A quick question

Does anyone still blog as a hobby anymore? Or is it more for business reasons?

I ask as it seems like the blogosphere has changed a lot since I first dipped my toes into its waters. When I began in the mid 00s, first on Blogger and then later on WordPress, with a bit of MySpace in between, many of us were using it as an online diary, as a place to talk about their interests, to have a rant or share stuff they created. Now whenever I see stuff about starting blogs, it’s about how to make it a career, how to make money from it and all the new blogs I see pop up reflect that.

I don’t see anything wrong with it. I have tried to see if I can make a bit of money out of this before myself, while still mainly doing it as a hobby. You can probably tell this from my “publishing schedule” (I’m working on it, honest). I just wonder if there are still people out there who are 100 percent doing it for the love of sharing whatever’s in their heads or what they enjoy. They’re on a free plan, they don’t see themselves as influencers, they don’t have brand deals or affiliate links on their blog. They don’t plan what they’re going to post ahead of time, they just go for it when they want to.

Down

I haven’t been feeling myself today.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t been out of the house for the best part of a week, or that I was struck with the once a month curse this week. I’ve just felt really down in a way that I haven’t for a while. And tired. Really tired. Not even going for a walk earlier made me feel better, or any of the other things I like doing when in a bit of a funk.

Writing helps a little when you have an idea of what to talk about. Right now I am just typing the first thing that comes into my head into this space in the hope that something might stand out. It’s not going so well. I should know by now that I’m not so good at blogging when I feel like crap.

I’ll come back when I feel more like talking.

Brain dump

A.K.A all the things I was thinking about posting this week, plus anything else that comes into my head.

If there haven’t been enough reasons for me to feel old at the moment, it’s been twenty years since Chicken Run was released. Aardman announced a sequel this week, which they’ve partnered with Netflix for, which will likely premiere on Netflix. Maybe it’s a sign of my age, or maybe I’m being a bit of a snob, but I tend to view a film that goes on Netflix first as like the modern equivalent of a film going straight to video. Let’s be honest, while there’s a lot of good stuff on there, there is also a hell of a lot of crap. I am however sure that the film itself will be very good because Aardman never make a bad film (yes I do include Flushed Away in this)

I’m wondering whether a smart notebook would be a worthy investment. Sure I can see them as a good idea from an environmental point of view (reusable pages + ability to scan and upload notes = less paper needed), but they are pretty expensive. Then again, the price of one of the cheapest smart notebooks is probably the equivalent of at least 5 A5 standard ones and will probably last the lifetime of 50. I’ll think about it more.

I’m going to try and go a whole day without checking social media. I’ll let you know that goes one way or another.

Lockdown update

As of the 29th April, I’ve taken to writing a post by hand and posting a photo of it rather than typing it all out. Mainly out of pure laziness, but also because I don’t have my laptop at the moment. Here’s what I wrote:

In addition to the above:

I’ve started to crave Maltesers, Salt and Vinegar Square crisps, Haribo Starmix and Strawberry Hubba Bubba. Not together, obviously. Yes, I know I could go out and get them but I’m reserving my time out of the house for actual essentials.

I listened to the radio show of The Mighty Boosh on BBC Sounds. Now I’m wanting to watch the TV series again. Remind myself of the nights when BBC Three was actually on TV and I’d stay up to watch and admire this work of crazy genius (and, ahem, Noel Fielding. Well he was weirdly attractive).

I rate my mood out of five on most days as a two. Moving to a 3.5 later on in the day.

I need to get off twitter completely for a bit. Even reducing my amount of time checking it isn’t doing me much good.

Here ends the update. Hope you’re doing good.

Lockdown report

Aggretsuko. The cutest death metal head.

As of 21st April 2020:

I have only gone out of the house five times (excluding the times I’ve been in the garden) since lockdown began.

I have watched far too much Homes Under The Hammer.

I realised Aggretsuko is my spirit animal minus the singing of death metal at karaoke. I don’t do karaoke, but I have fantasised about screaming “YOU’RE A SHITTY BOSS!!!!!! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!” at former horrible managers.

I have taken part in a 30 day song challenge on Instagram. Normally I find these kind of challenges on any social media platform incredibly annoying but it is something to relieve the boredom. And it is interesting to find out what others I follow who are doing it post.

I got three letters from the hospital on the same day (two of them being the same letter). One was the dreaded letter telling me I was in the “at risk” group with me having a long term health condition and saying I should shield for 12 weeks. The other letter(s) were from my consultant which included a form to self assess my level of risk. The higher the score, the higher the risk. My score? 0. Therefore I don’t have to fully shield and can follow the social distancing protocols. Yes I’m confused, but thinking about it I’d rather have got the letters than not. It shows they’re looking out for us.

My anxiety has been through the roof.

I am grateful to live in the time of video calls and messaging apps.

I’ve reduced my twitter consumption if only to stop myself from getting upset and angry at 5G truthers and all other assorted idiots that are in overdrive during this time.

I’ve also reduced my Facebook time for the same reason. Thankfully, I don’t have many friends on there and the majority of them don’t engage with that kind of nonsense.

I believe Disney + came along at just the right time. And yes, The Mandalorian is magnificent.

I’m still meh about Killing Eve.

I downloaded Disney Sorcerer’s Arena on my phone. I deleted it after two days as it drained my phone battery faster than Fallout Shelter did a few years back. Good game though. That reminds me, I need to get a new phone when this is all over.

I also downloaded Incredibox. You have to pay for it, but it is a fun little app.

Been using Noted to empty my head of thoughts. Some potential blog material which I might share, then again might not.

I wrote about lockdown and ended up turning it into some weird poem that I’m kind of equal parts proud and embarrassed about.

My skin has gone bad.

I’m more tired than I’ve been for a while.

I’m doing my best to hold it together.

I hope you’re coping well.

Bunny

 

This is Bunny. I was given him by my Auntie and Uncle when I was a baby, and he was my favourite toy. As a kid, I would take him everywhere. On car trips he would sit next to me on the back seat. He was there through a lot of good times, and also a lot of horrible times. To my very young self, Bunny was more of a toy, he was my best friend. Even when I hit my teens and the bulk of my toys I used to play with had been stored away, Bunny was still there, perched on a table next to my bed.

As I grew up and moved onto university and adulthood, Bunny eventually joined the other childhood things that had been carefully put away. Those childhood things later became lost under a pile of grown up things (you find out when you move back home from uni just how much crap you acquire). I was worried that I would never find Bunny again. Both my Auntie and Uncle had passed away by then, so I was more upset at the thought of not being able to find him.

A few days ago, on my 38th birthday, there was a shiny pink box among the presents. I was told it was a special present, so I left it until last. As I lifted the lid of the box, there was Bunny. My sister had found him on the floor of our bedroom, a bit dusty and his ears having come apart a little. The people renovating our house must have uncovered him while they were moving stuff around. Mum had washed him twice and stitched him up. When I took him out of the box, he looked good as new, save for his eyes being a little bit scratched, the result of the time that I tried to make him fly as a toddler. Seeing him there and holding him once again got me all emotional. Out of all the presents I got that day, this was surely the best one.

Bunny now takes pride of place next to my bed. And I’m not going to let go of him.

 

 

In 2019..

.. I should have done this post a lot earlier. It’s probably a bit late now to do the Happy New Year thing now isn’t it? Ah who cares, it’s still the first post I’ve done this year.

I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I did decide to try and do somethings this year. Granted a few of them are on my list of things I want to do before I’m 40 (click here for that post), but there’s some  things I want to give a go.

I’m going to read more books. I started out aiming to do this last year and I started well enough but I could have done better.

I’m going to use my camera more. Again I said this last year but this year I really am. I got a mini tripod for Christmas and I bought a book on photography as a present for myself. I’ve had photography books before but this is the first one I’ve read that I’ve actually really learnt something from – namely how to use settings other than Auto on my DSLR. It’s OK, I’ve only had my camera for like, nearly five years.

To sort myself out. Mentally and physically. Last year gave me a wake up call that I really need to begin to put myself and my wellbeing first. I’ve already begun to make steps towards that in the last few months.

Spending less time on social media. Yes, I know for me it will probably be a bit of a challenge in the case of Twitter. I have however, been thinking about cutting back on it for a while, for the sake of my mental health. Twitter is a completely different beast from what it was when I first joined it (ten years next month, bloody hell). It used to be a fun and friendly place. Now it’s a not really fun at all place where everyone screams abuse at each other for saying something they don’t like. Blame Brexit, Trump or whatever, it gets worse by the day, and it’s easy to find yourself drowning in the toxicity of it all.

(I haven’t looked at Twitter once since I started writing this post. Go me.)

That’s my plans anyway. Whether I can keep them going you will surely find out about here.

Things I want to do before I am 40.

(Because I am less than three years away from it and I should probably start to aim for them now)

Learn to drive.

Get a Smart car (after I’ve passed my driving test, obvs).

Get my own house. I know it’s an extremely long shot but I hope to be able to afford one at some point.

Become a published writer (and like, totally earn money for said writing).

Go to the Edinburgh festival. I used to go on holiday to Scotland nearly every year during my kid and teen years and it was nearly always when the festival was on. Nearest we got to it was watching stuff on it on BBC2 (we were staying up in the Highlands).

Go back into studying, even if it’s just for a short course.

Attempt NaNoWriMo again and actually complete it this time (or maybe just get further than I did the last time I attempted it).

 

This post will be edited as and when I complete certain things and/or think of new things I want to do before I hit the milestone.