems a prime time for starting new challenges and / or continuing existing ones:

KittyKat-BitsandBobs Word for Wednesday response really struck a chord with me. I also found interesting the 28 prompts for the ‘Love Yourself’ challenge she’s currently doing – now wondering if they’ll help me achieve those feelings outlined in the paragraph above… although I’d maybe do them privately than on my blog…

I enjoyed this response from Rose and found this not-too-late to join in with JustJotItJanuary challenge

… but I’m also having to admit – again! –  that I’ve let past challenge commitments go and am hoping to catch up with those before taking on any new ones. RonovanWrites is the home of the weekly haiku challenge (I must get re-started with this!), among others such as #BeWOW. There are so many great posts and articles, it’s a reliable venue for blogging tips and a vibrant community routinely return for more – although I don’t manage to keep up regularly it’s one of my favourite flit-off-to-destinations.

Although she describes her humour as bleak, I always find myself smiling through reading Mara Eastern’s posts – Mara originally hosted the Poetry101rehab challenge, now homed with Andy Townsend, another fab place to visit. (I must resume entering this weekly challenge too) – and as I’ve created a pingback to this week’s poetry challenge I should really write some! 🙂

'fem' in me, you're kidding - 
i'm an all-in male you see -
yet I'm following all these women, 
(cos they make good things to read...)
I should be careful with that statement
or some might get the wrong the idea
so I'll write my rehab later
and in the meantime wish you Happy New Year!


Usually it’s Ann at GrubbsnCritters making me hungry with foodie posts, but today it’s visiting another good neigbour, Kim L. Hine (and I remind myself I have a long-lingering-liebster post to make at Snailzpace Daily – with apologies for the lengthy delay!)

My Life as Brittney‘s blog often brings me smiles and this weekly topic is such a nice idea…

Last, but by no means least, I usually have no complaints after reading at Zen and Pi and this latest post introduced me to an intriguing thirty day Minamilism challenge… I might not take it up this month, but bearing it in mind…

So, that’s the whole afternoon reading blogs – and I’m much happier with myself for the catch-up visiting, it’s been on my mind for a while, all these places I love to go read but fail to make enough regular time. Of course there are more, but I’ve ventured far enough for one day – and there is a part 2 to this post to write up yet! …






Neighbourhood – part 1A