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Sunday 20 January 2019

Some Memorable Posts

Posts from other blogs that have stuck in the memory

Although it’s over four years since I started this blog, I don’t have many readers or followers. Would I do better by being more like other bloggers?

Sadly, in my case, the answer is almost certainly “No”. No one would be interested in the beauty products I use, or pictures showing my repertoire of appealing facial expressions. I’m not sure anyone would want to know how comfortable my ten-year old M&S underpants are, or that I have had three Shredded Wheat for breakfast almost every day for the last forty years. I’m not qualified to give tips on how to get thousands of followers in just one week, or how to find commercial partnerships and get paid to promote products. As for hints on parenting and lifestyle, my kids would go ballistic if I posted those childhood photographs of them nude in the bath. 

I have explored linkies, retweet accounts and facebook boosts, but it seems to me that the main beneficiaries of these things are the people who host them. They get them going and within a few weeks are pestering you to say they have “teamed up” with this or that product to bring you the latest feminine lingerie, slimming aids or facial filler creams.

There are, however, some wonderful blogs I do admire, and would like to mention posts from the past few years that left a memorable impression.

I have a soft spot for blogs by middle aged men from the North of England retrospectively trying to construct meaning in their lives. Jonathan Humble’s poetry blog has some pretty powerful stuff, and some amusing stuff too, but it was a short story, Rainbow Friday, that first caught my attention. It could be straight from my own childhood. It is so good, I sometimes wonder why I bother trying to write a blog myself.

I followed Andrew Petcher from fairly early on. He has a well-read travel blog written in his guise as “international man of leisure”, but it was his childhood blog, from when children roamed free without a care, that attracted me first. His memories of a rugby-mad games teacher are spot-on, and his experiences of working in a privatised utility (part 1, part 2) have you gunning for re-nationalisation.

David Hodgson Personal Blog (not the snappiest of titles) is always fascinating. Two pieces I especially remember are one which begins by wondering what became of a large map of East Yorkshire bus routes that used to be on the side of a building overlooking the bus station in Bridlington, and a piece about the bizarre demise of the British electronics company Ferranti which supported him through university.

Moving on from elderly memoir, Estelle Hargraves’ The Skittish Library, a reflection on out-of-print oddities, was another early following. I found it when researching one of my own favourite old books, The Universal Book of Hobbies and Handicrafts. Her posts about the chapters on pet keeping and self defence give questionable advice about the disposal of unwanted kittens and how to pierce an assailant’s throat with the tip of your umbrella.

Brian’s Blog, a philosophical take on anything and everything contradictory in the world, always makes me think. The writer strives for a green and thoughtful life by cycling and recycling, and minimising present-day irrationalities. The diversity of the blog makes it difficult to pick specific pieces, but two recent ones that come to mind are on micro-beads and the idiocy of  GDPR cookies.

Sarada Gray also blogs about anything and everything. I look at all her posts, and especially enjoyed one about her new pair of reading glasses. She also, quite rightly, roused my indignation at how Mo Mowlem has been airbrushed out of history.

Finally, for now, Gary Strachan is possibly the most prolific blogger I follow. At sometimes two or three lengthy posts a day I could never keep up with everything he writes, but I regularly find myself returning for his wit and humour which is up there with Tim Dowling in the Guardian or Eddie Mair in the Radio Times. To be honest, I envy how easily he seems to turn it out. Over the last few days he has even produced a series of posts joking about his recent heart attack.  

I feel that’s enough for now and apologise for not mentioning more of the blogs I follow. I’ve made a mental note to attend to it in due course.


  1. Thank you for the shout-out; I've added your endorsement to my About page!

    Empty likes and followers, or blogs about making money from blogging... yawn! But blog posts about worthy blogs I can do! I think it's important to write about meaningful things rather than chasing likes and followers. Active participants are far better.

    Incidentally, I used to have four Weetabix daily, but I'm currently on three eggs.

    1. I've listed things I remember from blogs I've read over the last few years, those two particular pieces among them. I think the introductory bit to this post was developed out of a comment I made on your blog some time ago.


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