This blog is ten years old today. Happy birthday!
Back in 2004, blogging was still a thing people did. Believe it or not, there was a phase when the majority of my close friends kept a regular blog. I remember one night I got a text because someone’s blog had upset someone else, and having to crawl out of bed and boot up a PC to read the offending post. (Bear in mind we were also teenagers, so there was melodrama.) Even at the time, it seemed like an amusingly novel problem to have.
As has been written about many times, the world has changed since then. Text-heavy blogging was supplanted by the ease of sharing a photo, video or quick thought on the go. And the big social networks connected us more densely than standalone blogs could manage: rickety rural shacks abandoned in favour of the big Facebook metropolis.
I’m not really sad about this: the nostalgia is tied up with the nostalgia of being 14, rather than thinking everyone should write a diary. And yet, I’m still doing it. Narcissism? Probably. But I’m also a hopeless archivist, and the one person I know who is actually going to read this is Future Me. And as much as he might cringe at the writing style, having a proper home for all of these collected memories makes me happy.
Since that ridiculous first post I’ve collected GCSEs, A-Levels, a degree and (as of last month) my fake Masters. My first job, my first flat and my first proper credit in a book. Three relationships, three Doctors… all recorded over three blogging platforms, with sufficient restraint on my part to only use the word ‘wonderful’ a mere 131 times. I counted.
Plus many, many other moments I would have forgotten about without a few words or a picture on these pages to remind me. Learning to punt. Falling asleep in Berghain. Dancing to Supermarket Sweep. Mango beer. Writing for RV. Recreating Deal or No Deal in my living room. Communist cupcakes. Being mugged, and getting a sociology lecture in the process. Dressing up as Boris. Campaigning for Ken. Boston, Croatia, Moscow, Berlin, Newquay, Chicago, Cofton Hackett, California. Shark Attack 3. If you distil it all into a 200 word wordcloud, this is what you get:
All about… now? As a mission statement, that will do.
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