Tuesday, 13 January 2009


I feel exhausted, there again I didn't have a very good night's sleep. I usually blog around twice a week and I knew I was about due today. So I tossed and turned all night wondering what on earth to write. I could look in the papers and be topical but it's not my style. Of any case millions out there do that already. and who wants to know the opinions of a retired, sixty nine year old, at the moment exhausted ex-schoolmaster. Which begs the question, if I'm struggling to fill two blogs a week, how do you six or seven times a week bloggers do it. Some of you seldom go to bed, that's for sure!
And what did you do in your LBB?
Life Before Blogging, do you remember those far off days. And if you do, what on earth did you do with your time! I've asked this question of several bloggers and amazingly often bloggers are unwilling to divulge such highly secret information. Perhaps life as we know it before LBB never really existed. Similarly the question, 'Why blog' receives equally evasive replies.
There's no doubt the blogging world is a godsend for many. The lonely, the exiled, the newly liberated, all welcome the opportunities offered. It is for some a club, a collection of like minded people who offer support and solice to each other, often in times of need. The benefits that blogging offers many cannot be overestimated. For others it is a chance to pontificate, without interruption on every conceivable subject. What was it Nicholas Murray Butler said. 'An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.' Which again puzzles this comparative newcomer to the world of blogging, why spend so much time for no financial reward whatsoever. (Please spare me the' There's more to life than money' spiel. There isn't if you haven't got any.)
Professional bloggers get paid, the sole reason for their often dubious efforts. Most areas have local newspaper hacks who churn out banal, often peurile blogs on a weekly basis. Not for them the luxury of choosing when to blog. It's the 'You're paid to blog, so blog' school of thought. We amateurs are more in control of our blogs, and are unpaid, so it is our choice. So why the compulsion to show others our knowledge, skill, wit. And why so public a face. I've often wondered how many bloggers kept extensive diaries prior to their rebirth as bloggers. And how many would have subjected those diaries to full public scrutiny.
I have a public speaking engagement tonight, at the St Augustines Wives Group in Upperdale Road, Derby (see blog dated Fri 6th June Talk Talk). And I get paid to do so. I get paid £164,000 for a ninety minute speech. Mr Blair also gives speeches, he gets £20 for approximately fifty minutes but has to pay his own travelling expenses. Or is it the other way round; I forget! (Bill Clinton earned $475,000 in a single day from two speeches.)I would be the first to admit there is an element of an ego tripping in public speaking closely related to blogging. Plus after a serious illness it is my way of keeping the old brain cells or what is left active. (see blog dated 18th May Hooray For The NHS). I suspect the problem comes when hobby becomes obsession. When compulsion drives ever deeper and the hobby or interest takes over. The main reason I doubt I could cope with blogging daily.
I was in hospital many years ago. The old chap in the next bed would relate hourly how many rolls of wire he would have made on any particular day. An admirable, dedicated workman who had made this wire for forty years. Admirable except that he was dying. I find that sad, surely there are more important things in life; maybe I'm wrong.
Funny thing, obsession. I know a man whose whole life revolves around twitching. (Bird watching to you and me) His wife has to dress up in a penguin suit and sit on the end of the bed squawking if she wishes to arouse him. All right, not true but you know what I mean when we talk about compulsions and obsessions.
Gordon Brown and Nigel Clough both made publicised visits to Derby last Wednesday. It is less well known that The Queen also visited. As Michael Caine would have said, 'Not a lot of people know that.'
She visited our local asylum on an informal visit. She does this sometimes you know. It tends to deflect the bad publicity the minor royals attract every time they open their mouths.
She took great interest in the gardens and was particularly taken by one old chap who was tending the flowerbeds.
'Good morning, my man,' she said to him graciously, (The Queen always does graciously) 'and what's the matter with you. Why are you in here?'
The old man sighed a great sigh. 'There's nothing the matter with me. I'm just a harmless old blogger who suffered writers blog. Broke down, cracked up and I'm now kept in here completely against my will.'
The Queen is a little deaf (not a lot of people know that either) and wasn't sure sure she'd heard exactly what he had said, but no matter.
'I'll see about that,' said The Queen indignantly (she can also do surprise, consternation, etc. She can do them all, for she is The Queen when alls said and done.) 'I'll not have my subjects locked up for nothing; even buggers. I'll sort it out when I get back to the palace.'
The old man was ecstatic. 'Thank you ma'am, thank you oh thank you.' And he bowed as bloggers do. (psst, how do bloggers bow?) And The Queen waved her hand dismissively, as queens do and moved on.
The Queen had travelled a mere ten steps when she received a large blow to the back of the head which brought her to her knees. She staggered to her feet, turned and through glazed eyes saw the old man gesticulating wildly.
'Don't forget,' he shouted, clutching another house brick in his other hand.
Enjoy your blogging, but don't take it too seriously, for you never know.
One final thought for today. Anyone any bright ideas for an epitaph on a bloggers tombstone?


Marsha said...

Hi Ken!

I'm struggling to think of what I'd put on my gravestone. 'I blog, therefore I am'? In a way, blogging is an affirmation that we do exist. We put our thoughts out there in the blogosphere, people comment, we are heard! I suppose before blogging, I wrote in a journal. Not nearly as exciting.

Mean Mom said...

Before I blogged, I cross stitched, occasionally for money, if I was lucky. Then I began to have a few problems with my eyes, so I've been having a enforced rest.

I loved writing essays, as a child, so I enjoy blogging. I think that's why my blogs are generally so long. I also enjoy the attention and contact with other bloggers.

I think that your writer's block is something to do with the fact that you are a man. Most of the women I know are never short of something to say. ;0)

Good luck with your public speaking engagement! You never know, your experiences may provide some material for your blog. I had to LOL when I read your remark about you and Mr Blair being paid for your public speaking.

If I can think of a blogger's epitaph, I will come back.

Mad Asthmatic said...

Hi Ken, thanks for the comment. I know from my own research on Victorians that the stiff upper lip was to do with appearance and what others thought of you.
Speaking to my grandmother she believes that a stiff upper lip came out of a pride many an english person has. I wonder if the north/south divide makes a difference.

As to your post, i find blogging a place where I can be me. Ifind meeting new people difficult because I am shy and nearly always out of breath. Making conversation a little tricky but in blogland I am able to interact without shyness and without breathlessness.

LBB for me was work, socialising snd living, I would not have had the time to blog then but I now I many sessions of treatments to set through each day and blogging fills this time. I blog for my own enjoyment. sometimes I wonder about what I am going to write in a post. I always read new blogposts from my blog roll and i quite often get inspiration from what others have written or from the comments they have received.

A bloggers epitaph - will have to get back to you on that one.


Kitty said...

I don't really know WHY I blog. Does there have to be a reason, other than 'I enjoy it'? I know why I started it - I wanted to practice my writing, as I found I liked writing. I never dreamed people would actually start reading it, and communicating with me through it - that's all been a lovely big bonus.

If neither you nor I blogged, I wouldn't know of your existence (except in the generic sense that there are bound to be retired teachers in Derby), nor you of mine. And yet I'm glad I know of your existence. You are an interesting man - I bet the St Augustines Wives will agree with me ;-)


Troy said...

On my tombstone I would have the date at the top in small typeface. Then a heading TODAY I DIED.
Under it I would have a few sentences explaining about my death and the fact that this was my last blog.
Then I would have "leave a comment" and have a chisel placed by the tombstone.

PS: Before reading your blog I didn't even know that St. Augustines had got married

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Ken,
So what do you plan to buy with your 164,000 pounds?! hehe

Mmmm a Blogger's epitaph... let me see...
"He Blogged Himself To Death"

Mean Mom said...

Back again. Thought of an epitaph. 'When I stopped posting, there was no need to jump to conclusions.'

Best I can manage!

DJ Kirkby said...

You get paid £164,000.00 as a guest speaker?! Blogging is a great way for me to socialise in a fashion I am comfortable with. LBB meant that I wrote my novels faster but has less of a 'social' life.

Anonymous said...

I only blog to attract women readers for sexual reasons.... ok... it doesnt work.

I would put on my grave stone "DEAD LOL!"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

In my LBB I used to read more books & watch more telly. Now I've got lots of blogger friends & I can let off steam about anything I want. How good is that?

On my tombstone I shall have inscribed -

Here lies Robert

I might attract a few new readers!

I hope your public speaking engagement went well. The start of a new career?

Anonymous said...

Lol, before blogging I worked! Now I've stopped working I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do! Started blogging just to try it... Never did the diary thing before in case someone would read it. Weird! Blogger epitaph: Too late for tea but you can still join me online for my post dated blogs every morning.

MikeH said...

How about: "Page not found!"

I've been posting to the web for so long that I can't remember what I used to do before.

Daphne said...

How about "She blogged off" as the epitaph? - - sorry, sorry - - I think I started blogging because I wanted to save the world. I've not succeeded yet, as you may have noticed, but I thought I'd try to have some fun on the way. And I wanted to tell the story of the hedge, which was my first ever post. And then I just kept going. Every day. But I'm not obsessive. Well, only a bit.

Unknown said...

Hello Ken - and thank you for the visit to my efforts over at Bodge's Bulletin!

I get writers blog every time I post a comment - so it's not unusual.

As for an epitaph - I'm going to have my LCD Monitor at the head of my grave, constantly scrolling through everything ever written by me. That'll keep mournful vists by family to a minimum I'm sure.

Will be back.

Stinking Billy said...

ken, "He blogged not well, but often"

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I've not remembered old Descartes since leaving college! You young uns have more brain left than us dodderers.

Mean Mom
You're right, it does. (See blog dated 6th June Talk Talk.)
Its a bit naughty really, i set the question and can't think of an epitaph myself.

I can see you enjoy it and you are always interesting.

Very witty. And generic sense, wheres that come from. I'll have to watch you!Plus you're absolutely right, there doesn't have to be a reason.

Very good. I reckon many bloggers are people at last liberated to do what THEY want in life.

The Brit
That's about right! But doesn't it take your time up. I have less hours a day as you young uns as I'm not an early riser.

I've been writing two things for several years. My biggest problem is lazyness. I look for other things to do, no writers discipline whatsoever. I'm told the Carperbagger bloke wrote solidly for one month a year, August I believe.

Great. Sex, whats that. Remind me.
Mind you, I'm not the only one losing it, commenting twice indeed!

Very good. Re public speaking see blog dated th June Talk Talk.
Not exactly lucrative but good fun.

Lost your comment. Thats how **** I am technically. Will find it in a minute, Hopefully.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Good. Remember that you are slightly different in that you are a 'pro'.
I wonder whats the most anyone has blogged in a week.

Just read your first piece. very good indeed. Its a pity stuff from the past lies unread. I've just repeated something (Friday) first time ever.

Excellent idea. Re blogging i hover between loving it and hating it.

Excellent but remember, you said it, not me!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Found it again. Don't we all love it when we pack up work. Work may be necessary but gets in the way of living!



Grumpy Old Ken said...

Hi visited your site. You have picked up blogging well. I'm slow re technicalities,you make me feel quite jealous!

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