Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Must write something, must write something, must write someth....

Yesterday evening I looked at this page for the first time in about a week, and discovered that all the blogs I follow (that growing list on the right) had blogged very recently, and in some cases had blogged several times. I realised I had not informed the world wide web what had been happening in the Lethbridge household for quite a few days, and hastily (could you guess?) put together a post that neatly summed up the intervening period. Phew, well thats done for another few days. Then this morning another quick check and a few of them have been at it again, and all of a sudden the pressure is on again!

Now hang on a minute. I am not a slave to the web, as this post at 8.52am on a Tuesday clearly demonstrates. I don't feel the need to bung something up just to satisfy the masses (ha ha). And I am not obsessed by statcounter. No no. Talking of which, after I linked to that Belgian Waffle blog (probably the most productive of the ones I read, the volume of output is insane, somebody should take her computer away) I immediately got a massive increase in hits from all around the globe. Now as you know, Wanstead (remember Wanstead? This is a blog about Wanstead), is a pretty fab and exciting place, especially on the birding front, but global appeal? Hmmm. A bit of digging and I discover that about 90% of visitors are coming from the Waffle-blog. Huh? I am amazed to find out that it has taken a mere 24 hours for the author of said Waffle-blog to discover I have linked to her site, twittered (TM) about it, and hey presto I have a stream of web-savvy housewives visiting Wanstead Birder. Sadly none of them got in contact, and being confronted with a post about insects rather than birds most of them have never visited again. Hence the pink brush photo; it is all part of my strategy of global appeal and weboland domination.

Er I appear to have been side-tracked. I was going to talk about the urge to blog. I told myself this would never happen. As Sir Humphrey said, if you have nothing to say, say nothing. Sound advice. I'd be interested to know if this has happened to other people? I was very clear at the outset; it was just a bit of fun, a place to bung up the odd photo, a way to take the piss out of my mates, and latterly, being unemployed, a way in which to keep the grey matter active and raise my intellectual level away from In the Night Garden. Six months in, I'm still working on the last point, but my personal experience is that this blog has become slightly more than what it was supposed to be. I mean, I walk round the house looking for things to take pictures of. Like socks. When I'm out and about, I have half an eye on what might make an interesting photo. I have driven past Cock Lane near Broxbourne Woods three times now without stopping - my powers of resistance are immense! Thank God the birding is about to pick up, I might not have been able to hold off much longer. So why might this be? About five of my mates read it. Mrs L reads it, just to check. I think members of my family may surreptitiously read it, but are too polite to say anything. Some other London birders who I don't know read it. And briefly, about 350 bored women from around the world read it. How on earth should this change my outlook on how I go about this blog? Were the paps outside yesterday when I took the recycling out? No they were not. So I just need to relax and remember that it is all just a spot of fun for my own amusement.

I also need to remember that it was supposed to be about birding in Wanstead. To be fair there is quite a lot about Wanstead, albeit it a certain house in Wanstead. Frankly though, it could be anywhere. I mean, does anyone who reads this actually think they now know more about Wanstead than they did before? I very much doubt it. Do they know more about birding? Exactly. I need to get back on track, or else change the title of this blog to Not Birding in Wanstead (although I am terrified of what that might do to statcounter.) Maybe a post with some interesting facts about the borough first....

Oh and contrary to the last post, I have been out. I twitched a Red-backed Shrike in Sussex. Although I told myself it was because it was a male (and absolutely stunning it was too), secretly it was so that I could go one ahead of Bradders in the year-listing stakes. This must rankle him as he sits at his desk during the week, and sure enough this weekend he went ahead again, and phoned me approximately 0.2 nanoseconds after he had nailed the Great White Egret at Southwold to tell me so. There you go, bird content.

Interestingly Bradders hasn't posted anything on his blog for two weeks. Sensible chap. I wonder how he is feeling though?



  1. Hi
    I count among the london birders you don't know/haven't met who read the blog unless I've bumped into you somewhere.

    I started blogging back in December, not entirely seriously, and also told myself I'd never write anything if I had nothing to write about. That didn't out so well; it took me about three days to post my first filler post, and since then there's been no looking back. It's worse now since a birding friend and I are in competition over the fatbirder top 500 thing. This internet lark seems to bring out the worst in me, though I'm somewhat reassured that I'm not the only person who purposefully looks for interesting/scatological photos to stick up.

    And thanks for the link a while back - the referrals catapulted me way ahead of the competition...

  2. Hey, don't knock the bored housewives. They talk amongst themselves quite a lot, and that can be magic for your stat counter. As you have seen.

    And some of them may bird. I do! I don't get out on trips these days, but I still try to keep my eyes and ears open, and enjoy reading about birding.

    That pink brush was pretty nice, though.

  3. I am a bored housewife.

    And the pink brush is beyond pretty nice - it is awesome. What you can't see from the photo is that the reverse of the head has a small section of extra-hard bristles, which is what sold me. Less useful for the shower, where it resides, but a great feature nonetheless.

  4. If Parus is claiming he's seen an Internet Lark I want his fatbirder ranking rescinded. You can't tell me that's tickable in the UK.

    And the whole birding thing wasn't supposed to be serious. The blog appeared when I realised I was taking it all much more seriously than I intended. And then the same thing happened there, though I try and keep it a little bit relevant.

    I find that the urge to post interesting content sometimes drives me out to birdwatch when I'd much rather have stayed indoors and played computer games. And I almost always don't regret it afterwards. Ultimately I find it's a positive force, and since the only alternative use of my internet time is blocking applications on Facebook I can't complain.

  5. Ooh how exciting. I added that fatbirder "Top 1000" thing just now. An ego-deflating 992!!

  6. Paragraph three rang worrying bells...

    Filler posts. Hmm. Not a bad thing, I would say. The search for 'filler post' padding material has led to pleasant browsing through piles of old photos. I've also been forced to be inventive occasionally. This has been fun, and tapped levels of weirdness that I didn't know I had. Keeping 'the grey matter active' is definitely a by-product of blogging, and almost sufficient motive in itself for keeping at it even when the well seems dry.

    That pink brush was pretty nice though! I cleaned the shower only yesterday, whilst kept indoors by the rain, and would have killed for such a worthy tool. I was stuck with some unfriendly bleachy cleaner stuff, and a kitchen sponge/scourer thing. My hands still smell like they've been steeped in a swimming pool for a week.

    I am intrigued by the Fatbirder web ranking competitiveness. Might add an interesting slant to the blogging experience. Now, how to widen that demographic....

    PS. Was delighted to read the word 'tessellation' in your sock post - I hadn't seen it in print since school days, I reckon, and certainly never heard it pass actual lips since 2B. I can't think why not - it's a cracking word, and deserves promotion.

  7. I think you actually read "tesselation". Oops. Like you though, it is a word I have not used for eons, so I should be forgiven for not knowing how to spell it. Changed it now, wouldn't want the archives to expose my ignorance. I wonder where all these old posts end up?

  8. Up to 791 already. Feeling addicted yet? :-P