My blog is 6 months old today. I am not a great cake lover, but I am a champagne girl, hence the picture. I’m sure you’ll join me in raising a glass or two. I have not yet received the telegram from the Président de la République, but I’m sure it must be on its way.
Before proceeding, I’d like to thank my faithful band of subscribers and everyone who has landed on my blog in the last six months. I have received some great comments and made many virtual friends. I would especially like to thank the person who keeps coming back to ask, “Why is the weather so bad in France this year?”
I’ve written some 50 posts and in recent weeks, I’ve been getting 100+ hits per day, which is very gratifying. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it, whether or not you agree with what I say, and will continue to come back and read my ramblings.
I’m afraid the blogging rate has been a bit erratic over the past two weeks, for which I apologise. This is because the Statistics Freak has been having a range of close encounters with the French health system owing to gallstones. However, this will provide me with endless material for future posts, so watch this space.
To mark my blog’s 6 month birthday, I thought I’d do something different, which doesn’t have a huge amount to do with living in France but more to do with blogging generally. At the beginning of this year I barely knew what a blog was. Now I’m au fait with all kinds of stuff, like blogrolls, Feedburner, HTML and widgets. My grasp of some of these things is still elementary but I like to think that the learning process helps to keep the brain cells flickering away for a little longer.
So, with many apologies to William Shakespeare (As you like it), who must rotate continuously in his grave, here is my version of the seven ages of man/blogging:
At first, the infant, mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms
My very first post on 14th February 2010. Barely conscious of what I was doing, I nonetheless managed to go live that day. I was the only reader (several times).
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel, and shining morning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school
My first few posts where I didn’t know where on earth I was going. Would this be a blog about life in France or writing or what? What am I going to write about? Help…..
And then the lover, sighing like a furnace, with a woful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow
Things start to come together. I begin to get enthusiastic. I am going to tell everyone exactly how it is to live in France and what they need to know to survive.
Then a soldier, full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth.
The bad sides of France come out – my most vitriolic post, about sexism in France and how cheesed off I am with it, is written in this period. I hasten to add that, whatever my other physical shortcomings, I am not bearded.
And then the justice, in fair round belly with good capon lin’d, with eyes severe, and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances; and so he plays his part.
This is where I am now. The fire in the belly is still there but tempered with moderation. While there’s still the odd diatribe against things I don’t like (see my post on how to drive like the French), I’ve slipped into more judicious descriptive mode, passing on snippets of information and reporting on what’s been going on around here.
The next two ages cover what I guess happens to a blog that doesn’t take off or whose owner loses interest. I hope mine stays in the fifth age.
The sixth age shifts into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side [I’ve skipped the rest].
This is where the blogging rate goes down irrevocably, you can’t be bothered any more, who reads it anyway, why not just sit by the fire and have another couple of glasses of wine.
Last scene of all…is second childishness, and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans taste, sans everything.
The last post – where the blog is consigned to oblivion and sits like a forgotten savings account, occasionally visited by someone who happens to enter the right search term into Google.
Blogging is a very strange pastime, oddly addictive and sometimes wonderfully rewarding. I have every intention of continuing, since I enjoy it enormously and hope that people have derived some entertainment as well as helpful information from my efforts.
I’ll end with a quotation from Stephen Leigh, writer of fantasy fiction, which sums up how I feel about writing in general and blogging in particular:
You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won’t be able to take a break from being a writer.
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