A Busyness of Bloggers


Adullamite, whose blog gives me a great deal of pleasure, said in a recent post

‘I looked through the usual blogs, commented on one or two and will do on one or two others once I have read all the words. The blogs are so good, taking me all over the world, into lives I would never know otherwise. People in different worlds than mine with very different lifestyles….and differing views educate, inform and entertain better than the so called professionals do. They of necessity are limited to what pays, blogs reveal the heart! That is why they are good. At least the ones I choose to look at are.’

Thus he sums up what I enjoy about the blogging world – people talking about what they observe, what interests them, what moves them, what is important to them, what they ferret out – and the blogs I follow, return to time after time, are those with heart.

But they are as rare as hens’ teeth.

I look at the WordPress ‘Freshly Pressed’ section from time to time in the hope of finding a new blog to read…but less and less often.

I need a translation to know what LBGT might be…but I suspect it has nothing to do with gin and tonic…..

I couldn’t give a hoot about people moaning on about their ancestors’ slavery – it’s a rare family that hasn’t known oppression in its past and I’d be a damn sight more interested if these bods would look at current slavery practices with the same anal attention they give to their families’ pasts. Get involved…do something….stop grizzling.

Parenting blogs…yuck!
‘How I refused to believe that my little girl was a pain in the backside and interpreted her last minute refusal to take part in the Nativity play which had taken so much work to stage as an example of an independence that would one day enable her to say ‘no’ to drugs’…Double yuck!
There are some brilliant blogs on being a parent – take a look at some of the family posts on Mark Charlton’s Views from the Bikeshed or Stephen Herrick-Blake’s Bloggertropolis where the love just shines through in both cases…but parenting….no.

Exhibitionists pretending to dally with racism to give an unholy thrill to their audience…not that either.

Expats whose posts seem to consist of saying ‘Wow!’…..

The self promoters – oh look I have five thousand followers….

People who can’t use their own language…..

But enough of ‘Freshly Pressed’ as the blogs I see there , with honorable exceptions, show more attention to technique – to tricks – rather than content.

And content is what counts.

I’ve logged in to blogs about France and found myself enjoying music I’d never heard of….The Diary of Amy Rigby….
Films and how to view them from the blog which ceased to be written with the death of its eponymous owner – Boris in Ayrshire.

Discovering the difference between English and Australian thunderboxes thanks to Days on the Claise

Romanesque architecture illustrated by marvellous photography on the Via Lucis blog…

Recipes with a context on Cheffiles

It’s the sheer vitality of it all that counts…and I haven’t told the half of it.

And how many blogs lack just that….vitality.

Pedants who tell you what each French word means – without the faintest idea of what is happening in their own French backyard….

The well connected – to each other – who receive your comment on their post with a pale ‘thank you for your contribution’ and return to the contemplation of their well connected friends’ navels, minds closed to anything outside their own world…

Photographic blogs….which leave me asking whether the technique of taking a pic has taken over from communicating something through that pic….

Oh, stop grizzling, woman!

A blog with heart, with vitality, doesn’t need to be a literary master piece, nor does it have to be about the extraordinary….but it does need a blogger who tells you how it is – lets you see their world as they see it – and who enjoys the relationship with readers through the comments section, which is, in my view, the best part of my blog!

Just doing a swift trawl through the blogs I enjoy I can visit Scotland, England, Wales, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Belgium, Turkey, the Gulf states, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Canada and the U.S.A……

I can learn about knitting, crochet, ceramics; cooking and preserving; riding and walking; animal rescue and architecture; religion and politics; wildlife and town life; I can see the sights and discover their history…..

And it’s all thanks to those special bloggers – those with heart.


61 thoughts on “A Busyness of Bloggers”

  1. Helen you need to fix all your links by taking out the second http//.

    Many thanks for the mention. To think that Americans don’t have thunderboxes of any description — whatever next!

      1. When doing the US in 20th C study the speaker said, “We now move on to US Culture,” and the audience sniggered loudly. He then had to explain what he defined as US culture. Hmmm

  2. I think you pretty much sum up how I feel about blogs Helen. Our likes vary according to our own personal tastes but sometimes we gather a group of bloggers together who, although very different, seem to share common interests. I do agree with your dislikes. I don’t follow a blog for too long if I sense dishonesty or when people blog for effect or try to impress.

    I also enjoy the connection with people all over the world. I guess people in our age group still marvel at the wonders of the internet and how we can communicate instantly. And thanks for more links to blogs…will take a look x

    1. You are right about the wonders of the internet….it seems only yesterday that I was astounded that from a phonebox in rural France I could ring home!

      And you do ‘meet’ some very nice people in the blog world…

  3. The ability to ‘visit’ other countries through blogging is one of the things I love most about the process. I love that I can interact with someone in Kenya, Denmark, France, Costa Rica ( πŸ™‚ ), Australia, etc., all within a few minutes time span. Pretty amazing when you think about it!

    Happy Holidays to you!

  4. I could have written that post, but you probably know that anyway. Can’t remember if you have read my snipes at WP on my clouds blog.

    It is actually difficult to find interesting new blogs though. But how do you define interesting? Preferably someone who doesn’t write awesome every ten seconds is a good start. Photoblogs without text drive me up the wall. So what? Your photo isn’t a burning kid in Vietnam that stands on its own. Your bird/flower/sunset is no better/worse than mine – ok the birds may be better as they never stay still for me. Luckily the sunsets and the flowers do.

    So what brought all this on apart from another blogger’s post? who I will now have to look at. Get yourself an LGBTQ by the way πŸ™‚ Mine is Larios, not much tonic, no ice, but lots of lemon. Can’t remember the last time I had one though πŸ˜€

  5. Lovely post, Helen. I can feel depressed and read an uplifting post and it changes me. A photo, a few simple words, a travelog of beautiful sharing, there’s a whole wonderful cyber world out there to tap in to. I met you and was intrigued by you through Kerry Dwyer’s site, glad for the day that happened. (BTW: LGBT lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender- wasn’t sure if you were joking.)

    1. Now I hope this one is in the right place…..replying to the Persecution of Mildred Dunlap.

      I only worked out what LGBT was when reviewing a ‘move to Costa Rica’ publication….until then I was not sure whether it was a drink or a sandwich.

      You are right about the power of reading a good post….and about the fortuitous nature of the links we make.
      I came across Kerry when she reviewed a soi-disant literary festival in the village in which I used to live….

        1. It’s one of the ways to see if you are getting to know somewhere new…do you know what all the acronyms mean.

          I remember moving to Norfolk and finding it astounding that the LSE – which to me was the London School of Economics – featured so largely on newspaper billboards.
          Then I discovered that whatever it stood for in my world, in Norfolk it stood for Laurence Scott Electromotors – a major local employer.

          I only met Kerry on the net unfortunately…

          1. That brings up a whole other topic of how many meanings, definitions, does one word, one symbol, one acronym have? Along that line, the converse of how many terms to describe one thing. Medical terminology drives me nuts – every new ego that adds to a discovery of a disease creates another entirely new name for the same thing.

          2. One of my husband’s unlovely illnesses rejoices in the acronym of CANOMAD, which conjours up visions of mad dogs and Englishmen….before the discovery that he had cold agglutinates, whatever they might be, it was classified as Miller Fisher to distinguish it from run of the mill Guillain-Barre…..

          3. You’ve made my point. And, more to an important point, I hope your husband is okay. Cold agglutinin is a hemolytic anemia. I don’t know why it’d be classified as a form of Guillian Barre (which Miller Fisher is-a milder form not involving respiratory failure and can be reversed, if I’m not mistaken). But enough of this. We’re both intelligent enough to find a dictionary that might have some sane definition in it that won’t take us on a vacation to every word in print. Or is this wishful thinking.

            I do enjoy chatting with you.

          4. Thank you, Leo is in better health these days, but could still have an attack which if not treated in time could be fatal.
            The diagnosis started with Guillain Barre – turned to Miller Fisher as not touching the lungs and then went to CANOMAD…but mostly through his specialists getting all excited over it at conferences.
            One thing they are all sure of…his illness originated in the preparations for a trip to Africa in the days when British Airways offered a vaccination service and he had six varied jabs at once….which makes you think of servicemen sent to Irak…..
            Kerry did me a good turn in putting us in touch…i very much enjoy the exchanges we can have.

  6. Hi Fly (Helen) ~ you have hit the nail on the head ~ I particularly hate the ‘Wow ~ look at my beautiful home, interior decorating blogs’. Thank you for some good links there for me to follow up tomorrow. I too like Adullaman’s blog ~ it is real and very funny.

    1. Oh yes, the ‘look at me’s….’here I am in Paris stuffing my guts with a macaroon because the other ‘look at me’ blogs are stuffing their guts with macaroons in Paris…but mine is special…it’s made from organic beetroot.’


      I must put up a blogroll….if there is time to simmer down between Perth and Melbourne…..

  7. I do need new glasses…I’ve got this reply to roughseasinthe med out of sync. Apologies.

    What brought all this on was the last Test Match in Perth.
    I was looking for cricket bloggers’ reactions and then, lured as one always is by the sidebars and what not, thought I’d take a look at some of the WP blogs in areas that interest me.
    The result is as you see above.

    I shall feel better when I have managed to silence Graeme Swan by shoving Monty Panesar’s pugri into his arrogant mouth.
    Oh, and stamped on Stuart Broad’s injured foot….
    And reverse swung James Anderson further than a hammer in the Olympics…….
    And installed Geeoffrey Boycott to Oberfuhrer of English cricket…..

    I think I need that drink…the red mist is rising before the eyes again….

    1. I was so miffed that my comment was left unreplied to (poor english there). I shall hunt out my photo of my father standing with GB in our local pub. I am sure GB was bored to tears but my father was enraptured.

      I hate cricket by the way although I understand Boycott was rather good.

  8. I thought I was doing (reasonably) alright when the dread word, meaning the game of gentlemen, once the field of such luminaries as Sobers, Constantine,Hutton et al spotted my page.
    You can write whatever you feel on the subject. I do not have to read it.But, sweet bleeding Boycott! I live in Awstrylia and am sick to death of morons with microphones!

    Yes, you are right about the blogspill that drifts in the ether. I suppose those whose friends’ admiration is only ever expressed as “wow” and “you go!” and “OMG!!!!!!!!!!!”, with teeth-grinding regularity feel a little puff of importance.

    I reach for the editor’s whip…

    1. Lend it me, will you…?

      In my own defence, playing back to fast bowling from the commentator, I did keep cricket off the main post…..but when it comes to morons with mocrophones nothing beats Warne….unless it’s Blofield…..

  9. I agree with you entirely, you whinging ratbag πŸ™‚ I am fascinated by wonder women and their interiors, and sometimes have a peep at their blogs – just because I don’t get how domestic perfection is enough to keep them happy. On the other hand, I am an avid reader of any blog where the blogger’s personality grabs my attention throughout their posts. That’s how I’ve ended up following blogs about gardening and cooking, for example – topics I otherwise have very little interest in – and that helps me learn new things. In short, blogs are first and foremost about contact for me, but not everyone needs that. If I comment on a blog and I just get a “thanks for your visit”, I generally don’t come back for more. In any case, I love your blog and your stance on life – keep them coming, Helen!

    1. My stance on life – just to tickle up Dinahmow a little more?
      Two legs, umpire please….and give me something to whinge about….

      So often with blogs I find another through an interesting comment – and then that person is blogging about something I didn’t think I was interested in…but then I become so because of the way they talk about it…

      I quite miss blogs when they stop for some reason….there’s an Irish one about gardening that has shut up shop – I hope just for the winter – and I miss not only the gardening tips but also the blog’s dog…

  10. Yes, you must put up a blog roll. That’s where I sample new reading. I’m enjoying the recitation of what not to read here, and I must mention my exception. There are a couple of bloggers who collect and re-purpose whose entries are a treat. I love looking at the stuff I grew up with and the silly uses it’s put to. They make charming displays of my mother’s junk or my brother’s lunch boxes, and I think, they must rent a storage unit to store this stuff off-season. I suppose it falls in the blog-lite category. There’s a back story to each woman, too, that keeps me going back.
    My son-in-law showed me I could open a new browser tab and use it to query any subject in the universe without losing my place in a blog. It’s like auditing any eclectic college class of my choosing. My list of what I’ve learned is the best part of blog reading. Every blog I read is a treat.

    1. I’ll have another go this weekend at sorting out a blogroll, which I don’t find easy on WP, but I would like to share some of the super blogs I enjoy, so it’s on with the ice pack and down to work.

      There are blogs on crochet and knitting that I enjoy because what is going on there fascinates me though I can’t even start to do it myself…bu tequally there is a blog on recuperating stuff in France that infuriates me by its mix of Uriah Heep mock modesty and Bob Diamond greed.

  11. Spot on, Helen and I too would be interested in seeing your blog list because I like to take the easy route to reading good content. πŸ™‚

  12. I can not even remember how I found your blog, Helen, but am glad I did. Probably the Belgian connection as I do not spend much time surfing and trying to discover new blogs. I leave it up to ‘le Hasard’… although today I make an exception and will visit the ones you mention.
    I much enjoy the witty comments of your public . Happy also to find out how people feel about photography blogs. A difficult juggling of different interests.. I agree that tone needs more than just a pretty picture, while at the same time, I always have in the back of my mind, my teacher’s voice : the picture should speak for itself, never explain to an audience what they can see for themselves.

  13. For the love of all things sacred, my dear woman, I have just followed your link to this Cheffile chappie and have had to stop halfway through to take on board a stiff beverage or two. What a complete stramash of letters used by the gentleman in question. Pure twaddle, the whole ruddy way through. I recommend that you seriously mull over the idea of dissociating yourself with such an uneducated ruffian. Whatever next, crusts left on triangular sandwiches, afternoon tea before the sacred hour? A philistine and a vagabond from Glasgow, an utter disgrace.

  14. Oh gosh, more blogs to sample! πŸ™‚ I do so agree with Adullamite’s orginal remarks and your post. Blogging has been a total revelation to be, both in what I have learned and enjoyed through writing my own blog and how much I have learned and experienced through the blogs of others. Like you, I enjoy above all the comment conversation and the way it links us to super people we couldn’t possibly meet in any other way. I’m so glad I stumbled across your original French leave blog, which is the one above any other which gacve me the idea of trying one of my own. See what you started….. πŸ™‚

      1. It is the contact, isn’t it, taking us out of our habitual circles and finding new ways to look at the world through the eyes of others.
        I may have helped in starting you to blog…but the technical help and the moral support you have given me more than compensate!

        As to proof reading, I need new glasses – ordered them, went in to pick them up today and,seduced by an offer on bacon forgot to collect them…..

  15. Stealing my material huh?
    I thought I was the only one that did that!

    You realise I know have to look through all those mentioned?
    They may well add to my daily ‘must see’ blogs and waste even more of my life!
    Someone stated that we tend to find blogs by people we agree with. Now I am not sure this is true as some of my regulars are from worlds I disagree with but I still like them. (I avoid saying what they feel) Maybe it is just the person, the subject or the mood we are in that makes us follow others.
    Personally I just ‘like’ the ones I follow, who or whatever they are. It’s fun!

    1. Stealing material? I am learning from the master…..
      I’m sorry to have burdened you yet further but think on the bright side – you have something else to moan about!
      And yes, liking is more important than agreeing and it is all fun!

  16. I agree with your list of unlovely blogs. I’ve long given up wasting time on them.

    But there is another category I find off-putting: the bloggers who KNOW. Know that their blog is great, no matter the subject; The bloggers whose opinion is always right; the bloggers who are so up themselves that there is no room for a debate. The bloggers who insist on being permanently upbeat, in whose world everything is fabulous. And finally, the bloggers who constantly pick holes in everything they touch, who rarely have a good word for anyone or anything.

    Actually, we random, occasional, non-professional bloggers are all pretty much replaceable, neither here nor there, except in that little world we have created with others, who matter to us, and where we swim our endless circles in our personal gold fish bowls.

    I don’t want to take the whole thing too seriously; if there’s a boring mum praising her kids ad nauseam, let her. A photographer? Fine. a bigot? Sure. Just don’t make me read them.

    Have a lovely time, and may the festive season be all you wish it to be, Helen.

    1. Thank you…the festive season here will be exactly as we wish it to be…quiet until the bacchanalia of New Year.

      Oh for an honest blogger – as you are..as are those in our interlinked circles…
      Yes, we are all replaceable…but not to our blogging friends who worry if we do not post – who sometimes worry if we do…

      We’re probably a rum bunch in the eyes of the upbeat bloggers whose skies are always rosy….but they do not know, as we know, that it is possible not to know enough to know how to ask for more information.

  17. Great post, Helen. I do agree with you. I think that one of the great things about blogging is that it enables us to “meet” the kind of people who are, actually, fairly few and far between – the ones who are good company. IN everyday life, it’s hard to meet more than a few. In Blogland, so many are waiting to be found.
    Thank you for your splendid card, by the way. And as you pointed out, you ARE rather far away to throw things at! πŸ™‚ Have a lovely Christmas.

    1. Ah yes…safety in distance…

      I had no idea that the internet – when I first started to use it – would provide a means of communication beyond that of the Post Office, but blogging has been a revelation….
      No longer dependent on professional journals or the mainstream press, blogging allows kindred spirits to meet, to inform, to interact….let us hope we do not lose this thanks to governments who wish to suppress dissent.

  18. Your blogs have delighted, informed and entertained me since I first found them, and have got my dander up more than once and led me to all parts of the world. Reading about the real lives of real people brings sanity to a world dominated by the cult of “celebs”. I am in awe of those people who deal with hardship and heartache, those who see life as it is for the majority, and I would like to give a thorough slapping to the out-of-touch “vie en rose” brigade who only write smugly of chateaux, champagne, gastronomy and fashion, seemingly disconnected from the real world. Really, I’d like to slap them very hard indeed.

    Happy Christmas, everybody. πŸ™‚

  19. To me the best thing about the blogging world is getting to know so many different people in so many far away places. Your blog has given me a glimpse into life in Costa Rica, a place I have yet to travel to in person. I like blogs that are an honest reflection of life, rather than a glossed over magazine cover version. I look forward to reading more from you in the New Year!

    Merry Christmas!

    1. I am still recovering from reading of the turkey disaster….good luck with that washing machine!
      I bet one of the ‘everything is rosy’ bloggers wouldn’t have posted about that…..

      Have a lovely time with the family.

      1. Tomorrow is the scheduled delivery day for the new washer. I’ll believe it when I see it. Ha! I am telling Karsten and Diana to bring lots of extra clothes for Lucy just in case…

  20. I do agree with most of your comments about off-putting blogs and the scarcity of blogs with vitality and heart and sincerity. And how true it is that it’s so much easier to meet interesting people in blogland than it is in daily life. I can’t imagine now how I survived in my pre-blog and pre-Facebook days.

    And hey, now you can visit Northern Ireland as well as England, Wales and Scotland!

  21. Oh you do make me laugh, Helen, because you’re always spot on. I haven’t yet read the blogs you mention which is a treat for the holidays. I know what you mean about blogs that are ‘real’ – which are the ones I like – why bother with any other sort?
    I love all the comments on this blog – and your replies too – it’s an additional pleasure when visiting.
    To someone I do consider a friend, Helen, I hope you and Leo have a good Christmas. Axxx

    1. I think a number of us have made friends through blogging….such an unexpected consequence and so heart warming.
      Thank you for your kind wishes…we have planned a quiet day with the gates closed and a lunch of the butcher’s special BBQ steak which we saw being marinaded yesterday…..chilli, spring onions and coriander in quantity going into the tub.
      Have a lovely time with your family.

      At risk of repeating myself…the comments section is the best part of the blog!

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