Friday, 18 May 2012

In Which I Hit the Blog Millennium.

Composing a post, as I just was, I chanced to glimpse, on the blogger dashboard page, the post-count. Can't say I ever noticed it before, but it caught my eye this time because of the symmetry of the number displayed.


Which means this is 1000.

How did that happen? I started with the blogging back in December of 2006. I'd been browsing blogs for a while, and I'd wanted to comment on a blog, but it wouldn't allow comments from complete strangers, I had to have a blogger or similar i.d., or so it seemed to me. I really didn't know how to comment, back then. I was the most clueless individual you could think of, but I really wanted to leave that comment, on a blog long gone, by Red Dirt Girl.
She's still around, and that comment, well, it led to me signing up for a blogger account, and then creating this blog.
It also led to an exchange of comments with Red Dirt Girl, emails, chats, phone calls... transatlantic flights, romance, and..... Within the year I'm moving to Texas, to live with her. And to marry her.

None of that was forseen on day one, when I left that comment, and she replied, and I posted my first post, and she commented.

Here's the first inauspicious post, from Tuesday, 26 December 2006:

An Inconspicuous Beginning.

Damn... What have I done? And why?

First of all who am I?
For most purposes, these days, I am Ersatz Soubriquet.

I have another name, several, in fact, but Ersatz has been taking over in leaps and bounds. He first came into existence... A long time ago, I won't disclose how long just now, but it was before the internet, when he worked with a quill pen.
Stop that!
Ersatz, you never had a quill pen.
I did!
Liar! You remember, you had a pen, like a wood stick, with replaceable nibs, that you used for carving the desk until Mr Dennis smacked you with a ruler. And then you had to ask Mr Dennis for a new nib and he was very cross.
And you had to dip the pen in an inkwell on the desk, full of Parker's patent Quink, blue-black, washable, for schools, refilled from the big bottle in the cupboard. And then you left a big blob of ink on your book, and then you blotted it with blotting paper, which was pink until it got blotty all over, and you always had blue fingers and..
What the hell is all this? What are you doing? ink and nibs indeed, you're supposed to be introducing yourself to the as yet, mythical reader.
But there isn't a reader, The reader is a myth, it's just me!
Look, this is the innertent, or as the rest of the world outside our fuddled head knows it, The Internet ! (ooh good! if you hit the keys harder the letters are bigger and blacker)(or whiter, in this case) and the innertent is full of shoals of aimless people who might happen along here and read this.
But why would they?
Stop asking questions, just trust me, they might, and if they did, they wouldn't want to read about your early school years.
They might.
Trust me, I'm your more sensible self, they don't.
So. You're me?
I am, only more sensible.
Oh. Do you remember Mr Dennis then?
Yes. He was very big, we were about eight years old, and he smelled of pee. And he had an old greeny coloured jacket and he could throw a piece of chalk so it hit you right between the eyes.
I remember that. He was very big on not day-dreaming, or looking out of the window, or bending nibs.
Bit of a tough task, then. me, us, never been good at focusing on the task in hand, the present, and so on.
Right. Lets try focus, get together in the same brain and get on with it, shall we?

I've just signed up for this bloggery and I've no idea how it works or who the hell wants to know what I think about anything.
Will I persist? who knows. time will tell. I'd better learn how to do it now, so don't hold your breath, unknown first reader
, because it might take months to figure out... Like what happened there? fonts changing size? and there's no teacher in the room. Maybe if I pull out the computer's plug it will fix itself... shall I buy a new keyboard?

That's it, I'm intimidated now by the empty space, I'll just go read someone else's blog and pretend I'm clever enough to do it.

Now what? Preview button..... post... Labels?

Anyway, mythical first reader, If you do happen by, please leave a comment. Try not to wound me too much.


Eek! The mythical reader!

The Mythical reader happened along. It was all a bit scary when the little flag came up, to tell me someone had tripped the trap I so carefully set.
After a while, I gathered enough courage to creep out from behind the sofa and take a look.
Thank heavens, no scattered blood or viscera around the trap. I remember that from when the cottage got a nasty case of mousies. I really hated traps. But those mice just ate and destroyed, and eventually my innate niceness was destroyed, and the little nipper mousetrap, all blood and gore, became my ally.. I'll tell you about it one day, but just now I'm being as concise as I can.
Oh yes, the cheese had gone. A few pointy heelprints in the carpet gave a clue... Now, where did I recently see.... Oh yes, I think they are the prints of a pair of psychedelic pink Emilio Pucci high-heeled boots. A bit wonderwoman, don't you think, Red Dirt Girl?
(I wonder if that will work? Remember, I'm a bloke, I'm hacking away at this blindly, we don't read the instructions until after we've fucked-up) That link will probably send you to a top secret sub basement of the Pentagon, and scary blokes in black will abseil out of silent helicopters and smash through my windows, chucking stun grenades and shouting Bruce Willis dialogue. Oh dear. Perhaps I'd better pack a small bag ready for thirty years incarceration without trial... Let's see, teaspoon for tunnel digging....
Oh. Sorry, I was wandering again.
See, it's a bit problematic. Red Dirt Girl, she doesn't know it, but she's the cause of all this. Being on holiday, and not much liking the weather, and having read myself into a stupor, and not wanting to tackle the real stuff, like putting up shelves, chucking out that steel thing the scanner and printer sat on, until one two many painful knee bashes sealed its fate... I just went blogsurfing. And I was reading a Blogger site, full of poems that reminded me that I'd been poetry starved for a long time. They're just good. Really. The ones there- Oh look, I'm a buffoon, I'm talking about how good they are, and I'm bluh!. Bluh. There. just ran out of words.
(if my sister was reading this she'd be, rolling on the floor laughing. "Never happen!" she'd cry, knowing i was pre-loaded at birth with enough words for a dozen lifetimes.)
True though. There are two poems concerning a bicycle that ran off to live with a herd of goats.
Go there, read them yourself, lighten your life, browse the recipes, buy a pair of fearsomely expensive looking boots. That is, if the link doesn't dump you in a sub basement of the Pentagon.
Anyway, I was reading that and I wanted to say how much I'd enjoyed it, to give thanks, but I couldn't do it unless I had a blogger account so. So I got a blogger account and Then I thought I'd give it a go, and, well, that means the first visitor was lured by a false trail of cheese.
And then another... No cheese left though. It was a piece of Cantal, from the Auvergne in the middle of France. I'd planned to eat it with some crusty olive bread and a bottle of Kriek, which I found in the cellar.

I'll post this and see if the link works. If this is the last you hear of me, please write to your politicians and point out that I'm far too disorganised to pose a threat.

I thought, back then, that I'd use the blog to see if I could write, I used to be able to, but I got out of the habit. It escaped from me, though, the blog has never really been totally under my control. Sometimes it's something of a diary, sometimes a scrapbook, where I paste things I think mythical readers might like to see, pictures, poetry, music, videos, things that puzzle me, things that interest me, things I love.

Things I want to share. 

In the last six years, I've met a diverse group of people through the blog, who, though I've never met them, I regard as friends. If I'd realised the thousandth post was so imminent, I could have planned it, and held a party!

And I could have planned a better thousandth post. It's a minute to midnight as I write, and my brain is fried, tired after a long work day and too much thinking.

Just don't ask me what this blog's about, what's its mission statement. I really have no idea at all.

"Good night, world"


  1. Maybe it is apropos that I be the first to comment on your 1000th post ...! My, where has the time gone, Soubriquet? Are you still sailing your mythical ship amongst the archipelago of blogdom? Are pointy high heels still banned from your polished teak decks? Does a certain mermaid sing out to you in the still of the night, wanting to test out her enchanted feet on your rolling floors? Do you still leave tea and toast with a bit of marmalade on the counter for her? A pillow and blanket in the crow's nest?

    I call it fate, destiny - that point at which all points before led us to this one intersection on a cold December night. You, my love, will call it chance, happenstance. A random wander through a random blog.

    But neither of us will disagree that we found a spark in each other. For a poet, I am lacking the right words and metaphors to describe what you've brought into my life. The boundless joy. A few tears along the way, as I am a girl and bent to a bit of drama now and then. You are my heart. And I love you.


    1. Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on your millennial post!!


    2. My first commenter, commenter on my first post, commenter on my thousandth post, commenter on very many in between, muse and inspiration and collaboration on so much in between, reader no longer quite so mythical, and so much more besides.
      A cold and bored winter afternoon when I threw down my book and sought diversion and poetry on the internet, a random carom through never-before-seen sites, until the humanity of and humour of one caught my eye, and instead plungeing onward, I stopped and read more, looked at previous posts, and wanted to leave a comment, though I can't remember what I said.
      I liked the concept that the blog was a place, like a cafe, with poetry, and pictures, and, I recall, it contained the author's pictures of high-heels she fantasised about owning, which made me laugh. I'd never before really thought of footwear as an art form, but through her eyes, I began to understand.
      It was a conundrum, a strange mix of ingredients, which worked. More of a conundrum was the person behind it, and still, no matter how infinitely much more I know about her, she remains a conundrum, I never get bored with her company. And I never will.

      (Conundrum: The Red Dirt Girl blogged widely about shoes, with high heels, so it became a joke between us, a sort of shorthand for the fundamentally different wants and desires of women to men, yet in reality, the RDG is not a heel-hoarder, nor a heel-wearer. She'd fall over and break her ankle, she says, long out of training. I recommend a return to the (high-heel) boot-camp of the Sisterhood of the Pointy Heels.)

  2. That was a marvellous start- and look where you are now...inspiring the rest of us and giving us hope, the pair of you!!

    1. gz, Like so many things in my life, I look back and wonder "however did that happen, how did I get to here?"

      But where am I? No less bewildered as to what I'm doing on the interwebs, no less bewildered as to what to write and why, as I was on day one.

      I don't see myself as inspiring anyone, but if I do, I'm pleased.

      I read your blog, as a window into a Welsh valley, a place my mother would have felt was home, I read the stories, the family, the garden, the mountain, ponies, joy, and tragedy, all the time held together by your impressive ability to juggle many tasks and hats, your ability in many diverse things.
      I really wanted to meet your Mountain Man, and I was devastated, but tongue-tied, unable to properly say how sorry I was to hear of your loss. But I know that he's still in your heart, i know he's still on the mountain, still a quiet voice in the night.

      I love, of course, the pots and the kilns, I'm always drawn in with your pics of pots in progress, of those exciting pics of packed kilns and kiln openings. I can smell that scent of extreme hotness and singed eyebrows.
      Red Dirt Girl's a landscape architect, by training, she loves plants, flowers, I like growing things but I don't know the stuff she does. One day, perhaps she and I will come to visit you, and ask you to walk us up the mountain, and show us the beauty of the places we see in your pictures.

      Keep blogging, we appreciate the window you open for us.

    2. Thankyou for your kind words. He has been gone a year today, although a week ago was harder-that was when he thought he should leave us.
      Perhaps I'll be travelling more in the future....

  3. Replies
    1. Adullamite: Keep posting, yourself!

  4. It is sad the flow to the facebook and it's short mindless communication.
    As I look back to the old commenters and see dead blogs I wonder why opt for simple fast thought rather than the measured expanded considered words and pictures available on the blog expression. I guess that there is no accounting for taste.

    1. Goatman, You cut, as usual to the very quick of the matter. Facebook and twitter are fast-food, fast thought, no substance, instant gratification, fuel instantly forgotten.
      Whereas blogs, well, they're variable of course, but they provide a vehicle for the expression of thoughts, a window into other worlds, and a nexus for conversation.

  5. Congrats on the 1000!
    My first memory of you was a post about your dad in a schooner making his way 'round the Cape of Good Hope, or the Norway Maelstrom or some such. Great post!


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