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"

Sleep Never Rusts

(I stole these pics, they aren't mine)
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Desperate Times Called for Desperate Measures,

Only by throwing off their heavy winter garments could the girls hope to keep up the speed they would need to beat the train to its destination, 1200 miles away across Siberia.
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The Return of Albert

The Return of Albert

You've 'eard 'ow young Albert Ramsbottom,
In the Zoo up at Blackpool one year,
With a stick and 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
Gave a lion a poke in the ear.

The name of the lion was Wallace,
The poke in the ear made 'im wild;
And before you could say 'Bob's your Uncle,'
'E'd up and 'e'd swallered the child.

'E were sorry the moment 'e'd done it,
With children 'e'd always been chums,
And besides, 'e'd no teeth in 'is noodle,
And 'e couldn't chew Albert on t'gums.

'E could feel the lad moving inside 'im,
As 'e lay on 'is bed of dried ferns,
And it might 'ave been little lad's birthday,
'E wished 'im such 'appy returns.

But Albert kept kicking and fighting,
Till Wallace arose feeling bad,
And felt it were time that 'e started to stage
A come-back for the lad.

So with 'is 'ead down in a corner,
On 'is front paws 'e started to walk,
And 'e coughed and 'e sneezed and 'e gargled,
Till Albert shot out like a cork.

Old Wallace felt better direc'ly,
And 'is figure once more became lean,
But the only difference with Albert
Was 'is face and 'is 'ands were quite clean.

Meanwhile Mister and Missus Ramsbottom
'Ad gone 'ome to tea feeling blue;
Ma says 'I feel down in the mouth like,'
Pa says "Aye! I bet Albert does too.'

Said Ma 'It just goes for to show yer
That the future is never revealed,
If I thought we was going to lose 'im
I'd 'ave not 'ad 'is boots soled and 'eeled.

'Let's look on the bright side,' said Father
'What can't be 'elped must be endured,
Every cloud 'as a silvery lining,
And we did 'ave young Albert insured.'

A knock at the door came that moment,
As Father these kind words did speak,
'Twas the man from t'Prudential,
E'd called for their 'tuppence per person per week.'

When Father saw who 'ad been knocking,
'E laughed and 'e kept laughing so,
That the young man said 'What's there to laugh at?'
Pa said 'You'll laugh an' all when you know.'

'Excuse 'im for laughing,' said Mother,
'But really things 'appen so strange,
Our Albert's been ate by a lion,
You've got to pay us for a change.'

Said the young feller from the Prudential,
'Now, come come, let's understand this,
You don't mean to say that you've lost 'im?'
Ma says 'Oh, no! we know where 'e is.'

When the young man 'ad 'eard all the details,
A bag from 'is pocket he drew,
And he paid them with interest and bonus,
The sum of nine pounds four and two.

Pa 'ad scarce got 'is 'and on the money,
When a face at the window they see,
And Mother says 'Eeh! look, it's Albert,'
And Father says 'Aye, it would be.'

Young Albert came in all excited,
and started 'is story to give,
And Pa says 'I'll never trust lions again,
Not as long as I live.'

The young feller from the Prudential
To pick up his money began,
And Father says 'Eeh! just a moment,
Don't be in a hurry, young man.'

Then giving young Albert a shilling,
He said 'Pop off back to the Zoo.
'Ere's your stick with the 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
Go and see what the Tigers can do!'

Marriott Edgar