Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reflections on a Forgotten First Anniversary

Hard to believe until I checked back that I missed the first anniversary of my blog entirely - that was on 22nd December and in the run-up to Christmas it went completely unnoticed. So now I am saying belated congrats to myself - and to all of you out there in the blogosphere who read and/or commented on the blog over the past year - thanks a lot! I really enjoy reading your comments and responding to them and at the same time I feel I don't devote a lot of time to the blog compared to some of you more diligent bloggers.

At the same time I am delighted to have had a chance to vent steam on issues that annoyed me over the year, as well as sharing some good times and events with you, and also posting recipes in what I hope was a user-friendly format for those of you into baking. I know I tend to use it myself when I am baking as it is as handy and accessible as a cookbook!

Some stats - I posted 70 times in the past year, and have 37 followers. My profile page has been viewed 820 times and the blog's been viewed 3694 times according to one counter and 4353 by another - who to believe? I don't really mind their accuracy as I don't want to start obsessing on my blog's popularity - it's good enough for me that people read and enjoy it and most of the comments have been positive. I have a listing on Irish Blogs and Blogarama -which might increase exposure, though they are a bit like vanity publishing - you apply to be on these listings - and I am following 48 blogs. This isn't a lot but as I find it hard to get round to reading all the posts these generate on my dashboard it's probably more than enough.

What do I like about blogging? It's relaxing; it brings me into other people's lives which is heaven for the innate curiosity I have about people without feeling intrusive (satisfying my nosiness some would say!)and it gives me a random record of my year which I would never get around to committing to paper. It is a format for musing or ranting/commenting on current affairs which exercise me, and a nice way to archive photos and videoclips that I have enjoyed or those I have made and shared via YouTube. I get to read recipes from around the world and try them out, and get a buzz from knowing some of you have tried and tested my recipes - and enjoyed them!

I have been a guest blogger on Niamh's Writer on the Way Home blog, and I have enjoyed interacting with all those who have commented on my blog or on whose blog I have commented. Some are incredibly talented and entertaining and if I was competitive there's plenty out there to aspire to! Lynda's blog from Tanzania was the first I followed as it spoke to me so personally - having lived in Tanzania for years I could identify with a lot of her posts and it was a great nostalgia buzz for me. There were many more that dipped in and out of my blogging life during the year and they showed me how we are all global citizens and if anything positive could ensue from blogging it would be to unite the world, unlike so many of our politicians and governments who seem to thrive on conflict and division.

Blogging feedback is generally polite and respectful - I don't really like the sometimes confrontational debate that ensues on some boards or chatrooms especially where contentious issues are debated, as it can quickly descend into abuse. Facebook is preferable for the hot topic debate where there are groups to opt into if the mood takes me.

So that sums up a few reflections on this relatively new hobby - one I never imagined doing a few years ago but which has given no end of enjoyment - long may it so continue.

Here are some of our Christmas Day photos -family and presents, the garden dusted in frost, and the Crib which is over 50 years old from my late father.

Happy New Year and Happy Blogging for 2010 to all.


Rudee said...

Merry Christmas, Catherine.

I'm always interested to read what you have to say. Happy Blogiversary!

FoodFunFarmLife said...

Merry Christmas, and congratulations on a year of great blogging ! Thanks for sharing you lovely family Christmas photos with us .... may the coming year be a wonderful one for you all !

Catherine said...

Thanks for the feedback folks -

RUDEE - glad you like the blog,I should comment on yours far more often as it is very close to my professional heart! And I love the knitting too, though I feel pretty inadequate on that front when I read about you felting and spinning!

LYNDA - thanks for the good wishes, and glad you liked the family Christmas photos - good luck for 2010 for you and yours, 2009 was a big year for you with your son's birth and all the excitement around that event. We are looking forward to our first grandchild in February! Watch this space. I will visit/comment on your posts soon again, life is slowing down after Christmas but we have a New Year's Eve party planned!

Stephanie V said...

Happy 1st birthday for your blog! I enjoy reading your accounts of life in Ireland. Since our visit this summer, I have a warm feeling for your country. I did love it.
I also think you're right to look for world peace in the sharing of our lives. Understanding of our common-ness rather than our differences is important.

diane b said...

Looks like you had a merry Christmas even if a cold one.Thank you for your comments. The southerners think we are slow to modernise up here but we are catching up. (Unfortunately)We don't have daylight saving when the southern states do. They say we are one hour (and 10 years) behind them.I have enjoyed your blog in the past and congratulations on your anniversary.

Jeannette StG said...

Just came back from my Christmas trip to our kids and families. Happy belated blog anniversary, Catherine! Glad I've gotten to know you (as far as one can on a blog) and to know that a Dutch and Irish can live together:) - just teasing!

Just what I like about this blog -I don't have to always defend what I believe, even if no one else thinks that way!

Catherine said...

STEPHANIE V - thanks for the kind comments! I just commented over on your posts. And it's good that you got a good impression of Ireland during your visit which must have been in our dire summer of 2009! You obviously absorbed a lot of Irish-ness from your Christmas post! I'm glad a message of unity in blogging got across - wasn't even trying to be too philosophical but it is true, isn't it? If more people connected through what unites rather than divides them we'd be a better world. Shared humanity is what matters, not how we each worship or how we live our daily lives rather that we are tolerant and try to respect each others differences.

DIANE - Thanks for the good wishes. Don't worry about catching up - they're probably envious of your more laid back pace! Are you on a different time zone then than Sydney and Melbourne? Should check it out somewhere. I wish we didn't have daylight saving as we all get instant depression the last Saturday of October when the clocks go back till the end of March when we wonder will this be the year that we actually get a bit of a summer? At least in Oz you get real weather, here we don't even get decent snow, only sleet and slush. So I hate Irish weather!

JEANNETTE - Thanks for the comment - glad you enjoyed your Christmas and yes I suppose it's a good sign of international unity that the Dutch and Irish can live in harmony - specially now that it's crossed the generations and our son's girlfriend is Dutch - we'll have our first Irish-Dutch grandchild in February! (the child will be three-quarters Dutch and a quarter Irish by my reckoning!)
Yes, blogging is what you make it and you don't have to toe any party line as long as it's not too libellous or offensive - some are pretty bad in that regard but not the ones I enjoy!

Happy New Year to you all!

Ann said...

Happy Anniversary! Have enjoyed reading your blog, since I discovered blogs and blogging.
Have fun ringing in the New Year, oh and a lovely time at the wedding.

Peggy said...

Hi Catherine,Happy anniversary for the blog, I am one who has always enjoyed reading it if not always commenting and I can also personally vouch for your recipes!
Happy New year to You and Yours.

Catherine said...

ANN - thanks and hope you had a good New Year and, yes, we did have a lovely time at the wedding - it was in the Park Hotel and the food was lovely as was the general craic, the Champions are good at getting "the crumblies" (as someone on a chatroom said!) up and dancing! I was the designated driver so no hangover, thankfully. It was a foul stormy night with a tree blocking the road near Lismore but we could skirt around it - carefully!

PEGGY - I was thinking how bad I've been at visiting your blog lately or at commenting on so many - I wish I had more time to read posts of others but I never seem to have enough hours...back to work Monday and it's like the holiday period flew by. Hope you had a good New Year and Christmas, and that the weather wasn't too bad - here it's been grand, no snow though which would've been nice!
Glad you enjoy the blog, I will try to get more recipes in the coming months. I have lots to share but need to get them organised!