Thursday 22 March 2018

Getting there… two million 'hits'

Just about made it
I planned on being insouciant ignoring this milestone and seeing if anyone noticed.

He knows nothing about conures either
When Cathi came round for our weekly winey repast - with our wretched coughs we missed pilates yet again - she as a journalist suggested I should not miss the opportunity of saying something about my progress. (She and Brenda are the fount of all knowledge).

I had half hoped that Cathi might have opted to post something herself recalling how she persuaded a shy and reluctant former horticultural lecturer to write something down. Perhaps even suggesting he had something worth saying or even explaining he is not the idiot he seems. Or just, although befuddled, well intended.

They say that a five year old’s perception of a fortnight is the same as a septuagenerian’s year. On that basis I started blogging twelve weeks ago and 401 posts have appeared out of the ether. In one way I have been blogging for ever. In another I started five minutes ago.

Before I get soil on my hands
I think readers might discern I am now addicted to blogging. Perhaps time flashes by because of my unchanged blogging routine. I rise before seven, wander into the ‘snug’ say good morning to Sparkle, open his cage, he pops on my hand, I release the curtains, turn up the thermostat and all precisely choreographed move into the kitchen. I switch on the kettle and make a pot of tea. 
Sparkle clucks in tune to my spoon and with Pavlovian precision does his big plop in the sink.
I sit down at my computer, check any e-mails, look up the suitability of the weather for gardening and check my figures. Or perhaps I check my figures first!
It is then pure pleasure to start blogging. I give myself an hour or if carried away somewhat longer. A post takes several days to create and gestate. I usually have three or four in the can.
I never foresaw this being my fate.
I might add that as I blog Sparkle sits on my head. He tends to get inpatient after half an hour or even sooner when he takes issue with my prose. It’s a little annoying when he tucks at my reading glasses or rewrites my text when he jumps on the keyboard. You now know where all my peculiar words come from.

He sits on Brenda's head too
The first six years
I am grateful to Brenda for suggesting the ‘no dig’ moniker. It says what I am and adding my name gives me opportunity to write things beyond gardening. Something I never expected. There once was a time that I never dared to google my name….

Harry suggested that if I posted about birds and animals it might bring a wider audience to my gardening. He got me off to a good start when we got marvellous pictures of the sparrow hawk he rescued when it had been trapped in my garage. Bearing in mind he was to take the blog’s very best pictures on that occasion it was me pointing the camera. It’s quite ironic I know very little about birds. Cameras either.
Sadly Harry died four years ago.

Harry and Cathi advised me to keep posts short. I now think that this was wrong as they only tell half the story. Peter Williams more recently told me that if something is worth reading he likes it to be long.

Po Simpson told me to keep my posts funny. I never really got that one.

I never expected to write much other than gardening. I now love having a wider canvas. ‘Fool on a hill’ congratulated me on my mention of hybridisation in the post ‘Musings from York’ He started a hare which has much further to run.

My friend Rowena commented "thats a bit different" when Po Simpson's moonshots appeared. I dare not tell you how much it swells my two million. Cathi's theory is that it's all those people googling 'moonshine'

I love reader’s comments. I just wish there were more. I miss those regulars who supported me in the beginning and regret all those that I have lost. Poppy Murray where are you? 
I have recently received my e-mail alert for fascinating comments that a writer had immediately deleted! Folk seem reluctant to express their real opinions. I wish more of you would dare to publicly disagree with me rather than in disgust moving elswhere. What you have to say is important to me. Just don’t send me links to false news.
On reflection I sometimes think that I should delete some of my own comments in other places. The rambling ones written in an alcoholic haze.

I was recently asked why I do not take adverts. This is not me. I blog because I love having a platform and fortunately need no financial support. I do endorse named products that I actually use or recommend. I would hate ads popping up all over for products I despise.

Cathi Poole bears total responsibility for me being here as a blogger. She has a lot to answer for but I genuinely thank her. I expect she will be waiting to get the picture of 2,000,000 on Blogger.

We are all in good hands
I like the colour of the gib of the number, 999 to go

The sparrow hawk that started things off
My musing from York
Po just keeps sitting at the top of my top ten!


  1. OK so you want a disagreement do you. I have to say as a general rule I am with Cathi in that I prefer a shortish post. Maybe if there is more to say a post can be divided into separate sequential posts, I sometimes lose interest if a post is too long although there are exceptions. I think another strategy is to use white space to divide up a large block of text so that it feels less intimidating. Of course lots of lovely photos help. I have to admit abandoning posts that are too long or blogs that have the impression of being text heavy. So I bet now you wish you hadn’t asked for disagreements.

    By the way are you sure that you don’t sit reloading your blog to up the viewing figures.

    Notice white space :-)

    Seriously two million is a huge achievement - well done.

    1. Re white space on your blog it’s pinkish space.

    2. Oh no Sue. I am delighted with your comment.I value your own greater experience. I always get to the end of your own posts when it is a topic which interests me - in your case quite often.

    3. and oh yes Sue,I have an automated system to keep reloading my blog all night. Just kidding

  2. Yippee! It's just hit the 2 million! And I got the picture!
    I do admit - I was probably wrong about the very short posts. However, I also agree with Sue that long, rambling text with no picture (nice pictures!!!!) breaks, is hard work.
    I think your style has evolved hugely Roger. For the better. You now write like you speak. You did used to be just a touch 'patronising lecturer' when you first started!

    1. Seriously Sue and Cathi are right about long rambling text and over long posts. I am now trying to get more of a happy medium with some short and some longer.
      I like to think that for a really interesting topic readers might initially skip the detail and go back later. Perhaps I should stop dreaming.

      I can now think of several posts that were just too long - and there is sometimes a negative correlation between my time and effort and its popularity.
      My all time popular post with Po’s pictures was dashed off in a couple of hours.

      My post about biennials is an example of excessive length and as Sue says should have been several separate ones. Parsley as a topic should not be hidden away in there.

      Another one that I might edit down into separate posts is where controlling the very significant weed convolvulus is tucked away at the end of a particularly rambling post.

      Is this enough ‘white space’ Sue?

  3. Hello Roger - Your Bog Posts are always a complete delight and I am pleased to be among the now 2 million. Keep up the good work. David

    1. It gives me great pleasure that you enjoy my posts David. And as you know I turn avidly to every new post of your own. Everybody should read you not just a couple of million

  4. Are all those old students still hanging on to you every word?������


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...